Decades ago, I remember hearing a story about a pro football player; I believe it was Roosevelt “Rosie” Greer, who took up knitting. Another player began taking ballet lessons. Aside from my mental picture of a six foot six muscular athlete wearing a tutu, I began to realize that these guys were reaching for something. They wanted more out of their sport than a gladiatorial event. They wanted ART, and a level of athleticism that was beyond the ordinary. Seeing Jim Brown do a forward flip to avoid a tackle, I realized that they had attained that goal. Another thought that came to my mind was that those guys needed to find some peace and beauty in a world dominated by “hurry up”, drugs, money, and rock ‘n’ roll.
In the same way, I’m beginning to see more horseman include things like dressage and classicism in their horsemanship. Some add in a dollop of Pilates, and yoga and even drumming, to get to a new level of horsemanship. They are reaching for a tranquil, harmonious, rhythmical relationship with their horses; one which replaces force with understanding, demands with requests, and hurrying with dancing. Lately I’ve been singing old songs to myself as I ride, matching their rhythms with beats of my horses hooves. Try it, you’ll like it!