Chazot Thoughts 54

Instead or using your skill to make him look good, you should use your skill to make him feel good.” Colonel Margot

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If you think that a horse is just there to make you win a blue ribbon. If you think that an animal is just there to became a sandwich or a shoe, keep looking at your cellular phone; two inches by six inches is pretty much the limits of your life. You are a faithful servant; video games direct your mental processing, medias direct your opinions, religion direct your moral compasses. You have lost a sacred gift, your intuitive mind, and you are limited to superficial interaction with us.  You make us mimicking your legs in the round pen and you think that you are educating our mind. You make us executing movements in the dressage ring and you thing that you are doing dressage. You speed us around the jumping course and you don’t realize that microfractures alter our subchondral bones because we do not have adequate athletic development for the physical demand of the performance. Caesar run and jumped chasing the blue ribbons until damages in the subchondral bones reached the joint, developing arthritis.

You could instead use your skill to make us feel good. You could guide our brain toward a coordination of our physique optimally adapted to the athletic demand of the performance. You would then discover how, clever, subtle and willing we really are. He often talks about Bb Blond. He was a thoroughbred too. I never knew him but from what the way he talks about him, Bb Blond , was an exceptional individual.  Bb Blond was diagnosed with a cancer of the spleen and consequently, was retired. However, Bb Blond did not want to be retired. He wanted to work and he rode him a few days per week without any stress, just to keep him happy. He was amazed to realize that Bb Blond was improving his trot totally by himself. Bb Blond was like me; he was not originally an extraordinary mover but he was very intelligent. He taught Bb Blond how to better control his back muscles, how to better use his forelegs extrinsic muscles and Bb Blond furthered his own education. Bb Blond was interested in becoming more efficient, more comfortable with his body and the quality of his gates became outstanding. He won many dressage test as he was in his competitive life but he furthered his own body control as he was retired.

Due to his cancer, Bb Blond was losing muscle mass under the saddle but he figured more sophisticated way to use his physique. The video presented with this discussion is the last day Bb Blond could be ridden. His trot is technically very good and his style gives a special note to his movement. He often says, “His trot became better and better totally by his choice, until the last ride I was able to have with him.

Give us a chance, and we will partner with you toward a sophistication of our body control that you don’t even know is possible. You can believe in our unconditional obedience but we have to survive and we will use our intelligence to trick you. Instead of furthering the sophistication of our body control we will use our intelligence protecting our body as well as our mind. You know about our hyper tactile sensitivity in the area of our flanks situated under your legs. You can easily understand that we would shut off our tactile perception protecting ourself from unstable legs.  We will shut off our mind as well in order to survive arch punishments and incongruities of your training and riding philosophy. You will live in the limits of your blue ribbon and you will never know about the art of working with us.

You touch our legs with a whip making us mimicking the piaff. You focus on the gesture and fail us as you do not understand that if we lack elevation of the front limbs, it is because we do not have enough decelerating activity of our hind legs and we do not have a back properly educated. We do not have the coordination allowing us to keep the weight off the front legs and instead of doing your job, understanding the dynamics involved in the performance and educating our physique for the effort, you trick us with a whip trying to compensate for a lack of elastic strain energy that your lack of knowledge does not allow us store in our tendons, aponeurosis and muscles. If you were using your brain instead, you could educate, develop and coordinate our physique and we would add a touch of class to the execution of the piaff.  

Instead of teaching us a movement, teach us how to coordinate our physique for the athletic demand of the movement. We will further your education beyond anything you can do with your aids. Like most living creatures, our physique is composed of systems within systems within systems. You have only a superficial control of our body and if your education is about control, you will only have a superficial performance. We are the only one who can harmonically orchestrate our systems and we will if we have the freedom of making errors and express our style.

We have inherently the desire to perform well because quality and elegance are the outcome of efficiency and therefore ease and comfort. We do not have the mental capacity to figure the coordination of our physique optimally adapted to the performance. Performances originate from natural moves but are sophisticate beyond natural moves and therefore beyond the limits of our natural reflexes. We have the intelligence and will to explore our body beyond natural reflexes but when you focus on obedience or primitive leadership, we have to use our mind to protect our body and we never explore beyond natural reflexes.

I am the right horse to talk about that because I experience true partnership with him. I can now control my body beyond my natural reflexes. Like Bb Blond I am not inherently a great mover but I am becoming a world class mover and I am mentally involved and enjoys every moment of my education. I am also in a stable where other horses come mentally and physically lame because they have been asked to perform and not physically educated to use their body soundly. In a matter of weeks, their lame mind awakes as they feel the possibility of physical comfort and soundness. They also enjoy the right of making mistakes. Some of us are smarter than other but we all have the capacity to learn the body coordination allowing us to perform at the best of our talent and adding a touch of class.

Then I see the riders coming and the same phenomenon occurs. Taught intelligently, riders have the capacity to understand and feel. The second they liberate their mind form the rigid structure of the training pyramid, their equitation leads their horse up to soundness instead of down to their grave.