Proper Communication

“Too many people assume that they have the right to ride the horse without respect for some proper communication. They have the right to this authority without granting any authority to the horse; without any reverence for the process; without any willingness to be ordered or changed by the horse. If you acknowledge the idea that you go into training the horse with the possibility that you can be ordered and changed by the horse, you have built in a flexibility in your style, a movability in your system, a freedom in your reactions. To further this, you have no choice but to explore and develop your technique in riding. Horses do not speak to people with words. Yet man has been communicating with horses for some six thousand years. The lexicon of his communication with horses is no less than the story of riding. How the trainer handles resistance is directly related to how well he knows the story of riding. If you handle resistance with force, you don’t need technique. You need bigger muscles. If you want to handle resistance in other ways, it is going to be directly related to: the level of your skill; the quality of your horsemanship; your knowledge of different options.”

– Paul Belasik. From “Resistance and Ethics, Exploring Dressage Technique