As with any discipline there is a science to riding and an art. The science is the biomechanical and psychological result of our training techniques and style. The art is the emotion and intuition we evoke in ourselves and others when we ride. It is the way the movement of the bodies in unison inspires the watcher and the way it can touch something deep inside and evoke emotion.
A true artist needs an imagination and a belief that anything is possible. They can take a lump of clay and through their imagination of what that lump of clay can be they can transform it into anything from a vase, to a bowl, to toys and figurines, to pot plants. It is what inspires a wood worker to craft furniture and toys and a painter to transform a blank canvas into a vision.
As a horse rider you need to be able to see a horse and transform it through your imagination of what could be and discipline conditioning into an athlete, a dancer and a gymnast. You use your imagination of what could be possible to inspire your horse to work with dynamic flow and lose itself in the art of movement. We use our innate ability to manipulate and shape energy and through applying our movement to the horses movement we can transform it into artistic expression of our bodies flow of energy vibrating in harmony.
Tips to becoming an artistic rider
Take the time each year, each month, each week, each training session to stretch what you think is possible. Our experiences create self limiting beliefs of what is possible and over time we stretch our goals less and only define realistic, achievable goals to avoid disappointment. But an artist is not confined to reality, they are the day dreamers that believe anything is possible. Stretch what you believe is possible to achieve the impossible.
Create room for magic
We like to create rules and structure so that life is easier to understand. When we define the rules of the game we limit the possibilities of the outcome. If for example, you've had a couple rides leaving you feel flat and unhappy and come into your next ride feeling the same way and expecting the same result, you will not be creating an environment or possibility for a successful ride. Magic and possibility need space. They need room to be brought into reality. Come into your training sessions without judgement, without preconceptions, without constraints of what is possible and allow movement to flow through you and your horse.
Inspired action requires inspired thought. If you are just punching out the training sessions and finding no joy in the dance take the time to find fresh inspiration. The will power to stick to a regime is draining but inspiration is empowering and energising. Take time to remember why you started riding in the first place and let your heart sing with the joy of doing something you love.
Flow of movement
The way that figures and movement flow into each other is an art. It can help to listen to some music when you ride that has a similar rhythm to your horses. Let each movement, each transition, each stride, each aid flow into the next and the next and the next to become a graceful expression of your relationship with your horse.
Let go of your ego
Our ego stops us from believing in magic, it stops us from being our selves for fear of judgement, it protects us in social situations from losing our identity and sense of self to other peoples choices. In the process of our ego protecting us, we don't feel safe to be who we are truly meant to be. If you are to lose yourself to the movement you have to first be able to let go of our ego.
Being an artist is about flow and feel and being an artistic rider is using the flow of movement of the 2 bodies integrating into a harmonic rhythm. Being an artist means to lose yourself in the rhythm and flow of your heart, allowing that song to inspire movement and flow through and energise you. Where 1 + 1 = 3. Where the horse and rider combination brings inspiration to the hearts of others and allows them to believe in magic. Because a good rider is magic in motion.