I am struggling with bringing Beauty out of the realm of the subjective, intuitional and metaphysical into objective, measurable and scientific concept. I am looking to validate the intrinsic beauty of Horse.
This search has brought me into the harmonizing concept of mathematics in nature, art, architecture and all things human striving for rhythm and balance. Philosophers, scientists, artists, Theologians have all sought the paradigm of Beauty. Who am I, one small person in this great universal complex in which we reside, to take on the essence of Beauty? Because it is about Horse.
Beauty builds bridges
and the creative forces
Beauty, it is said, is in the eye of the beholder. And yet the study of art and mathematics show there is a universal form to beauty – an asymmetrical balance that creates an ever-evolving movement, forever seeking to bring the whole into balance and forever recreating its asymmetry in a harmony that carries the eye into a mystery of searching. It is called the Golden Ratio, universal “sacred geometry” that shows itself in the spiral of galaxies, in the crest of an ocean wave, in the curves of a conch shell, and in the complex spiral of DNA.
What is the Golden Ratio? So now I am going out on a limb, talking about mathematics, design, form and natural, organic beauty. Quite a combination of concepts.
Elaine J. Hom, Live Science contributer, says “The Golden ratio is a special number found by dividing a line into two parts so that the longer part divided by the smaller part is also equal to the whole length divided by the longer part. It is often symbolized using phi, after the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet. In an equation form, it looks like this: a/b = (a+b)/a = 1.6180339887498948420 ….”
graphically it looks like this:
The artist, Diana Rueter-Twining, creates this vibrant beauty in her sculpture, allowing the essential horse energy to emerge through static form. Her wonderful creation, Maestro, is a perfect example of Horse in the potent balance of the Golden Ratio. She says of her process:
“Dressage is a discipline of horse and rider requiring extreme strength, grace, balance and will. It is often associated with the famous white Lipizzaners of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria.
I chose to pay homage to this in my sculpture, MAESTRO*. In studying the horse I found that proportionally the horse in this gesture approximated the Golden Ratio or Divine Proportion in mathematics.”
“The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man” is a famous quotation attributed to Winston Churchill. The horse embodies the golden ratio many times over in its form. We can’t help but admire the shape, the combination of curves and angles, the flare of nostrils, the flag of tail, the curtain of mane – beauty expressed in every part and every movement – universal, primordial beauty. Horse beauty is a dynamic, living thing. It shines in the elegant cadenced dance of the dressage horse, the classic curves of the Spanish horse, the crest of the wild mustang, the arc of the hunter over a fence. Horse is a universal symbol of free-flowing Beauty, Spirit, Courage, and Freedom.
Beauty also comes in relationship, searching for that melding of horse/human understanding, reaching into the mystery of inter-species connections. As a teacher of foundational horsemanship, I ask my young students at their first lesson, “Why do you want to learn to ride a horse?” The most common answer is, “I love horses.” Can’t go wrong with that. Starting from a place of love can only lead to success. For me, watching these young horse people struggle, trying to grasp the physical, mental, and emotional intricacies of learning to handle and ride a 1000 pound horse and then suddenly pushing past the barrier of not being able to being able, is absolute beauty. I am passionate in sharing with these young people the experiences and practices that my 56 years of teaching has taught me. Yes, teaching teaches. My mentors teach me, the horses teach me, and students teach me. Learning reaches out through an entire lifetime.
Acknowledgements – I am supremely grateful to Diana Reuter-Twining for allowing to use the image of her wonderful sculpture of Maestro. You can find her on Facebook and at her website http://www.bronzed.net