Saturday, 2 May 2015

Day 122: Silent conversation

With my young rider on Aspire Foundation Programme today
I stare at a page in a book and then at my Mum who is resting on a sofa bed with her own book and I cannot fathom how is she doing it. I look up at her and all I can see is that she stares at the book. She doesn't move her lips like I have to in order to mouth the words and bring them to life. She doesn't make a sound.

- What are you doing Mum?
- I'm reading...

Her eyes scan the words left to right, left to right. I do the same but the words just don't come alive.

That's my earliest childhood memory to do with reading - the inexplicable inability to read simply with my eyes. I must have been about 4 years old because my Mum taught my brother and I to read very early. I don't remember being impatient or annoyed or frustrated but rather bewildered at the fact I could not do it.
Then, I remember being absolutely determined to understand how reading with one's eyes was possible and I also remember the overwhelming curiosity and the need to figure it out.

Of course, I have no idea when and how I simply became able to read without saying the words out loud or tracing them with my fingers but what I do remember is the incredible pleasure in doing so. To this day I find myself searching for ideas and experiences that make me stop and think and drag me into the state in which the the act of figuring things out is the main one.

Teaching is revisiting that moment in which I cannot comprehend how something can be done. Searching for clues in the rider's movements, in horse's reactions, in confused lack of awareness. Then putting some observations together, weaving them in and out, trying to put them together in various combinations until all of a sudden, they come alive and I no longer have to say much.

It fascinates me to watch how at first the riders have to verbalise things loudly, the words rugged, uncertain, until suddenly - they can read their horse silently, with their feel only, without the need for tracing the horse's movement anymore...

Rediscovering harmony. Creating silent conversation.



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