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10th, June, 1999    I attended an astounding convention of horses and horse lovers (Equitana) where I spoke with a gentleman quite knowledgeable in Classical Dressage. Now this system of horsemanship has always interested me. I have a varied background in riding, having learned to ride on Polo Ponies, I appreciate balance. I experienced phenomenon in my equine communication that was unexplainable through the regular channels of books, videos, and instruction. This I sought to find through Classical Dressage because of seeing the beautiful movements of horse and rider in the Lipizzan exhibitions. However, after talking with this very knowledgeable gentleman at the convention a few days ago, I was set straight. One word struck me and held me fast, that word was 'source'. It was explained to me that Classical Dressage had a different source than the communication I was seeking. For that communication between horse and rider, such that no tack of any kind was used throughout the battle movements was not explained in Classical Dressage. The source was different and not written down, thus it was lost. I thought heavily on this the rest of the day. Was there some undiscovered cave wall, parchment or stone with clues to this form of horsemanship written somewhere? If there was, how could I find it? That night I had a dream. I will write it down for you here.

I was a young boy walking out from the village on a wide dusty path toward a group of horses grazing in a huge field nearby. There were other people with the herd, but they were not herders for this was, in essence, a wild herd. Most of these other people were male, only three were female.

I was full of both hope and fear for I was to choose and be chosen or return to the village for another apprenticeship. If chosen, I was to live with the herd for 1 year (13 moons), returning to the village only as needed for essentials such as extra food or clothing or medicine that was not available to me elsewhere. This returning to the village was not monitored, however the strength of the 'joining' depended on the chosen ones remaining in close contact for as long as possible and my equine 'other' would not willingly leave the herd to venture through the village to satisfy my whims.

I chose and was chosen by a beautiful young, light red brown female. (Words like 'chestnut' and 'bay' seemed foreign here.) She had no white markings. I was hoping for white markings which were rarely seen. We stayed together the required 13 moons and grew in balance, knowledge and affection for each other. At the end of that time I could easily sit the leaps, spins and sudden starts and stops that were her play and she adjusted fully to my weight in these maneuvers. In the second year we learned to fight separately and together, to precisely time our movements to defeat an enemy. In the third year we learned to coordinate our skills with the others in our group and thus become an 'army'.

I don't know if we were at war or not or even planned to go to war. This training was spiritual as well as physical; requiring much time spent in prayer (meditation). We each became shaman as well as fighter.

There were others of our village who 'joined' with other animals as well and it was explained to us that it was in this way that the healers and seers of our people could change shape in the other worlds. But mostly, the joining was done with hunting birds and horses.

I did not experience the full time of each training in this dream, but only experienced a small taste of each becoming first the untried boy and then the student, warrior and master in rapid succession. Living and feeling the experiences of each fully in those moments I was allowed in dreaming. It was so beautiful in that ancient dream. I understood that women were venerated and held in high esteem. Each person chose what they wanted to do with no prejudice offered against them. Almost always the youngster trying this joining was prepubescent and it was considered very important that the training was completed before the 'woman' time in a man's life. I don't know the custom for the women. It was rare that females would choose the joining, but I think the same would apply to them. Of the females joining with the herd, one was very old and a master with her second horse. One was in her second year of training and one had just chose and been chosen. I remember the world as being much more alive with a huge variety of vegetation surrounding the village. Although the conditions seemed primitive there, upon reflection, the people were more at peace and enjoying life when compared with present day society. This boy was very happy and felt his life fulfilling. The 'joining' was surprising in its completeness and spirituality. I don't know if this was my imagination, dreaming or a remembrance of a past life, but it really doesn't matter. This was what I was looking for and I found it.  I don't think I would ever try this, but my question was certainly answered. There were probably as many different methods of this training as there were ancient societies that produced these armies. However, this certainly answered my question. I will be anxious to see if anything is 'dug up' concerning this very ancient form of warfare using horses.


Music is an excerpt of Pachelbel's Canon in D Major from George Amatino's CD "Peachful Pachelbel"

(Holborne Distributing Co.,LTD)

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