I just finished the written portion for one of the Advanced Module lessons in the School. It is probably the most important lesson for students who are now at a high enough level with the Foundation Circle and their horsemanship on the ground.
For those of you who have not studied with me, we work with and understand that everything that we learn and ask of our horses (whether on the ground or riding) is reflected in this Foundation Circle. If you make your way around it, hopefully, you will see that there is no order as these are always present in what we do.
From the very beginning of their learning, I have suggested the need to be creative with horses, following patterns is great, and then changing them to see if our horses are still “with us” or whether they are just being obedient and submitting to what we “want”. Now there is nothing wrong with a level of obedience, but we must balance it with bonding moments, exuberance, and of course allowing the horse to think.
One of the “spokes “of the Foundation Circle talks about The 7 Words.
Remember when we were young and after we had learned the alphabet, we made words and then used those short words to read and write a sentence. Little by little, as we became comfortable with this, the skill of reading and writing began. We finally had another way to communicate with each other, and it opened up our world to understand it in a very different way. That is what I want for my students with their horses.
Eventually, those words will combine into sentences, with students speaking them with very little volume and being particular with the quality of the movement. This is where something very special begins with their horses, almost like a secret story where they are the only ones who know how it ends.
Combining the 7 Words of the Foundation Circle together with healthy movement and lightness makes for the feeling of dancing with your horse to beautiful music.
Just like a musician puts each note into her own sequence to form a Sonata or a choreographer combines the steps into something that has rhythm and flow, so too will the FTGUH student.
And whether students play them boldly or hold each Word just a little longer than the last time, the two of them will create something of harmony, of communication, and a story.
So students of FTGUH, make your own song with your horse, dance your own dance and just be in the moment as you see all the time you have spent learning and teaching your secret language.