Re­flect­ing on mas­tery

EQUUS - - Letters -

I find it ironic that in “The Quest for Mas­tery” (Con­for­ma­tion In­sights, EQUUS 479), Deb Ben­nett, PhD, lauds mounted bull­fighter An­gel Per­alta Pineda as “prob­a­bly the greatest rider of our time,” then says about him, “Great em­pa­thy for animals of all species is another uni­ver­sal char­ac­ter­is­tic of mas­ter horse­men.” Ap­par­ently the em­pa­thy in this case did not ex­tend to the bulls.

This ac­cep­tance of bull­fight­ing is also ironic given that Ben­nett is so crit­i­cal of the horse show world. I’ve had the good for­tune to grow up with horses un­der the tute­lage of my horse­man fa­ther. Even so, I also learned a lot from tak­ing part in lo­cal sad­dle club and 4-H shows---the very type of event that Ben­nett pokes fun at as the “Flat­bot­tom Horse and Pony Show.” While par­tic­i­pants at such shows are not perfect, I’ve seen few kids or adults who couldn’t get their horses to pick up leads, move on and off the rail, and ne­go­ti­ate trail class ob­sta­cles, among other skills. In my case I used these shows as spring­boards to big­ger and

more so­phis­ti­cated com­pe­ti­tion.

For 40 years my hus­band and I bred, trained and showed our Mor­gans very suc­cess­fully, and I con­tinue to be a prac­ti­tioner of clas­si­cal dres­sage, not for com­pe­ti­tion but for the train­ing ben­e­fits. While I have wit­nessed some greedy train­ers and own­ers do­ing re­gret­table things to win rib­bons, these peo­ple are in the mi­nor­ity.

One of Ben­nett’s points I do agree with is that if you wish to achieve mas­tery, you can’t “dab­ble.” You have to be will­ing to take the long jour­ney of work and learn­ing. Bar­bara S. Hol­stein Bel­mont, Ohio

I just read your magazine from cover to cover, as usual, and felt com­pelled to write to thank Deb Ben­nett, PhD, for her ab­so­lutely won­der­ful ar­ti­cle about mas­tery as it re­lates to horse­man­ship. It res­onated with me on so many lev­els. I wish I had had ac­cess to such horse mas­ters as she had the op­por­tu­nity to meet and work with over the years.

Then I read “Proof Pos­i­tive,” the True Tale in the same is­sue, and was moved to tears at times read­ing the au­thor’s de­scrip­tion of the bond she formed with her mare, Cheyenne. We can all only hope to one day be able to share such an ex­pe­ri­ence with our own horse part­ners. Shirley Tkachuk Ed­mon­ton, Al­berta

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.