Today I caught myself feeling upset that I couldn’t do what I wanted to do with my horse. All I wanted to do was ride him, but he hasn’t been able to be ridden for a while for various reasons. It reminded me that I I’m getting far too caught up with what I want to get done instead of spending the time to do what needs to be done. Are you following me?
Being a type A personality I often get caught up in the things I want to accomplish and the stuff that needs to get done. I lose track of the moment in my rush to finish one thing and move on to the next. With horses especially this leaves so much undone. I struggle to be present in the moment, which is where the horse always is.
Today reminded me that we should begin every session or encounter with our horses by taking a deep breath. In that breath we can let go of all the pressure, agendas, and hurry. We connect with the horse and see where he is. If we keep breathing and connecting until we are both in the same moment our sessions will go so much more smoothly.
Not only should we do this in the beginning of every session, we should also do this throughout the session. Every time we get stuck, worried, or unsure what to do next, we should breath. That breath will become the pause to recollect, regroup, and figure out how to move forward. In the breath we reconnect with the horse and the moment so things aren’t blown out of perspective. We can regain access to our intuition that is often covered by too many thoughts. Most importantly, we can give ourselves and our horses a chance to move on without judgement or emotion.
Once breathing becomes easy, then we can begin to think a little bit more. We can use our initial breathing to not only connect with the horse, but also meditate on what our horse needs from us; what we can do to help our horse be more relaxed, willing, balanced, and successful. If we think in terms of those goals then our competitive or personal goals will become easy.
As humans we tend to overcomplicate our horses. We think their issues are insurmountable and holding us back. In fact, often the opposite it true. Normally we are the ones bringing the baggage and drama into the relationship. We are holding our horses back. All this breathing and meditation is really just getting our head in the game and telling our horse that we are ready to work together.
Instead of focusing on getting stuff done, we need to focus on getting better at doing nothing. This builds patience and awareness that allows us to be truly great horsemen. Breathing is really in and of itself a trick to help us, the human, do less.
So set out today to do less. Work with your horse doing as little as possible and breathing often so that your actions make a bigger impact and you aren’t getting in your own way. Let your horse do the talking and you do the listening.