Sometimes, life with horses feels like a high wire act. There’s excitement, always an audience with an opinion, and everything to lose.
Those things never stopped Philippe Petit. Because the high wire was the place he nurtured his creativity.
Recently, Philippe Petit gave an interview on the Colin McEnroe show on NPR, along with Paul Winter, the musician who lives near me, and local sculptor Anne Cubberly (both of whom are inspired by animals). You can listen to the audio here (Philippe is on from 3:40 to 10:15 and the entire audio cast is about 50 worthwhile minutes).
As I listened to Petit’s words, they resonated for me as a horse trainer.
“Creativity is a very thick book that is written every day.”
“If I think that progress will come from pure repetition, I’m fooling myself.”
“The fire within comes from your heart and your brain, powered by passion.”
Petit suggests that in order to be creative, we must be what he calls “auto critics,” analyzing where we might have gone awry each time we practice something. He says we must explore and analyze and “be alive.”
Riding is an activity where our brains must reside in our bodies as well as our minds. Since horses communicate through body language, their intelligence resides there more naturally for them than it does for us. But if we are to succeed, we must follow their path — and Petit’s suggestions.
If you haven’t read his book yet (the cover is pictured above) or seen the movie, you have a treat in store for you. Be inspired, by him, and by your horse.