On Sunday I had a couple of child free hours. I decided to take Ladybird for a gallop to get some pent up energy out of her. We had an amazing time. We charged along at full pelt and we both loved every minute.
The horses tend to get lively when you ride at this time of year. They are having plenty of food to keep them warm and they are getting less exercise than they do in the summer, mainly because of the short days.
If they use the extra energy to go forwards then that is great and good fun. Sometimes though they use it to shy. A plastic bag in the hedge, a pedestrian with an umbrella, a wheelie bin, they all give a great excuse for a bit of a sideways dance. A bit of drama.
I was thinking this through as we were jogging back on the road and I realised how horse behaviour keeps the rider mindful. If you drift off deep into thought when you are out on a ride and then your horse jumps at something it brings you right back to the moment. You sit up straight and pay attention. If on the other hand you are so alert that you are tense then your horse picks up on this and you are both too highly strung for it to be enjoyable.
The answer is finding a happy medium. If you can train your brain to pay attention at just the right level then you can cope with anything. This applies to everything in life, not just riding. You don’t want to be lost in thought to the extent that everything makes you jump out of your skin. Equally you don’t want to be so alert that you are tense and stiff because this stops you seeing the bigger picture and often limits your enjoyment.
Mindfulness helps us to achieve an attention that helps us to perform better in everything we do. We want to be alert but not tense. We also want to give ourselves opportunities to enjoy total relaxation when it is appropriate. This way our body and mind work well together.
Come on a Revitalise Day to learn more about the body mind connection and how it can work for you.