How to stay calm when riding!
In horseback riding, our minds play a significant role in shaping our experiences, from moments of tension and fear to those of calmness and joy.  One day, I had just got on my horse, and I can feel the tail swishing and her back tense.  There was a sense of electric energy, a feeling of sitting on a powder keg.  Get ready, you know it is coming.  Just writing that made my heart race and my palms sweat.  Our minds are so powerful.  I am sitting on the couch, writing this blog for all of you and I caused my heart rate to increase and my palms to get sweaty, just with those thoughts.

Now, what about that ride through the bridle trails to the park.  It was a beautiful day filled with spring flowers, the little bubbling creek alongside the park, the birds singing, the rhythm of the horse's feet and just a beautiful ride.  Just writing this, sitting on the couch has my breathing slowing, my body relaxing, the tension flowing out.

Our minds are powerful, for the good or for the bad.  The good news is, we can work through our fears to some degree sitting in our home.

There are a few different types of minds though and it is important to see which one you are so you can create relaxation techniques that fit for you. 

  • Visual people - These are the people that really can see things easily in pictures in their mind.  This is me, but this is not everyone.  If you are one of these people, visualization is a great technique for you.  Visualize what you want to see, what the view is like while you ride, all the sites that will be on your rides, see that picture and put it into a calm beautiful picture.  
  • Auditory people - These are the people that know things, hear things, are very mind focused.  For you, create the sounds that you would want to hear in a meditation format.  Hear the birds, the horse's footfall, the rustle of the leather, the breathing and all the sounds that are around you while you ride.
  • Kinesthetic people - These are the people that feel things.  Create a meditation where you feel the mane, feel the movement of the horse, feel the light breeze on your face, feel the movement in your body as you are in rhythm of the horse.  Feel how great you feel relaxing into a nice ride.
It took me a long time to realize that not everyone is visual!  I think most of us can include all three of these into our ideal ride, sitting on the couch until we feel really good but try and use your primary one the most.  Once you have this relaxation really good, practice it while you are riding!  You will be refreshed, and your horse will feel it too.

I talk more about how to become the eye of the storm or the storm when you need it in my latest podcast:  Episode 8: Mindset Mastery

For those of you that would like a little more support with getting over riding fear and anxiety, join my free support group here:   Equine Courage Community


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