My thoughts about riding : Classical dressage

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July 13, 2012

I like what Sylvia Loch says about that the classical dressage: "Classical Dressage cannot be reinvented - it is as old as the hills!" She also writes that no one can claim it.

Problem is however, to find the right name for it. I don't know how you react on "classical" outside Sweden, but when you use that word here, it gives a hint that it is a concept that you are not allowed to alter. And even if we never can claim the classical dressage, we must also know that the classical dressage will never be fully discovered. There is always more to find and more to learn, for man and mankind, about the wonderful ability to play with the horse. If we push to strong on "classical", it will soon be considered as "old fashion dressage". I want a word that makes people understand that it is OK to question, to investigate, to search and to find! "Classical" can sound as you are not allowed to do what the masters have not told you. And we must make clear to everyone, that when it comes to pedagogic and didactics, the classical dressage still miss a lot. Best way to make more horses happy, is to find better ways to explain about riding. That is my mission.

We are humans. The language is important for how we understand our world. A word can be good or bad. Same word is good for some and bad for others. Unfortunately we will never find a word good enough to make all people understand. That is still a lack of every language.

Problem is, what word shall we use, to separate right from wrong? The word "classical" is so used and abused. Everyone claims that they ride "classical". I had a discussion on my Swedish message board about those words and found that some use "classical" for describing "average, normal, standard". They write about "classical riding schools". For them, to learn "the classical way" is to learn the hang and bang riding first...

This is one of the reasons for all those new terms and "tribes" coming up: We all search a way to separate us from the bad things.

It is also a risk, that people consider "classical riding" as classical music or classical ballet = old fashion weird and boring, for the privileged people only, for those who come not to see but to be seen.

Markus Holst