Mindful vs Mind Full behavior with the horse

For people who are new to my teaching and training theories, there are many questions and frequently a great deal of pondering and brooding as folks start to question “the way they’ve always done things” with their horses.

An introspective assessment, rather than seeking “answers” by imitating others, frequently leads people to an uncomfortable stage, of not so “pretty” revelations about themselves, behaviors and patterns in their interaction with their horses.

Unfortunately, in our western society, we are often praised for how much we can multi-task, seemingly “accomplishing” more tasks than feasible in a very limited time.

It may appear that individuals are successfully accomplishing multiple tasks, but when it comes down to quality, clarity, and intention when completing those responsibilities, they often are lacking those traits. The difficulty arises when we take a highly sensitive animal like the horse who will “feed” off of our energy and distractions, and we head out to the barn carrying chaos and tension.

Since we no longer rely on horses for survival, most people want to ride or be with their horse and use the experience as an emotional outlet. The problem is horses are highly emotional and sensitive creatures. They also are mirrors to those around them and often reflect what a person “brings” to the interaction.

If folks are rushed, distracted, and stressed from “life” and unintentionally bring their own “baggage” from the daily demands of a job, family, life, etc. to their equine partners, it makes for a less than desirable experience for both participants.

So the next time you are THINKING about going out to spend time with your horse or go for a ride, pause for a moment. Take 10 (I’m not kidding) deep breaths, mentally scanning your body for rigidity, distraction, or tightness. With each exhale, notice if you can start to let go of or compartmentalize other “realities” from your life for an hour or two while you head out to the barn.

Horses are not machines waiting to “serve” a human’s purpose. The horse within seconds of your arrival has assessed where your brain and emotions are. If you aren’t present, neither will he be, leading to a less than quality experience. They can be fantastic partners, but only if offered fair and respectful communication by someone mentally present. Why not spend quality time, rather than “dutiful” time with him?

And trust me, all those “urgent” distractions and daily challenges you have will still be waiting for you when you’re done spending time with your horse. So, leave reality at the door, and literally, give yourself permission to slow down and enjoy the ride!
Remote Horse Coach

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