JULY 2006 • VOLUME 11 • ©HORSES For LIFE™ Magazine
"It was actually translated into German and then into English, so hopefully the meaning didn't get lost in the process. That's always a danger.
Every single sentence is so full of meaning on so many different levels.
Yesterday I rode Chianti and had Nuno's wisdom in my ears. Before doing anything, I let go of all tension, let my joints move with her and before asking her to do anything, I always reminded myself to stay soft, especially with my legs. What a difference it made!!!
She went beautifully and rounded her back even right at the beginning of our warm up which usually causes her problems. Ok, it was hard to keep it as I would let tension creep in again, but working on centering and staying soft makes such a huuuuuge difference. It's amazing.
I also tried using as little aid as possible and Chianti really responded, sometimes even when I was just thinking about a leg yield for example. I had a progression where I first thought about it and how it would feel, then used the lightest of touch if she had not responded or just a hint of forward with my hips and Chianti went each and every single time! We also did a beautiful trot half pass that felt like heaven for 2, 3 strides! I'm soooooo thrilled that I was able to get my super green horse to this stage. It is soooo exciting!
At the same time I'm thinking that it was always there, right from the beginning, I just never asked her correctly. This is not something she just learned yesterday, she knew it all along but it took me this long to find it. I love my girl for showing me the way!!! It is such an addictive feeling to tap into this feeling of lightness, just a tiny little bit even, but I'm sooooo hungry for more! Chianti seems to be too! I'm just thrilled. Translating the text into English really helped me to let this wisdom sink in and absorb it on a much deeper level than if I had just read it in German. Through the translation I really had the feeling I internalised it."
By Simone Engels
Nuno Oliveira quotes, translated from German:
- The secret in riding is to do only a few things but to do them right
- The more you do, the less success you will have
- The less you do, the more will go right
- Feel your horse and don’t sit with a dead seat like you are riding a bike
- I don’t want to have riders who tire themselves out. Work by thinking instead.
- It is good to ride with closed eyes once in a while
- The hands have to be like cement when the horse resist and like butter when the horse yields
- When riding a well trained horse, the fingers should only very rarely close