Your horse’s behaviour is a mirror of your own state. Find out how improving your breathing, energy and thoughts can improve your relationship.
- Your breath
Notice how you breathe when you are around your horse. Take time when you are grooming and tacking up to become familiar with how your breath changes with different tasks. Can you maintain a deep and slow diaphragmatic breath, which entrains your horse. Pay particular attention to emptying your lungs and aiming for a short pause before the next in breath. When riding, use the rhythm of the horse’s footfalls to help with steadying the rhythm of your breath.
- Your thoughts
Notice where your thoughts go. Are you in the present moment, or does your mind dwell on stuff from the past, or keep jumping to future scenarios. Horses are in the moment, so focussing on exactly what you are doing and becoming meditative as you work, brings you into the present and allows you to really notice your horse.
- Become grounded.
Calm breath and still mind allow you to be grounded. Notice your connection to the ground beneath you, even when you are riding. Think of sending out roots into the soil, gradually growing deeper and deeper, and then notice the earths energy come up into your body. You might start to feel more connected to the ground, as if gravity had become more powerful. Horses like humans to be grounded as it brings a sense of reassurance to them. Another useful image is to think of being your favourite tree, and having a sense of being strong and rooted in the ground, but flexible in the breeze.
4.Tune into your horse.
Horses are on a higher frequency than us. Think of your breath, thoughts and grounding as three dials on a radio that you need to carefully adjust in order to tune into the frequency of your horse. Notice how your horse will gradually pay more attention to you as you improve your ability to be in the moment with him.
- Your own energy field.
Can you become conscious of how much energy you are using, and how far you are sending it out? Are you a dim lightbulb or a bright lightbulb. Do you hold your energy close to you or does is splurge out? Practice adjusting your energy field and notice the effect it has on your horse in different situations.
Develop clear base lines for yourself with the above five skills and then it becomes easier to notice a got it/lost it basis for them, for instance, when working with your horse on the ground, or at a competition, or when a particular situation worries you.