Today I was out on my pony during my lunch break. I went to tack her up and she seemed unusually jumpy and full of beans. As I headed out I realised why, I was faced with about 50 horses and a pack of hounds heading straight towards us!
I didn’t realise that the hunt were about but in a way it was actually quite a happy accident. You never know when you are going to meet them and ladybird hasn’t seen them before so it was a good opportunity to see how she was. I would rather I was on her the first time it happened rather than my 3 year old, Noah. She skipped about a bit and when they had gone she stamped her feet to tell me that she wanted to go. I took her for a fast trot up the lane which we both loved but she thought it was no match for a good gallop with the hunt!
I got a real adrenaline rush when I suddenly saw what was happening but I managed to keep calm and present in the moment. I think that is why it worked out OK and why Ladybird was not too nutty. Horses sense how you are feeling when you ride. If you are nervous then they can tell instantly, you tense up and your breathing changes and they feel it and do the same.
As I could see the group approaching there was about a minute or two before they reached us. I focussed on my breath and simply watched with interest. It got me thinking about what a practical help mindfulness training is. Rather than reacting in situations like this it gives you the presence of mind to respond. As it happened nothing particularly dramatic happened. I stood in a drive way so we had a bit of space. If I had been less mindful though I could have over thought it to the extent that I would have predicted complete catastrophe, then all sorts could have gone wrong.
Learning to be mindful and having a few breathing exercises up your sleeve can help you in all sorts of situation. If you find yourself suddenly faced with a scary situation you might be very grateful to know how to place all of your attention on your breath. It can completely change the outcome. Having the presence of mind to watch and see what happened is amazing. It isn’t difficult but it does take some practise.
Come on a Revitalise Day to learn how you can be more mindful. You will learn some simple exercises that will equip you for all of life’s little surprises. They day is a lovely relaxing break from everyday stresses and worries. The location is beautiful and the food is amazing.