The Art of Letting Go

One of the dangers of a theory is our selective blindness to things that tend to disprove it and our zeroing in on things that tend to support it. So forgive me for my awareness of the parallels of being a leader amongst people and a good leader for my horse. After all it is not my fault that the horse has been our companion in war and work from almost the start of our history. Our work language is peppered with terms taken from work with horses (Anyone handed over the reins recently ?)

So where am I going with this? Just some snippets from an article I was just reading by Sarah Warne on Eurodressage with some quotes from the great master Nuno Oliveira. Judge for yourself if you can see the parallels.

“There is a huge difference between a firm and effective rider and a firm and forceful rider. The difference lies in the art of letting go: knowing when to release the pressure, soften the reins, relax the legs. The art of knowing when to say “thank you” and these thank yous must be obvious.” Sarah Warne

“Make it a habit to praise when the horse yields” N. Oliveira

“It is always better to risk losing contact a little than to not yield at all” N Oliveira

“Don’t play the master all the time. The difficulty is to feel to what extent one has to intervene” N Oliveira

“The hand should be a filter, not a plug or an open faucet” N Oliveira

“A horse will never tire of a rider who possesses both tact and sensitivity because he will never be pushed beyond his possibilities.” N Oliveira

“Training a horse is above all feeling and trying, according to what you feel, to help the horse and not to force him” N Oliveira

“The secret in riding is to do few things right. The more one does, the less one succeeds. The less one does, the more one succeeds.” N Oliveira

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