Have you ever had a magical moment, where across the room your eyes meet a perfect strangers? Immediately the two of you seem to breathe in and out at the same time, and start to walk to each other. As you approach, time slows down… your world shrinks to a magic bubble that only contains the two of you… afterwards you don’t remember anything but a wave of timelessness and magic.
This mindfulness – awareness of the moment – translates to the horse who reciprocates with full attention. The two of you synch and the dancing magic begins….
When starting out, some tips:
1.) Remove distractions. Don’t have an audience that you speak with. If you need someone around for safety, make sure it’s someone you feel comfortable making mistakes and who is not rushed and patient with the time you need.
2.) Spend a lot of time with your horse doing nothing. Realize as you “do nothing” your mind keeps breaking away to skitter back to ‘real’ life (i.e. bills, errands, what you should be doing, boredom, worry, etc…) Keep returning to blankness, where only the horse and what he is doing now matters. This is a Horse Meditation for me.
3.) Work the horse slowly. Have no objections but watching, listening and responding. As the horse moves you do so in concert. Notice the body posture of those working their horses. Their tall carriage, movement with the pelvis, the energy of their movements, and the give and take as the horse settles with this new idea of working together.
4.) Don’t expect it all to synch in one go – or even two. Like any partnership it takes time to become easier to understand each other.
5.) Whenever you find you can’t hold the focus any longer, end on a good note. If that means you only got 10 minutes done, so be it. Concentration and focus comes with practice.
6.) Do less. Whenever you feel your horse or you is getting frustrated, cut down on your movements, pressure and expectations. All horses can regain their sensitivity to us, given the time to be rewarded with that return focus.
Time to Dance!