You know what they say about the tip of the iceberg? That's the bit that sticks up above the water line and it can be dazzlingly beautiful. I know, because I've been to the Antarctic and I have seen them in all their multi-coloured, crystalline glory. But the cliche goes on to say that the vast bulk of the iceberg is actually hidden from view, deep in the cold, dark water. All this makes icebergs a really convenient metaphor for anything that has a lot going on behind the scenes in order to achieve the visible results. Like show business, and especially like HORSE SHOW business! Like those freezing winter mornings where you have to unbuckle rugs with frozen fingers, or dismount gingerly onto frozen feet...
So I hope you can identify with my Equestrian's Iceberg. Feel free to like and share. Have I missed anything? What would you add to it?
Lessons from horses: be aware of your surroundings. You can be sure that your horse is noticing every little thing. You need to be observant too, so you can choose all the things it is wise for you and your horse to be perfectly relaxed about. You'll both have a nicer outing that way!
Thomas Stearns Eliot OM (1888 - 1965), was a poet, essayist, publisher, playwright, literary critic and editor.
He could have no idea of the forthcoming information deluge that would be precipitated by the internet, and yet his words are prescient: "Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
Like Eliot, horses still operate according to pre-internet instincts. They need us to be wise and knowledgeable, not just (well-)informed.
Victor Frankl wrote, "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." He wasn't talking about horsemanship, but to me his words ring true for both the horse and the trainer: as horse, as human and as the team they can be together.