When I returned to riding as a middle-aged person, my first horse had a very loud ‘no.’ He was cheerful enough about doing the things he wanted to do, but my goal—to learn dressage—prompted a storm of tantrums and hissy fits of truly epic proportions. This, of course, felt horrible. He was treated well, I thought, and the requests I was making were not very difficult. So why did he spend his time looking for ways to make my life hard? Why did he keep saying ‘no’?
If I have a mantra for my riding it is “I have time.” Podhasjsky’s belief that patience is a cornerstone of the art of dressage takes into account the requirement that the horse be allowed to develop the strength, balance and understanding to develop to his full potential while remaining sound and happy in his work.