What a fantastic week! I take the study of horsemanship very seriously and think of it as an art and a science. To spend 5 days with people who feel the same way, and who really dug into the relationships with their horses this week and made such huge progress is beyond words. Thanks to Laurie Fix Photography you can see it in pictures. www.LaurieFixPhotography.com
We shared a story entitled “What’s the Best Lesson you ever Learned from a Teacher?” as part of the closing. I have cut it from the source blog and would like to cite the source https://www.wired.com/wiredscience/tag/steve-silberman/ I took out the swear words, thought it read better. This is about music, but it might as well be about horses…for me it’s really the same.
What’s the Best Lesson You Ever Learned from a Teacher?
What Malone Said
I started studying the violin in my 30s, working with a warm, intense teacher named Malone. After 5 years he put Bach’s D minor partita in front of me. “We’ll start with the Allemande,” he said. He put the music on the stand and talked me through the first movement, pencilling in bowings and fingerings, occasionally demonstrating how to get through some rhythmic puzzle, and sent me home. I practiced hard all week and came in ready to play about half the first page.
He stopped me on the second note. “Please put down the violin,” he said. I did.
“You’re skipping through that first D. I know it’s just a little sixteenth note, but you have to play the whole thing. I don’t even mean the time. You’re actually giving it enough time. But you’re playing over it instead of through it. You have to play right through the center of it. It’s a leading note, but it’s not just a step into the room. It is the room, and you have to put us there. Play it. Play through every single note in the piece.”
I started to reach for the violin. He held up a hand.
“Wait,” he said. “This is Bach. And Bach, more than any other music, and these pieces, more than any other Bach, is music complete. This doesn’t just mean it’s beautiful. This means you can play this music all your life, even just this Allemande, and no matter what you do, it will expose you. It will expose everything you are and everything you’re not. It will expose everything you can do and everything you can’t. It will expose everything you’ve mastered and everything you’re scared of. And I don’t mean just about the violin. I mean about everything. It’ll show all that today and it’ll show all that when you play it again in 10 years. And people who know music, who’ve seen you play it both times, they will see you play it and know who you were and who you’ve become.
“There is nothing you can do about this. Or actually there is only one thing you can do about it. And that’s to play the music. To not play scared, even if you’re terrified. To not rush. To not short anything. Inhabit this thing. Play it full.”
He took a deep breath, let it out slow, and gave me the tiniest hint of a smile. “Okay,” he said, and nodded at my violin. “Play.”
I can easily replace ‘violin’ with ‘horse’ and simply say “Ride.”
“There’s only one thing to do. And that is to ride the horse under you. To not ride scared, even if you’re terrified. To not rush. To not short anything. Inhabit with your horse. Ride fully and with all your heart. Okay, Ride.”
I would like to send a huge thanks to my assistant Kendra DeKay, who’s help this week made everything even better! She actually found this story and offered to share it as part of our week. She has a wonderful passion for learning with horses and often amazes me with her insights into the deeper side of horsemanship. Thanks Kendra for all your help this week! And a big thanks also to Suzette Meyers, our event hostess extraordinaire. We sure can’t do these events without you (yes the last two days were tough)! And finally, a great big thanks to all the participants! This was a great group! I learned so much from each of you and look forward to working with you again real soon!