The great drive and swing and leap of eighteen-hundred pounds of muscle and bone beneath the saddle. The crisp white gloves. The pressure of reins on fingers. The lightness of the bridle in those precious moments of self-carriage. The thump of hooves; the creak of leather; the swish of tail; the tumble of silent conversation. The dance. The sugar cubes and ear rubs and shirt stains. The dirt between teeth. The smell of sweating horse. The solid, steaming necks, clapping underhand after a job well done.
Dressage is mental and physical gymnastics. It is details, details, details. It is feeling, at moments, like Alec on the beach with The Black. It is nothing in the world but sand, and hooves, and horse, and rider.
For me, it's the dream: sell enough books to support my very favorite thing.