Saturday, February 1, 2014

Teachers From The Past And Present--Thank You!

Jaz, the horse who led me to India. His intelligence and sensitivity left me without answers in the horseman's world.

1. Horses have been the binding thread that have kept me in my heart and then led me to go deeper.

2. My teacher in Portugal (1989), Master Senor Luis Valenca, showed me a possibility for patience, humility, passion, and integrity towards training horses that I never found again.  Upon reflection, this may have been the beginning of what eventually led me to India.  I recently heard a video by him giving well wishes for 2014 and was struck by the same sense I experienced 25 years ago.  The spiral staircase working its magic of life--how lovely to visit this felt sense from a man with a passion and vision for horses.

(video below)

Master Luís Valença Rodrigues
Founder of CELG. Former Master of The Portuguese School of Equestrian Art. Team Luís Valença in Apassionata Show.

3. The book project of Nancy Kasovich's life growing up with a Master horsemen in the US has answered the questions I left Portugal with. Yes, at one point, the US did house Master horsemen. Her husband, (Bob Smith who is not living) and Master Senor Valenca probably would have shared the same heart and passion for horses. Here is an excerpt from the book. What she learned from years with a Master Horseman and carried on with in her own walk.


"Simplicity. So much today is based on devices, in order to train more quickly. Simplicity is a lost art.  Animals are very simplistic and a point for us to learn from.  The modern world provides us a constant challenge to stay in touch with this more simplistic aspect of being.  As humans, we need to move towards the horse's frequency for contact and not expect them to reach towards the human frequency--a good horseman understands this instinctively.  He or she examines the core of the horse, takes the temper out without losing the spirit, builds trust so the horse goes to the rider for guidance as in a true partnership, and makes corrections without emotion, so the horse learns and accepts the corrections. Training is applied for the horse's development and not for the sake of the trainer's ego. A good horseman recognizes that the primary layer must be made of calmness, willingness, and obedience--and this takes time. The horse may go on to be trained for a more specialized purpose or event, but that is an additional layer added to the basic foundation. Short cuts just don’t work!” 

The book title "Through The Eyes Of The Horse," is the epitome of what Nancy believes to be a doorway into the heart and soul of the horse. “To teach oneself to see life as horses do is a huge step forward in a lifelong quest to truly understand and be one with any horse you handle or ride. It doesn’t happen over night and possibly never for many. The old expression, “He/she can really read a horse,” refers to seeing things as they do and reading the body language which follows. To become one with the horse is a goal most people want to attain in whatever discipline is pursued, but it requires patience and observation that starts with quiet time on the ground. You are studying them and they are studying you. Again comes the word feel, you are reaching into the horse’s mind for that feeling of calmness and potential unity.  Riding is no different.”

Bob Smith

4. Gurudev. The Master of all masters--the Spiritual Master.  Fourth only in the chronology of my life, but probably not to be found in a form again.  What I have learned about life, humanity, and my self has been worth every step of pain and confusion. Will I return to horses? How remarkable is the journey.

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