Let’s talk gadgets. The kind of gadgets that I’m interested in discussing are the ones that so many of us human people love to use on our horses, and on ourselves.
Some of us delude ourselves into thinking that we are on a winning ticket by resorting to a gadget because it initially appears that we can achieve an aesthetic that is supposed to take much longer to create.
That aesthetic, often, relates to posture.
In our horses, we seek roundness, and in ourselves, we seek straightness. And that aesthetic, when brought about by a gadget, involves strapping something down or holding something in that wouldn’t be held down or in by nature alone.
Ha! We think to ourselves in our smug cleverness. I’ve done it! Behold the posture I was looking for! And our strapped in selves prance around on our strapped down horses.
Except we forgot something. For the body to be both beautiful and well, it must be given one thing. The opportunity to choose.
Bodies do not hold a posture. They find it. Posture by its very nature is a dance. It responds to the ground it’s travelling over, the weight it’s carrying and the environment it’s a part of.
Posture is dynamic. Gadgets are not.
When we force the body to hold a position that opposes what it would naturally choose and is capable of, there are consequences. To the body and brain, this is a violence. It activates the survival nervous system as a result.
At best, the body degrades. At best, patterns of tension and dysfunction. At best.
This is why when we think of beauty and athleticism, we often also think of freedom. The freedom of the body to choose, adapt and change.