Buried in annual staff evaluations, filing our taxes, and starting up a blog for my mother, I am resigned that the draft posts I started will have to wait. However, in quiet moments, when my brain needs a break, I have been rereading this old favorite. It reads like a good lecture, easy with some beautiful passages. I just read this particular passage and thought that I would share. I hope you enjoy!
“Nothing educates quite like a horse. Without losing the meaning by verbalizing abstractions, the horse silently sends his messages. The education prevails. His rider must, and will listen. He will become the better for it. For courage, wisdom born of insight and humility, empathy born of compassion and love, all can be bequeathed by a horse to his rider. The rider becomes the humble recipient of the bounty only his horse can give him. Character improves, virtues multiply, wisdom deepens by the rider’s association with the horse.
Yet, there is no chatter. The exchanges are subtle but unmistakable in their meaning. Nothing is lost in understanding when two creatures of nature unite in purpose and remain resolved in their partnership. This interdependence of the strong partner with the smart one forged the character of the leading classes, the elite of the Occidental society for centuries. Hence the nobles in most European languages were referred synonymously as riders. For only the nobles were privileged to be allowed to become riders and benefit from the improvements and education only horses could bequeath. Hence in is “knighted” and all knights were on horseback. Chevalier, the rider, is synonymous to the noble. Cavalieri are also. The Ritter is a rider but ennobled. And so it is that in English, French, Italian and German the nobility was called A Rider! No greater title could be born with greater pride.”
Charles De Kunffy
The Ethics and Passions of Dressage (pg. 28)
Be good to your horses!