There is a lot of discussion about balance when it comes to horses, usually in reference to us as riders. We are always looking for a way to better position our bodies, create better harmony and sometimes, for ways to just not fall off of our horses.
But there is another kind of balance, how do you marry two disparate disciplines to find what will work for both and leave your conscious clear. Confused? Hold tight, let me explain.
If you are a new reader or a (very) faithful longtime reader, you will know that I am interested in a few horse related things:
1. Parelli/Natural Horsemanship
3. Trail Obsticales
AND to be able to do them all with gaited and non-gaited horses. Talk about a perplexing set of interests. Here are some of the examples conflicts:
1. Unless you teach your gaited horses to trot, you can't officially pass some of the level Parelli 3 and 4 skills.
2. It is believed you cannot compete in USDF or USAE Dressage competitions with a gaited horse.
3. Can't pull a log in a trail obsticle course with a dressage saddle.
Not to mention that "purists" in many of the disciplines say that they can't be mixed. Crap, does that mean I have to pick one? Does that mean I can only be so 'savvy' with a gaited horse? Or never do dressage with a Paso Fino? Or not ride in a trail obsticle course with my dressage saddle?
No, my friends, it is all a matter of balance. I have spent much of the last few years finding that balance and developing the confidence to make the decisions that are best for my goals. It is imperative to be willing to take in new information, but you don't always have to choose to use it.
I will be taking lessons from someone who may suggest I use a flash on my horse, or perhaps even a tie down. These are things I have done, but I no longer wish to do. I am happy to take the suggestion, but ultimately, I am in charge. As I told Santana's owner when she took him home: You will get a lot of advice, but ultimately it is up to you to make the decision that is best for your horse, do what you think is right.
I might not ever be Parelli Level 4 or a riding Dressage Level 4, but then again, maybe I will. But whatever I achieve, it means I have done it with balance.