(Riding: Sense, sensibility, sensuality, and meaning)

Article published in the Czech magazine Jezdectví ("Riding") (translation by Dr. N. Záliš, former director of the State Breeding Farm at Kladruby) in March 2009

    Riding, when taught, learned, and practiced according to criteria of form - its quality judged by appearance, its exercise following a set logic of system and routine, the depth of its penetration measured by the amount of theorizing convolution, its activity a form of consumption - comforts the rider in his/her "belonging" to the milieu, yet all too often leaves the rider individually "empty". Riding can only be lived if felt and sensually perceived, not just experienced and done. Form-focussed riding speaks much about "feeling", yet makes it wellnigh impossible to attain it. Unfeeling riding is an illusion of riding, devoid of meaning. Sensibility, sensitivity, and sensuality develop in the rider who searches. Searching with the senses unveils to the rider that riding is the creative activity of intimacy and this opens the door to meaningful riding. Not the wordy sham of "rapport with the horse" guarantees meaningful riding, but only the courage for sensual searching and sensitive intimacy. Only then is it horse-appropriate and humanly dignified. In our epochal cultural circumstances, this is a difficult undertaking. Thoughts on how riding could/should therefore be taught, learned, and practiced, will be elaborated in subsequent articles.



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