calm, foward, straight

photo by James Stratford

General Alexis L’Hotte set the mantra for the cavalry-based classical dressage: ‘Calm, forward, straight’. If a horse is not calm, she will not be able to listen or learn. This is true for all of us, I think. Once we are calm we can easily decide what we want and send our energy forward towards our goals. ‘Straight’ means to keep the horse’s body balanced, even when on the curves. The spine aligns with the curve and this is straight. It is flexibility, adaptability and flow.  When a calm mind and body are aligned, forward movement feels effortless. The only irony is that sometimes high-strung horses need to throw their physical energy forward before the calm can come. Sometimes only meditation in movement will do!

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