Beauty and horses. The two have been intertwined through the ages and are the subject of the incredibly popular equestrian circus, Cavalia. It is currently showing in Vancouver and is beautifully spoken about by Colin Thomas in his article, “Cavalia is an Explosion of Innocent Carnality and Interspecies Joy.”
|Interspecies joy! (Image taken from http://www.carolynresnickblog.com/what-is-the-point-of-liberty/?wpc=dlc#comment-24284)|
Interspecies joy. Such a term encapsulates the magic of Cavalia. By combining dance, light, theatre, costumes, and horsemanship, Cavalia creates an incredible synergy, making each element even more than itself. It is a place where two plus two equals five.
The magic of this synergy is simple: beauty and horses are naturally connected. Girls dream of braiding flowers into their stallion’s mane. Audiences are mesmerized by Shadowfax charging across the meadow to reunite with Gandalf. Children gravitate towards horses to pet and admire them. Even those who dislike animals do not deny the stunning beauty of the horse.
Yet, strangely, the principle of beauty never seems to be a foundational element in any horse training method. This seems strangely dissonant: if one of the main reasons humans are drawn to horses is their beauty, should not one of the main principles of any horse training method be, to be beautiful? Sadly, this is almost never the case. At best, beautiful horsemanship is seen as an ideal but not a necessity. So, horses are hollow, tense, fearful. Their eyes are wide, scared, dead. Ropes swish, spin, bite. Reins jerk, pull, drag.
Beauty disappears. And so does connection.
If you want to have a deep and meaningful connection with your horse, your horsemanship needs to respect the foundational link that horses share with beauty. So today, when working with your horse, do what is beautiful. Do not necessarily do nothing; beauty can be exciting, firm, and fast, and, due to an imperfect world, will not always even exist. But do not give up, for true beauty leads to true joy, glorifying God and written into the fabric of creation itself. You yourself know this, as does anyone who has loved a horse and tasted such interspecies joy.