An open letter to those seeking a different way,
I am beyond grateful for you and encouraged by you. I see your desire to walk a different path than the one offered by mainstream dressage.
I SO admire your passion and bravery—both for the sport, for the horses and for yourself. Your desire to be the best you can be, to be the rider you KNOW you can be—is what brings me back to my writing chair day after day.
You are the one seeking something different.
You are not content to force the arrival of a destination. You are the one who wants to honor the horse AND the journey.
And yet—you are not content sitting there, watching progress come inching in.
You want to be a great rider and you want to become a great rider NOW. You EXPECT improvement. You EXPECT to be in a better place today than you were last week. You EXPECT to progress through the levels. You are not content to top out as a “6” rider barely making it through a 2-1 test. Yeah, you know who I am talking about. That person is not you and you know it.
Most of all, you long to know that it is POSSIBLE. Possible to become the incredible rider that you dream of being without the millions of dollars or riding 10 horses a day. Possible to reach Grand Prix without a fancy 6-figure horse. Possible to progress through the levels with a happy horse and a genuinely harmonious partnership. You look around and see ineffective riders who don’t use force barely make it into the mid-levels of dressage and those who do make it to the upper reaches use brute force…but is there another way?
Dressage is a choice. You could choose to jump or play polo or trail ride, but you chose dressage. In dressage, you choose the struggle, you choose to make it difficult or complicated. You chose that it requires brute physical strength and tight muscles to progress—or you choose to let it be easy. You can choose the path of least resistance and flow or you can choose struggle and discord.
Dressage is easy. There is nothing that the masters haven’t already commented on or instructed us about. There is nothing new in training. There is nothing we need to create or come up with. It’s all there. The principles, the exercises, the mistakes and corresponding remedies– everything is laid out for us.
Dressage is a process. If you are serious about reaching Grand Prix or the upper levels of training, you must submit to the process. There are no shortcuts in the process if you want to end with quality. Quality begets quality. Habits must slowly, carefully, intentionally be cultivated and put in place. Progress is achieved step by step, day by day in our hearts, minds and the strength of the horse’s loins.
The question remains: do you willingly submit to the process?
The choice is yours.
I SO honor your personal equestrian journey and your choice to join me here.
We’re in this together.
Much love and happy riding,
PS- Did you hear? The Mindful Rider is opening Sunday. Will you join me for 14 days of mindset work that helped me create my success in the saddle? Details coming soon. Begins August 1st!