yielding, nonresistance, obedience., surrender, cession, resignation
Just some of the thoughts one can associate with submission.
I recall my first judge training session; clueless but keen would best describe me. I still have the notes I took at that session about submission...
compliance, throughness, confidence, as well as lightness of the forehand (did he 'carry' himself?) and did he go willingly?
Later in another training session I scribbled this one....
Willingness of the horse to obey the riders aids without any tension.
Submission still troubles me, it is one of the cornerstones of training (any training, not just dressage) and yet it makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable. If one adds an adjective....willing, accepting, gracious etc then it sits slightly more comfortably.
The truth is that we can't get along with our horses (let alone work/ride them) if they don't submit to us. The art of 'getting along' works so much better if one half of the team can lead and the other be lead.
Of course there are times when we really should turn around the roles, times (when this dumb human certainly) should stop and listen before we take the lead again.
Each horse being different means that they will find the art of submission easier or more arduous. I believe that the 'hotter' horses find submission incredibly difficult, whereas the cooler, more sane types can assume the mantle with ease.
I have spoken a number of times of the difficulties associated with training 'hotter' types, where to engage the brain so that one can get to work on engaging the physical motor?
So as I start Moo back to more solid work (assuming he stays as sound and fit as he is) I will be once again visiting the roots of submission....for there lie all the problems. I have already started this work and will fill in the gaps when I'm less tired but suffice to say we are back at the beginning (think nursery class).
As I struggle with the idea of submission and the incredibly tough job that places on the trainer (don't even start me on should we even work them at all, lol) I have selected two thoughts based on Seunig's words.
Trusting surrender, learning to stand alone, to accept responsibility for balance, not leaning on or relying on hand or leg.
Complete responsiveness to all influences-hand, leg, weight (voice, body language I'd like to add because submission starts at the very beginning BEFORE riding) in other words; being totally reponsive to all influences that the rider/trainer exerts.
I still find the idea of submission somewhat tricky but I have to concede it is necessary (or I shan't ever tack up my horses again). But I'm going with trusting surrender with a lots of listening out for his side of the story.....I'll keep you posted.