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About conductors and horses...

April 22, 2006 at 2:01 PM

Well, my last weeks have been more about horses than violin to be honest. Yeah, I played a couple concerts, but honestly I think I found something I could be as passionate about as violin playing. I have had several private lessons, went riding in a beautiful province in the North of the Netherlands and tonight I'll go see the worldcup at "jumping amsterdam"...
Many will wonder what's up with me and horses. Well, I used to ride as a little kid, but my parents were not too thrilled about it, with their minds on my violin lessons and broken wrists etc. However, now 27 years old, I decide what I do and since sport climbing was no longer an option, horsebackriding seemed to be something that caught my interest, especially since I live so close to forests, dunes and the beach.

When you are sitting on a horse, you have to completely try to become one with the animal... something which is practically impossible as a beginner. You have to feel the movements and even anticipate them. You have to guide the animal, but at the same time realize that the horse is so much stronger than you. I hate to say it, but I think a conductor must feel that way. At all times he is the one in charge, but if it comes to a powermatch, he'll never win from an orchestra. When you ride you keep at all times contact with the mouth of the horse, very softly, it does not mean pulling the reins. I realized that the best conductors are not the ones pulling the orchestra, pushing it, yelling... the onces deserving most respect are the onces that gently keep contact with the orchestra at all times, not using a whip, but their breath.

The things one learns during horseback riding lessons...

From Danielle Goatley
Posted on April 22, 2006 at 3:30 PM
I ride horses too!
I used to ride all the time, but my parents didn't really like me doing it, so I got violin lessons instead. Have fun riding!
PS-english or western?
From Gabriel Kastelle
Posted on April 22, 2006 at 4:30 PM
Your conductor thinking sounds about right to me! Two of my best students a couple years ago were girls about 11 yrs old who were actively, one fanatically, riding horses. The fanatic one had to take a few weeks break from violin (and everything) after a spill through a fence with the horse LANDING ON TOP of her. Bruised internal organs, not much else wrong-- incredibly tough little kid. Interestingly, though they lived an hour apart, these two knew each other from gymnastics, in which they had both been high achievers as well. One English, one Western. Do it all!!
From Emily Grossman
Posted on April 23, 2006 at 9:12 AM
I hope you keep riding. It's a fine art just like the violin, only the relationship you build with a living animal doens't really compare to anything else.

I used to sport climb, too. You really think 27 is too old for that?

From Carla Leurs
Posted on April 23, 2006 at 3:54 PM
It's not because I'm too old for sport climbing, but because of a burnwound I got earlier this season... but hopefully I'll be climbing again within a year. I also just joined the local athletics group, preparing for a run in september...

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