In working with our horses, it seems a never-ending goal to ride a light horse and constantly be light with our application of the aids. Lightness, however, has taken on the role of a relative meaning. It has a different image in the mind of each user, it is seen as something solid, tangible, an object that we can hold onto and either have or not have.
On the contrary, lightness is not relative to the application, rather it is relative because just at the moment when we believe we have reached the ultimate in lightness a new opportunity awakens to provide us the chance to seek more lightness. We always have the chance for greater refinement of the aids, of our actions, of our expectations.
Lightness comes in part with the advent of relaxation. Lightness relies on movement, constant movement. Lightness is the result of the mental, emotional and physical aspects between horse and rider reaching harmony. It is these moments that lightness shows up as pure joy, because it is effortless, thoughtless. It is simple energy capable of being directed at will. That is the beauty of lightness.
Lightness is not lack of touch, it is not an emptiness in the hand or a rushing away from the leg. Lightness is the unique lack of resistance and force. It is the presence of a perfect dance partner. One that understands and interprets the music with the same timing and precision that you do. That is lightness.
Lightness naturally inspires collection. It inspires beautiful transitions. Lightness relies on the energy it creates. Lightness relies on the posture it creates. Lightness relies on the simplicity it creates. It is a circle, neverending. That which lightness creates it also consumes, it lives off of. When lightness begins disappearing it is only regained by re-establishing the very things it relies upon and creates. Logical and illogical, that is the meaning of lightness.
Lightness creates more energy. It does this through inspiration. It enables greater muscle usage without tension or resistance. Lightness encourages mental participation and clarity. Lightness is the epitome of personal awareness, relaxation, curiosity, patience and balance.