Today's word and quote are horse-related, my first love and passion.
dres·sage: ( n.) The guiding of a horse through a series of complex maneuvers by slight movements of the rider's hands, legs, and weight.
[French, preparation, training, dressage, from dresser, to set up, arrange, train, from Old French drecier, to set up, arrange.]
I used to ride dressage. It was the only time that I completely lost myself and became transformed into one creature--half horse and half human. We moved as one, my aids imperceptible to the observer. We had an almost psychic connection of harmony as I sensed his movements almost before they happened, and he sensed my cues before I gave them, timelessly, effortlessly, a million neural circuits firing. Each muscle that tensed, on him, on me, nothing was missed. I could feel his feet and where they were landing beneath me (so lightly, like feathers), and I could direct each footstep and tell it where to land. I could see his eyes, out of the corner of my eyes, liquid, trusting, content. His ears, cocked to the side, half on me, half on where we were traveling. They bounced slightly with each step in a relaxed tempo. There was a rhythm, a harmony, as his coordinated movements carried me atop his powerful, swinging back, with me, lucky enough to harness that power and bridge it to the elegance and delicateness he was capable of. My goal, in the end, was to relax my body and receive his signals, and get out of his way to showcase this magnificent creature and lose myself in his wonder.
"When I bestride him,I soar. I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes."
--William Shakespeare. King Henry V.
(I miss you George. I think about you every day. I hope you're happy...wherever you are.)