Chazot Thoughts 79

Better is not a finality; it is a stop-over along the way

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” (Maya Angelou)

So, why riders still apply the same principles when they know better? He says “tradition,” I say ego. He says, “cognitive dissonance,” I say plain ego. He says, “fear,” I was ready to say plain dumb ego, but I agree with him; fear, is a major reason why riders hold a core belief that is both, antiquated and strong.

William Shakespeare wrote, “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” Fear of doing wrong is the main reason why riders hold on antiquated theories. Tradition, academic education, classical act as umbrella in the shade of which one can believe that one hold the true.

LaGueriniere encouraged at the 18th century improving the equestrian art with science and vice versa. Vice versa is the key. Integrating science into an equitation that has been based on archaic knowledge of science does not work. First, the equitation has to be updated to actual knowledge and then, and only then, advanced scientific discoveries can be applied. As long as one teaches you relaxing your back or our back, don’t expect that you will ever have an effective communication with us. We do not function releasing muscles and you don’t as well. It is about nuances in muscle tone and the energy that these nuances in muscle tone create.   

He does believe that riders are intuitively better that the system wants them to believe. Even if he lives in a time where dumbing down is a strategy allowing leaders to allow unacceptable rules, health care for humans, rollkur for equines, he believes that riders have, like us, the potential to progress beyond the limits of academic education and equitation. He knows about the destructive damages of riders, and trainers, and also judges’ ego, but he also told me that ego must not be attacked but instead moderated and educated. One needs self-esteem to explore further. Ego can lead to pertinence when supported by knowledge. The problem is when ego is mixed with ignorance and stupidity. Indeed, this type of ego is devastating. 

He told me, “when you were rearing all the time, you were dominated, paraphrasing your thoughts, by a plain dumb ego. You had the athletic power to scare peoples and get read of all riders and you used it beyond what you really needed for your survival. I know, that it’s the plain dumb ego of bad trainers that triggered your protective reflex strategy, but you failed in their trap. You used your physical power to remain into a world that you did not really like n but were familiar with. You hold to your core belief and refused opening your eye to a different relation with humans. You had every right to be there as the blindness of their plain dumb ego blinded you as well. Tell me, what is the fundamental reason why you succeed to move beyond your core belief? It is your intelligence and your talent. Helyn and I knew that you were and incredible athlete and an intelligent horse. We stimulated your intelligence furthering your athletic abilities.

We furthered your self-esteem for a better use of your physique. If we had followed the principles of academic equitation, teaching you obedience to the rider’s aids, you would have reacted against submission; you would have hold to your core belief. Instead, we furthered the principles of classical equitation upgrading them to actual knowledge. Most classical trainers believe that they apply new knowledge but in fact, they integrate new knowledge to old belief. Your physique as well as your brain is a marvel. Keep quiet with your ego; I am talking about the horse in general. The principles of classical equitation submit this marvel instead of serving this marvel. It is basically based on fear; fear of your size and power and fear induces the naïve idea that submission is the answer. Instead, we developed your power, we supported your spirit based on the knowledge that the gradual control of your physique demanded the partnership of your intelligence. Every one pretend doing that but within the limits of submission. We took the risk that your mind could go the wrong way knowing that guiding your mind toward greater ease, effortlessness but also efficiency of your physique could interest you brain into a higher and more positive level of thinking.

Retrospectively, when I say we took the risk, it was no risk. The thought of risk was in function of the old ways of thinking. You horses, are much more willing and capable of subtle deduction than academic equitation wants us to believe. You don’t resist or revolt because you “behave.” Behaviorists are the worse type of trainers and horsepersons. You horses resist or revolt because you are not athletically developed and coordinated for the athletic demand of the performance. We humans, decide that you behave because we are dumb enough to think that our aids and formulas are capable to keep you out of dysfunction. We have enough ego to believe that you perform because of our education when in fact, most of the time,  you are dysfunctional athletes performing out of your talent in spite of a physique unprepared for the athletic demand of the move.

The way out of our ego is the same than the way out of your ego. It is knowledge. We guided your brain toward more sophisticated control of your physique and your mind became interested by the feeling of ease, effortlessness, soundness. Proper use of your intelligence made you a better athlete as you were interested in coordination the deeper system of your physique that are out of reach of our influence. Exactly lie us, you are constructed of systems within systems within systems and exactly like us, it is the subtle orchestration of all the systems that creates the elegance of the performance. Elegance does have little following in the equestrian world because a submitted horse does not further his body control beyond our influences. A submitted horse never precisely orchestrates all the systems.

As a rider, we can evolve form the egotistical concept so submission and allows true partnership when we have enough understanding of how your body functions. Feeling is just a perception and feeling does not lead to a sophisticated equitation as long as our physical perception is not associated in our brain with advanced understanding of your locomotor and other systems.”

He sat down on a corner of my stall and I rested my nose on his shoulder. We stay there silent. Meditation. Because we could all use a little sit down and shut up