I’ve never believed in ‘4 legs good, 2 legs bad.’ Indeed, I think that 4 legs and 2 legs working in unison can make something beautiful.
The 4 legs, by the way, are that of a horse, the 2 its’ human rider. The thing of beauty is the art of dressage. I’ve been thinking about one of my desires. One of the things that I would like 2 do.
Watching a BBC 4 documentary (don’t the coincidences keep coming?), I saw the historian Lucy Worsley achieve one of my desires – to see the horses (4 legs) and riders (2) of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. These are masters of the art of dressage – an equine ballet, perfect communication between 2 species in the shared language of the dance. The perfect combination of grace and power. The school has its roots in the military – horses of the light cavalry had to be perfectly agile – but beauty and goodness is the other side of the coin of war.
Ronald Duncan, in his poem The Horse put it better than I ever could:
‘Here, where grace is served with muscle,
And strength by gentleness confined…’