If you take a few moments to read and implement this quick and effective visualization practice, your riding will improve, one stride at a time. Read on to learn how simple it can be to have a beautiful flow to your horse time (and in life)!
Take a long inhale and an even longer exhale. Release any tension that no longer serves you.
Place a hand on your heart. Notice the sensations that are coming up for you.
Do you need some more time to be still and quiet, breathing into your heart?
Go on, I dare you.
Pause, breathe, and smile.
Close your eyes for a moment, open them, and read on.
You’re alive right now. You can feel your heartbeat and listen to your breath.
As you take these PBS moments (Pause, Breathe Smile)... you can actually help shape the trajectory of your life.
How’s that? You’re probably thinking…
When you plant your cute bum in a chair and simply focus...
When you’re warming your horse up for a lesson, there’s a palatable shift that happens when your instructor arrives and begins watching you.
Your senses are heightened, as you want to be sure you’re doing everything she’s taught you thus far.
You admire her. She's an incredible professional. More than likely, she’s probably forgotten more than you know in the few riding years you’ve been blessed to take consistent lessons.
The last thing you want is to disappoint her.
Your lessons have a certain structure that you and your horse can depend on.
There might be a few minutes of no stirrup work, a few minutes of staying in a two-point position, and then you work on some new element that you’re slightly nervous about, but put your complete trust in your instructor.
The nerves usually come up when you see her adjusting the height of the jump two holes up.
You notice you’re holding your breath, as soon as you...
Consider adding some of these ideas to your new year!
1. Take your time. Add an extra thirty minutes to one hour to your horse time. Notice how that feels for you and your horse.
2. Thank your horse more often. Especially for offering a ride.
3. Allow your inner child to come out and play. What would that look like?
4. Check in with how you're feeling, before seeing your horse. A simple body scan and getting grounded can truly shift your entire session.
5. Let your horse know they're on the right track. Praise them often and notice how this clarity offers a more relaxed and connected relationship.
6. Surprise your horse by ending your ride sooner than they expect.
7. Read a book out loud to your horse. Notice how they respond.
8. Slow down your training and be quicker to give rewards.
9. Invite your horse to do things with you, rather than pushing them into it.
10. Breathe into your heart, and then send love and appreciation to your horse.
May the horse be...
Become a Superhero for Your Horse!
You’re on the most beautiful beach you’ve ever seen. You can hear the waves crashing on the sand. The air is fresh and cool. You feel energized by your surroundings.
Now imagine you’re on your horse, riding along with a few of your most favourite horse friends. You decide to race along the sand and feel the greatest rush of excitement, as you gallop ahead.
Your horses are all breathing quickly, in unison to their increasing tempo. You begin to collect bugs in your teeth from your enormous smile. You bring your horses back down to a trot and then walk into the water.
You all have a gorgeous swim, laughing and playing together.
Take a deep breath and feel how much joy and connection you just created from reading this little paragraph. Can you imagine bringing these feelings with you for each of your rides?
This is the beauty of visualisation.
You can take a few moments to let your imagination soar, in order to bring...
~~Installing Bookmarks to Improve Your Riding~~
When I embarked on my very first cross country event, I entered the Green as Grass division.
You know, the one with the smallest jumps possible, as one does when they are just starting out in something new. I rode my sweet Keeper, a twenty-years young caretaker of a thoroughbred, who had already done plenty of Events in his time.
So much so, that when it came to the cross country section, he was moving faster than I wanted to go. He thought we were going for time. I could feel him ‘looking at his hoof’ (wrist watch) and telling me, come on lady, I’ve got you.
We would have won the entire division, if my nerves hadn’t gotten in the way. We were first in Dressage, cleared the Stadium, and I just felt like I needed a circle in front of one of the fences out in the field, to slow my excited boy down. Which of course counted as a refusal.
So I came home with a green ribbon, instead of the blue. But in my mind,...
Take the word CAP and think of these three words:
C for Curiosity
A for Appreciation
P for Playfulness
When you think about being curious, it puts you in a more powerful state of mind. You start looking for solutions and seek out assistance. Instead of feeling helpless, you can start to get curious on how to make things better.
Let’s say you feel like your balance is way off lately. Instead of just saying, “Oh, I feel like I’m just flopping around and not feeling strong enough in the saddle…” Decide to say, “I’m curious about how I can improve my balance.”
Then you can start seeking out solutions. You might decide to cross train with yoga, pilates, or even sit on a balance ball in your...
You’re in the warm-up arena and your horse’s energy is a little bit higher than you’d like. You can feel your heart beating faster and you’re doing your best to feel both seat bones in the saddle so you don’t float away.
This is a very common scenario. Our horses will feed off the energy at a competition, as well as our own nervous energy. I’ve dealt with this all of my life.
When I was eleven years old and starting to ride my trainer’s older event horse, Calcutta, I would get butterflies in my stomach with just the thought of my little jumping show coming up that month.
The fluttering continued, even as a young assistant-trainer in my twenties, when I would ride any youngster that the main trainer decided needed experience in the show ring.
I remember coming home after the long days of a horse show, feeling good that I had managed, with my entire essence, to successfully support the nerves of the squirrely off-the-track thoroughbred every...
Before we can trust another living being, we need to be able to trust ourselves. What we desire to see in our world, must first be cultivated and nurtured within.
If you want to build trust with your horse, you must embody being trustworthy yourself. How does one go about this?
First, you must take a good look at your patterns. Are you quick to judge what’s going on? Or do you take some time to examine your situation and decide what the best course of action would be?
To be an Inspired Rider, one who trusts their intuition, listens to their horse, and thus builds trust by default, you must slow down and build awareness.
These are the steps I suggest to my students. If you truly desire transformation, I highly recommend taking these ideas to heart.
I'm sure you would agree that there's just so much information out there. You scroll through social media posts, which can lead to inspiration; yet often ends up leaving you with mixed emotions.
If you've felt overwhelmed and even a little frustrated after seeing so many ways of interacting with horses, you're not alone.
Did you know that you already have one of the best, most powerful tools in your possession, to help you with making decisions about your horse journey?
It's your own inner guidance system.
You know, it could be those little gut feelings, whispers in your ear, or if you're like me, very strong feelings to stop what I'm doing, slow way down, and write out some thoughts to process what messages I need to focus on. Yes, it's like our very own built-in voicemail system from the Universe!
If you don't already have a way to tap into this powerful means of finding answers, I'd love to invite you to try out these simple, yet powerful routines: