Mindfulness for Your Horse Riding Experienceadmin
How Can Mindfulness Enhance Your Horse Riding Experience?
Horses have long been known to be incredibly sensitive creatures, capable of recognising a great deal more than we can fully comprehend.
A horse’s gentle nature seems to blend seamlessly with mindfulness and why mindful approaches are commonly used within the equestrian world.
The cohesive relationship of mindfulness with horses continues to grow in popularity among horse riders, as more people are discovering the benefits for both the rider and the horse.
What is Mindfulness with Horses?
Mindfulness as a concept is about being present and bringing your awareness to the here and now. In doing so, you quiet the mind and your state changes to one of peace and balance.
A mindful interaction with a horse is a silent and interpersonal connection and relationship. It is a way of communicating with your horse in a purely non-verbal way.
This harmonious connection creates a closeness that is quite indescribable. To fully appreciate and comprehend this incredible state, it has to be experienced.
To get into a mindful state all you need to do is quiet your mind and sense into your surroundings.
You can do this by focusing on the external environment – the feeling of your feet as they touch the ground, the sound of the wind rustling the leaves in the trees, seeing the vivid colour of the flowers in the meadow, feeling the coolness of the air as it touches your skin. You get the idea.
Put simply – focus on what you can see, hear and feel inside and all around you.
This mindful process instantly takes you out of your head, it relaxes your muscles and slows down your breathing.
Not only is this a wonderful feeling for you, but also for your horse. If you are doing this in the vicinity of horses, you may well find they naturally gravitate towards you in this balanced state of awareness.
When we feel stressed it has a physical effect on our bodies. Any tension in our muscles is felt by the horse, and this can cause them to tense up in response.
Using mindfulness in the saddle can have much of the same benefits as on the ground. However, it has the power to completely transform your riding experience. You may well find a mindful ride to be one of the most relaxing and enjoyable riding experiences you have ever had.
As you are now in a calm state, you are more likely to relax easily in your seat, your legs will hold less tension and your movement will be more in harmony with your horses – moving together, in one fluid motion.
You will be able to fully take in the riding experience and perhaps even notice more things than you would have before trying this approach. This approach applies to a laid-back hack or in the dressage arena. Interacting with your horse in this way can only be of benefit to you both and it could even improve your performance.