I’ve just arrived back to Portugal from a trip to my native Sweden, where I’ve been giving clinics and a seminar – the last part of a series of three. One of the real pleasures of my work is meeting so many different combinations of horses and riders – each with their own unique story to tell, but all sharing a strong desire to develop the understanding and communication within their partnership. Sometimes the pursuit of excellence and what we so strongly desire can conflict with our ability to take simple pleasure from time spent with our horses. When we want to improve, it is all too easy to think of riding as a performance – a technical skill to be mastered – rather than a subtle and telling conversation between two living, feeling beings. So in our clinics, we work on listening to what is happening underneath us and ensuring our communication goes both ways. When riders begin to think in terms of their vocabularies, rather than their tools for riding, very meaningful things can happen.