Jimbo’s Dressage rider with her spurs on, in public, got me to thinking:

Jimbo’s Dressage rider with her spurs on, in public, got me to thinking: Have you ever wondered why some people can influence a horse in a gentle manner and others must fight a horse to get any kind of cooperation.

I was in Jimbo’s today, it is our local health food store, and there was a young woman at the deli wearing dressage pants, boots, and spurs waiting for her order.


Her spurs were sharp and had teeth like rowels on them that are usually aggressively used on horses; if you are not carful they can easily cut a horse. Wearing her spurs in public pointed out to me that she must have been proud of her “look”. As she stood there waiting for her order, it got me to thinking that she was the best example of having no awareness for the sensitivity of horses.

She either did not know how to ask a horse to perform or how to train a horse using light aids. Maybe she needed to experience her personal power in removing the resistance in a horse.   So how could she have gotten so far away from the magic that I believe she was hoping to find by using spurs?

By using the spurs she had chosen and by wearing them in public, she gave me the impression that she had given up on the art of horsemanship, training only in the moments of harmony through a one minded connection without obligation, for spurs and prestige. Maybe being able to control a huge, spirited horse, that most riders are unable to control, is to her exhilarating.

man with hatDoes she wear a feather in her cap? Does she make a statement that I can use spurs and the horse can not buck me off when I use them because I am such a powerful rider? She may be a powerful rider but an effective rider she is NOT.

Who knows what was going on for her and it doesn’t matter. Her life is her own, her horse is hers to do as she pleases… and the dance of disharmony will be for her unending as long as she persists in using spurs and enjoys fighting with the resistance of her own making.

I would have liked to have said to her, “if you need to ride with spurs a true, bonded, dancing partnership can not ever be yours. Your horse may surrender but he is not your friend. The heart connection that you feel after your ride is not shared by your horse. Your horse is only glad that you have decided to stop your attack on him when he looks at you softly. You do not know how to ride with light aids and you have no understanding of self-carriage for keeping your horse in a cage of intimidation”.

Whatever the reason, the dressage rider at Jimbo’s was separated from her own true nature. The dance of connection will always be an unreachable goal for her. No concentrated strength is needed to achieve the harmony within. The phrase used in the self-help books of today “ask and it is given” is somehow forgotten once her foot steps into the stirrup and she begins to ride. She, for some reason, has lost touch of herself and her optimistic nature that she was born with. With her spurs on, she has some hope that her fight will lead to harmony that is as sweet as her dreams. Harmony is always there for the taking, but for her it is lost in an unending journey to nowhere.

dressage carolyn

How to move away from resistance and find the natural trainer within, one must become present to a deep peace within your own being and maintain this feeling in the horse as well. A deep peace is acquired from your everyday activities with your horse in the simple act of being there with your horse. The phrase “ask and it is given” is true with horses. The activities in training grow the relationship to be able to communicate with a horse in the most esoteric way possible. A spiritual well being that cannot be jarred keeps the harmony alive and the spur from the leg.

In the horse’s world there is no fault insurance. Freedom, and protection of personal freedom, is the nature of horses. There are no spurs that a horse has to put up with. Giving freedom to a horse to respond as he chooses you can adjust your leadership to deepen the performance of your horse. In this conscious state blooms the magical ride.

I developed my method of the Waterhole Rituals to build the dance of connection with a horse so that the training for dressage is never experience without harmony, unity, and grace.   For my current online class, the Intimacy Bucket exercise is meant to create light, light, aids for riding your horse. All the Waterhole Rituals are meant to create a horse that can be trained easily in the art of dressage. Come to one of my Beyond the Waterhole Rituals Clinic and see how easy it really can be to get the connection and performance you crave.

For a horse to experience freedom in dressage we are only a guest on the horse’s back. It is a privilege to ride, not a right. From this consciousness magic will dance the unity between you and your horse. Leadership is only a suggestion and an invitation to dance together as one.


Have a great weekend! Be on the lookout for new horse and human sightings and may the horse be with you.

Warmly, Carolyn