The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:07 pm 
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Location: Belgium
All truth passes through three stages:
First, it is Ridiculed.
Second, it is Violently Opposed.
Third, it is Accepted as being Self-Evident.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Equus Universalis

This is not a book about how to become a horse leader, or about ways to make horses do what you want.
I thought I’d better tell you now, so you will not get disappointed when you read this book.
The title might suggest what it is about, hopefully.
HOMO UNIVERSALIS is a phrase from the Renaissance, meaning, ‘Be all you can be’. Explore your every boundaries and talent. Find out who you are by everything you want to do and learn to the best of your ability on every aspect that inspires you.
Now, even in that era it was clear that in order to pursue this, you have to be free to follow your own guts, your own heart. Following someone else will not help you to evolve in every which way. Having to obey someone else totally, will actually never help you to evolve. The only thing you will evolve is learning to cope with the situation as best as you can. But your soul will only be half present in your body. Having to obey someone else completely will result into a half life. I do not see that anyone will beg to differ.

After leaving the boundaries and the concept of ‘human leadership’ or ‘the human as the dominant one over the horse’ behind, I came up with the concept of the EQUUS UNIVERSALIS. It has been many years ago and I first introduced the concept on the Art of Natural Dressage website, Bianca’s, Miriam’s and my first steps into the world of ‘Horse rule’.
Through the last millennia, we humans have adapted our ways of interacting with horses to our ‘use’ of them. The horse as ‘of use to humans’ evolved to ‘pet’ and is now evolving to ‘equal’ and finally ‘teacher’ which in the Renaissance was referred to as ‘Master’. From the moment I could walk and speak my whole life was dedicated to being with horses.
The last years that has changed. It is no longer enough. Now I dedicate my life to my family.
The horses I am blessed with in my life belong to that family. Having said that, the dedication to others, starts with dedication to myself. To allow myself to follow my heart and my guts.
To allow myself to be all I can be: Homo Universalis.
And in doing so, I find that I reach that goal faster by helping others to do the same thing.
And the first rule of doing that is to let them be free to make their own choices and make up there own minds. Oh yes, if they seek your experience, one may share with love. But that is different from forcing one’s opinion on someone in order for him, not to make his own choice. Even if for you, that choice might seem wrong. Allow others to make their own mistakes, as mistakes are nothing if not educational material. For each their own path, as each and every individual and situation is completely different.
So, now, I give advise only when asked, and I share from my experience, rather then force - what I see as the absolute truth - on someone. Even if I mean well to my idea.
This to me proves to be the most effective way to learn about life and oneself.
Thus, as all the creatures on this planet seem to be unique and different for a reason, why not celebrate our differences instead of trying to overcome them?
The differences between horses and humans are endlessly fascinating to me. And by embracing them and trying to understand them, without trying to overcome, adjust or diminish them, I’ve found more similarities then I ever had thought possible.
For in the core, we are all the same. We all want to be safe, healthy, find love and explore to the fullest, just that is what makes us unique as we have all different talents. An artwork for instance, is an expression of that uniqueness. That is why art is only called art, when it is an unique piece sprung from an individuals mind. A second one would not be art, but a replica.
Artists always say that they are happy and content, during the making of their art. Nothing else matters when they work. The only thing that matters to them is the ‘here and now’, the work they are doing, which springs from their own mind, heart or soul. Not ever was there an artwork the same, nor shall there ever be in all the times to come. No matter how much time shall pass, every creature is a 100% unique, as is the expression of that creature!
Unhappiness derives from not being allowed to be yourself. Whether someone else does not allow you, or you yourself do not allow it. Maybe you do things against your heart, because you think you care more about how society sees you, then about exploring your talents.
Once you have felt the pure joy and excitement of exploring a project, born from your own mind, you have heard your own heart beating full of live and energy. This is where every one finds happiness. There most be a reason why each and every one is unique. There must be a reason why earthlings get unhappy, empty, dull and ill when they can not act out on their uniqueness and unique talents. Plant a rose underneath a tree, and she will never raise to her full potential. She will however grow away from the shadow and roots of the tree as much as possible, but she will never grow to the individual she has been programmed in her core to be.
She will never be all she can be.

I think the reason of uniqueness is nothing if not evolution. I am convinced that evolution has taken care that it makes us unhappy for not being ourselves. I think evolution is the reason, because a species, or many species together prosper on the fact that each and every individual has a different contribution to make. And in order to make sure we, for the good of the planet, act upon the needed contribution within us, we are rewarded with happiness and health, as soon as we do.
Look at our society and where it has gone wrong. Is it wealth that brings happiness? Or is it the feeling of being able to take care of oneself and one’s family by using one’s potential?
Have you ever helped someone using your talent, just for the sake of this person being in need of help? How did you feel?
Writing this book, makes me happy. I feel it is something I must do. It springs from my mind only and I feel it will play it’s part in our evolution, just as every labour of love does. From a mother breastfeeding a child to a stallion navigating his herd to safety and food. Read my heart, my uniqueness, my contribution to my species, others, and the whole planet if you will, in this book. Read it as my experience, an advise you seek, and take from it what suits and nourishes your unique self and that of your horses.

I gather, it is clear now, or at least more clear, why I am no longer interested in having dominance or leadership over a horse. I am vastly interested and endlessly fascinated by every uniqueness of each horse, for one. And second, I have noticed that by being helpful to others in their road to explore and refine their talents, I can refine and explore my own.
The intelligence, the kindness, the talent, the pride and the love present in each and every individual horse is an ongoing inspiration for me to be a better person. The democratic organisation, the natural use of everyone’s unique talent within the herd, the knowledge of here and now, and the clear scanning of every creature and plant around, has made me as a human stand back in awe. Made me humble and open. But most of all, it gave me a vast understanding of the world around me and inspired me to start getting rid of all, that is cluttering and overcomplicating my life, standing in my way of listening to my own personal pulse, that should be the drive for each and every person to do all the things one does.
And moreover, I am completely free now, to let everyone else do the same.
‘Fear and holding on’ made way for ‘letting go in trust’. And with that, I mean this in every sense possible, not just concerning holding reins. Yes, I too fall back in fear, worry and frustration sometimes. In this society, it is hard not to. But these are mere moments, it does not consume my life anymore, as it had before. I always go back to the ‘here and now’, just as horses do and find what is good about the moment I am experiencing. For spending energy on what once was or shall perhaps be, is highly unnatural and inefficient.

As I am blessed to share my life with horses, I find that for me, the way to remain on course, the course of my heart, is interacting with horses totally from their initiative and perspective.
Therefore, again, I am no longer interested in an obedient and safe to handle horse. (And with that I am safer with horses then ever before.) I have become interested only in helping each horse who comes to my path to follow his own pulse, to explore his talents, refine them… and be all he can be: EQUUS UNIVERSALIS.

Stay true to your horse
And you stay true to yourself

© Josepha Guillaume 2009


PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:00 pm
Posts: 1681
Location: Belgium/Tielt-Winge
jup Jospeha, this is great... I completely understand!!!

Well maybe not all, but I feel myself nodding all the time and thinking of a lot of personal things while I was reading this...

But of course... now I want more :)

How long are you going to keep us waiting??? 8)

Horseriding is an art

My horse is a beautiful living sculpture

PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Simply, this is TRUTH.
Love it. xx

Susie xx

PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:31 am
Posts: 45
That was wonderful to read. I'd love to give that book to my father.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 4941
Location: Alberta
It's WONDERFUL Josepha! I LOVE it! I understand it!

It is a great beginning, of clarity and understanding, to something amazing. Thank you!

"Ride reverently, as if each step is the axis on which the earth revolves"

PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:05 pm
Posts: 2888
Location: Natal, South Africa
These are powerful ideas indeed. Reading this made me think about some things I'm currently struggling with. Thank you. There are alternatives in these words should be self-evident but often get hidden underneath emotions.

Please, can we have some more?

Glen Grobler

Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled. Anon

PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:08 am 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:40 pm
Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
Wow you guys... thanks.. really? :blush: :ieks:

Well, the rest I am not satisfied about at all... so I can't yet let some loose on you guys... :funny:

Donald is editing Bitless without trouble so it is my fault he has been less in our AND lounge lateraly... :blush:


PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
Posts: 1983
Location: provincie Utrecht
o dear an old man hard working.....oh ohhhh :funny: :funny: :funny:
great that it is almost finished in english

PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 3270
Location: New York
:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:

Yes, more, please!


"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi

PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:21 am
Posts: 202
Location: Germany, Black Forest
Very inspiring, very deepminded (don't know if this word exists...?), full of wisdom, makes me think! :f: :f: :f:
And makes me eager to read more!

Visit my blog:

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