Pura Raza Espanola
When I met Esca I was highly motivated to learn about the Academic Art of Riding, to learn how to educate a horse and how to ask for and teach different exercises. I came directly from an internship where I met a lot of different trainers and had a lot of ideas about what a horse should know and be able to do. In my head I had the picture of a perfectly educated horse, a horse that circles around me in liberty, rears on command, lies down on a signal. A horse doing piaffe, passage, levade.
I hoped I would learn how to teach my horse those things, to learn how to educate it and teach those exercises. Of coursel I was also already interested in keeping my horse healthy and a good partnership. But still it was always about the horse and almost never about me. I knew exactly what my horse was supposed to learn, but had no clue about how big my part would and should be.
Esca taught me to get some distance to those pictures in my head and to come back to basics. When Esca and me are together we aren't perfect. We don't show perfect exercises, no nice liberty work, no circleing, no levade. When Esca and me are together, we have something else: unity.
When Esca and me met each other, we both felt a bit lost in this world. We felt left alone, lonely, incomplete and searching.
We both feel rather uncomfortable when we are around our own species. Esca doesn't really like other horses and I feel a bit confined when I'm around humans. We don't have the feeling to be understood, since we are so different. Until I met Esca, I suffered from this "being-different". I didn't feel loved, but also didn't love myself. I felt like being on thelookout, but also didn't find myself yet.
I think Esca felt similar.
We somehow got put together and before we trusted each other we got entrusted to each other. Since we are both too polite to say "I don't like you" we accepted the situation and tried to do the best out of it. I believe Esca liked me as little as I liked her in the beginning. While I thought she is boring, she felt I was unclear, confused and too demanding without even having a proper plan of what I want.
And without knowing we were the best that could ever happen to both of us.
While Esca forced me to scale down my expectations to a minimum, I forced her to at least try and jolt.
The picture of piaffe got deleted and instead I was happy abot some steps (literally steps in the sense of walk!), that didn't feel like having the handbreak on.
And while Esca hoped to be left alone to have some peace and quiet-time in her own little world, I compelled her with exuberant love and motivation to at least walk those steps in walk.
With my believe in her and her directness to tell me "Until here and no step further" we started to do incredible things together. She helped me to understand that it is not about the exercise, but the feeling while doing it and I helped her to start believing in herself.
The shine in her eyes came back and she started to be proud of herself. My shine also came back in form of tears of happiness. Everytime I set goals for us, Esca brings me back to what counts. The feeling. Even when I just plan one ride, she tells me it is too much pressure and we lose the feeling. We go her tempo, not mine. It is the time, I need to understand and internalize that the feelings is not to be lost. We are not united when we do piaffe, we are in unity, when we are both totally there, physically, mentally, emotionally together. And when we are all that in a piaffe one day, then it is time to do the piaffe, not any time earlier.
And this is why our journey is a journey to myself. Because instead of learning how to teach a horse something, how to ride my horse or what my horse needs to know, I need to learn how to deal with myself.
Esca teaches me that I'm allowed to be authentic. That I have to be myself to be with myself. That it is my obligation to take care of myself and to fulfill my needs. She teaches me to see my surrounding differently and to feel what it triggers in myself. She teaches me to live in the moment. She teaches me to decrease the expectations I have in myself. She teaches me, that nothing is perfect as long as it doesn't feel good. She teaches me, that everything comes to its time and there is nothing you can force to happen. She teaches me, that it is better to be alone than in bad company. She teaches me, that she has a voice, a heart and a soul.
And this is why I think the saying "One heart, one soul" doesn't fit. Esca and me both have a heart and a soul. And the art is that both hearts and souls and bodies and feelings come together at one place and melt together to feel unity.
Bent Branderup says "Who am I in the eyes of my horse?"
I ask myself "Who do I want to be in the eyes of my horse and what do I need to do in order to be that person?"
In the eyes of my horse I want to be a good friend, a good teacher, someone who motivates her, someone that gives her security, someone who believes in her and gives her the feeling to be loved. Someone who is always fair. But also someone who sets boundaries. I want to be someone who is authentic and honest. Someone who makes mistakes and learns from them. Someone who cries and laughs and never surpresses her emotions. I want, that she respects me and looks up to me, but also that she does not have the feeling I look down to her. I want her to feel home and secure when she is around me. I want to give her the feeling of gratitude and esteem. I want her to trust me.
Exactly like that I want to be in the eyes of every creature and to achieve that I first of all have to be that person in my own eyes. I have to trust myself and my decisions on order to trust others.
I'm utterly grateful to Esca, that she teaches me to be a better person and with that feeling of gratitude I tell her "Good morning and good night" everyday. Wherever I am and where she is. We are connected, we are united, we are not perfect, but perfect for each other. She brings my heart to laugh and I hers.
"Yesterday I was smart and wanted to change the world, today I'm wise, therefore I change myself"