Light & Shadow #48

Dressage Rider —  Moscow, ID ca. 1980

The thing that has always struck me about this picture is how serene the rider looks. With its forelock blowing, the horse is in a gallop and likely going to jump something. Even with all that energy, the woman is calm and centered.

I was surprised to learn — thanks to that knower of all things, Google — that the rider’s demeanor is part of the sport. Dressage is derived from the French term meaning training. Its purpose is to strengthen and supple the horse while maintaining a calm and attentive demeanor.

I have enough experience with horses to know they are naturally strong. However, I didn’t know you can supple a horse, but again Google informed me you can. It simply refers to an ability to bend without stiffness.

Yoga for horses — imagine that!

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