© Henri van Shaik
“I want to invite you to truly engage in the moment and agree to CONSPIRE with the most noble of all animals – our silent friend, the Horse..”
Conspiration vs. Cooperation
: to act in harmony toward a common end
This is one definition of the word conspire – in the positive sense. The Latin root of the word is to “breathe with”.
To conspire – with your horse? As a hobby etymologist (someone, who likes to understand the origin of words), I absolutely embrace this phrase.
As I have my morning coffee in the sun room and watch my dogs playing in the yard – in secret agreement that it’s now OK for the 5-month-old shepherd puppy to be a good bit bigger and stronger than the old pitbull mix, who helped raise her from the age of 6 weeks – I realize there is a deep level of connection and unity between them that goes beyond what meets the eye.
In a split-second of play, there is understanding, question and answer, fluid negotiation, all leading effortlessly to unspoken but solid agreements.
I realize that this is what we see in master riders of all walks – e.g. Egon von Neindorff or Tom Dorrance – and that we find so hard to achieve.
It goes beyond cooperation, partnership, and mastery of riding technique.
Instead, it is rooted in the rider’s willingness (the horse is always there…) to abandon all agenda, ambition, self-consciousness and vanity (including the conscious effort to ‘get it right’), reflection and inner chatter.
In that endeavor, joy is our greatest and most effective ally. The joy that comes from being truly with your horse, from humbling ourselves into a heart-felt relationship with our horse, and from abandoning a selfish perspective.
I want to invite you to truly engage in the moment and agree to CONSPIRE (breathe in unison and act in harmony toward a common end) with the most noble of all animals – our silent friend, the Horse.