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dabblers or divers..

‘Inner Strength Training for Riders’ The human mind is

complex and mysterious. We can grow as equestrians if we understand some of its dynam- ics. Learning to do something well, such as horseback riding, is a joy. However, along the way the experience can also make us feel vulnerable and inadequate. People often want to avoid these feelings. In the process a human being can misjudge his or her own progress. Reaching a new level of skill may be experi- enced as a setback. Others may think they are excelling when in actuality they are stuck. When a participant is deeply involved the journey can feel like a roller coaster. By comprehending these ‘ups and downs’ students can gain the fortitude and focus to reach their desired goals. They can also discern when to ‘stay on’ or ‘get off’ a designated path.

In ancient circles

of psychology, science, phi- losophy, spirituality and the equestrian arts over and above talent, students who persevered were the candidates of choice. The common saying, ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ was not just a homespun platitude. It prevented the kinds of problems we see today with attention and concentration. This truism has recently been substantiated in fields such as biology and brain research. We are learning about the vital importance of diving deep in the process of learning. So how can these

ideas help us advance our horse- manship? First, we need to insure that what we choose to do in the equestrian field is a labor of love. It must resonate with the deepest part of our psyche because it is this passion that will keep us on course. Sec- ondly, if we remain committed our strong desire and intention will open us to the ‘universal information fields’ and help us

THE HORSE GAZETTE how to advance as an equestrian

gain the mental, physical and spiritual capacity to embody our dreams.

In the case of horse-

manship, this means we must first identify our individual passion. Is it hunter jumping, classical dressage, Alta Escuela (Latin classical dressage), Cut- ting, Doma Vaquera, or Three Day Eventing? Once we do we need to dive into this particular field so we can eventually ac- cess resources that are beyond our expectation. People who skim the surface and dabble go round and round. Their energies are dispersed in so many direc- tions they do not get very far. It is like an uncollected horse that remains confused, unhappy and chaotic.

In contrast, to this

haphazard approach we distill our efforts to make them more potent. This means engaging in more formal education. By collecting ourselves and gaining a direction we begin to garner ‘skills and information’ from the past and present by non-local means of communication. Non- local exchange is a form of com- munication where information flows between cells, particles or people at a distance. It is a process discovered through the field of Quantum Mechanics (Physics). If we can learn to keep going even in the midst of failure and disappointment something extra or extraordi- nary emerges. By contrast, those who avoid intense study rarely advance to this potential. The apprenticeship system which requires concentration in one area of interest or talent was the method of choice during the Middle Ages because it was such a potent approach. New studies on brain

plasticity also validate the value of diving. Scientists such as Dr. Norman Doidge, have discov- ered that the human brain is not hardwired. It is plastic. We do shape our neural pathways. The old adage, “If you do not use it you loose it’ is a key mechanism

in our brain. To optimize your learning actively constrain your desire to revert back or take the ‘easy path.’ To succeed with hors-

es we must study and practice faithfully even if we do not ‘feel’ we are successful in the mo- ment. So do not allow yourself to be derailed. Instead, train and exercise your mind, body and soul. Visualize your goals and desires. Read every book you can, ask questions, find a teacher you respect; and weather the tri- als. One of our students said, ‘I feel like I am back in Graduate School.’

Serious students find

challenging teachers to prevent mediocrity. This is why the ancient classical school encour- aged more than just riding. It was a psychological, philo- sophical and academic pursuit. We also know that the various apprentices of the legendary Ecuyer Nuno Oliveira from Por- tugal who loved the rigor have emerged as some of the finest equestrians in the world today. This should tell us something. Imagine what you could do if you concentrate your efforts. At Hacienda Tres

Aguilas, Ltd.-Academia Clásico we are dedicated to developing literate and well-rounded horse- men and women in the Latin Classical Tradition. At Academia Clásico,

we not only teach riding and training in lightness but we teach people to ‘Know Thyself.’ We are happy to answer any of your questions.

For more informa-

tion, contact us: (830) 980-8453 or email:

Authors of: Horses

and the Mystical Path: The Celt- ic Way of Expanding the Human Soul, Horse Sense and the Hu- man Heart: What Horses Can Teach Us About Trust, Bonding, Creativity and Spirituality and our up and coming book: Know Thyself: Revealing Soul and Spirit Through Equus.

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