The who, what, when, where and why of an equestrian

Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category

Expectation and Reward

Here are some thoughts from a blog by Linda Parelli:

…The key is to put it all in balance – big rewards for big tries, small rewards for small tries. Sounds simple doesn’t it? The hard part is expecting the appropriate level of response, and I say “appropriate,” because how much response your horse can give is directly proportional to his level of education and the ability and confidence you have to ask for it. For example, you don’t want to ask a green horse or a worried horse for more than he’s able to give.

Pressure and release is the cornerstone of horse training – it’s a simple as that. But how you ask, and when you release is where the art of horsemanship really is.

Read more at Linda’s blog.


Rudyard Kipling

Never look backwards or you’ll fall down the stairs.

A Navajo Song

My horse has a hoof
of striped agate
His fetlock is like fie eagle plume.
His legs are like quick lightening.
My horse has a tail
like a trailing black cloud.
His mane is made
of short rainbows.
My horse’s eyes
are made of big stars.

Why do we ride?

“We ride horses for the pleasure of `creating beauty’ as the Master Ecuyer (La Guérinière) said. We ride for the pleasure of feeling ourselves transported into different attitudes, drowned into the fluidity of a supple and tranquil back, rocked by the cadence of ample and harmonious gaits. It is a long-haul work, requiring much patience. It takes years for making a dancer or a pianist. It takes as much to make an Ecuyer. But, this work with its disappointments, its discoveries, its successes, is so enthralling that, in the ordinary life nothing matters any longer when one sits on the back of a horse. Classical dressage, when it is well understood, allows getting progressively to the highest summits of this Art.”

– Excerpt from `Equitation-La Tradition Classique by Cdt de Padirac
(Translation by Bruno Celard)

More Thoughts from Yvonne Wilcox

I’ve enjoyed hearing Pat say, “If you quit
learning, you quit living.” But I thought, and
wanted, learning to have an endpoint. I didn’t
see ‘endpoint’ and ‘quit’ as essentially the
same thing. I want to be able to say “NOW
I can do this, NOW I know that,” and then
have a rest. Instead of looking at learning as a purely
joyful experience (as Pat and Linda naturally
do) I want to ‘learn it all’ and then ‘get on
with my life.’ Sounds pretty silly now that I’ve
said it out loud, but nonetheless, this was a
TRUTH for me.

Yvonne Wilcox from the Savvy Times

I learned from this experience that patience
really has a lot to do with generosity.
Being generous with my time and attention
is not something I do anywhere in my life. I
didn’t see that so clearly before this experience.
I’ve also found that doesn’t just mean
being generous with my time for others, I’ve
learned I can be more generous to myself as
well—taking care of my health being one of
those things!

Xenophon, 4th Century B.C.

“For what the horse does under compulsion, as Simon also observes, is done without understanding; and there is no beauty in it either, any more than if one should whip and spur a dancer. There would be a great deal more ungracefulness than beauty in either a horse or a man that was so treated. No, he should show off all his finest and most brilliant performances willingly and at a mere sign.”