Admiring the Masters

This is a post from my horseforum.com thread that I started when I got Max. I’m so lucky the forum is still around and I was able to go back and add it to Lipizzan Life.

I was watching YouTube video where the rider, who was explaining something to the camera, was softly moving the bit in the horse’s mouth. You could feel them through the camera, like looking at a couple in love, constantly touching, glancing at, feeling each other. No one was more important to the other than the being they were partnered to at that moment. That’s what I felt horsemanship would be, in my starry eyed dreams. 

Writing this journal, and sorting through my experience, is bringing the romance back into my endeavor. I decided to ditch the “how to’s” and just watch the Olympians, the “Masters”, to let their energy inspire and mold my subconscious. What a world that has unlocked. Nuno Oliveira, what a force; what a being! So subtle, so in tune with the movement; and to watch him work with a horse, to feel the moment they shared, it made me feel like I was watching something almost sacred. It made me wonder if anyone should watch, which of course everyone should; but, the intimacy between horse and rider felt almost indecent to intrude upon. If that makes sense. 

Up to this point, everything I have seen besides some Olympic level riders, has felt disjointed and forced. No wonder I was feeling that way myself, seeking inspiration and knowledge from such sources. Yes, I am a beginner, and I’m a decade, or decades, from such fluidity; but, I know even a beginner can sense what is natural and beautiful. 

I’ve been following this rhythm tonight, like an unquenchable thirst, and ended up buying a book off amazon that felt right. The Complete Training of Horse and Rider in the Principles of Classic Horsemanship, by Alois Podhajsky, a former director of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. What better book to learn from than one by a man who oversaw the training of Lipizzans, when my special boy is none other than a Lipizzan! 

I’m opening myself completely. I’m watching beautiful riders, not trying to interpret their commands, just let the poetry of their movement seep into me. I’m reading, rereading, letting the knowledge flow through the web of my conscious mind and find root in my subconscious. I’m not to the point where focusing on a subtle nuance or special movement will do my riding any favors. I know that consuming a subtle nuance, or special movement, will let it cultivate and blossom into my conscious mind when the moment comes forward. 

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