It is a myth that relaxed people cannot achieve their dreams. It is the thinking which equates being hurried, competitive and being able to handle more and more stress is the sign of an achiever. Relaxed people and horses can be achievers. Enormous amounts of energy are used being hurried, competitive and stressed. It prevents you connecting with inner peace, which is magnetic to horses.
Horses are drawn to relaxed, peaceful people who demonstrate calm assertive horsemanship. They need a calm partner especially when stressed, fearful, anxious or tense. You can learn the art of relaxation with techniques that tap into the language of the herd. If the art of relaxation is mastered you can teach your horse to relax and look to you for guidance, be calm and think rather than react.
What inhibits relaxation? Answer: It is some personal inner struggle. For others it is high levels of anxiety, fear, stress or depression. The barriers that prevent you relaxing can be linked to life events, some are deep rooted, cultural or health related. Often people cannot identify what is the root cause and see the effects with their horse, as horses are divine mirrors to our energy state. A horse can reflect back at you what is going on in your life. Some folk have lost touch with what relaxation feels like. Some people find it hard to switch off from their fast paced lives, heavy responsibilities, never ending to do list, etc…. They feel the urge to be doing. We are human beings not human doings. Some of us have lost touch with simply being, slowing down, doing nothing, relaxing, being calm and finding inner peace. Try just being with your horse. Not as easy as it sounds. This inner struggle is a sign that things need to change.
As a culture we don’t place much value on relaxing. We are raised to take on more and more pressure, and live fast paced lives. Stress, anxiety, worry are so common in this world. Fact - It is impossible to be tense, worried, and anxious or stressed at the same time as being relaxed. They are polar opposites. Naturally horses don’t sign up to stress, anxiety in the herd, they value harmony, relaxation and calmness. Yet horses do suffer from stress, anxiety, fear, tension because of modern management practices and training approaches to the horse. There are so many benefits relaxation brings; here I have listed just a few:
- Higher achievement and better communication
- Open mindedness and creativity
- Faster, clearer learning plus easier problem solving
- Control of situations, it takes the drama out
- Better understanding, control of emotions, and a balanced state of mind
- Increase in calmness
- Reduction of anxiety and stress
- Decrease muscle tension
- Lower blood pressure
- A better quality of life
- An awareness of everything around you
- It is great for physical and mental health and wellbeing
The key to success is learning to value relaxation, and see the positive impact it can bring to your life. Then you need to actively incorporate relaxation into your daily life. Yes relaxation can be practiced anywhere, anytime and in any situation. There are techniques you can do that are invisible to those around you. In horsemanship it can be practiced on your journey to the yard, during yard duties, on the ground with your horse and in the saddle.
Relaxation is a technique to learn and master. There are many techniques: meditation, breathing, visualisation, yoga, exercise, etc.… Many cross the species divide. I teach people many different relaxation techniques that are also embedded into the language of the herd. I provide one to one tutoring and workshops. It is great to fully explore different techniques. Some you may find easier than others, as it's a skill that needs practice. Practice makes perfect. Once you are able to tap into relaxation you can actively choose that as a tool to compliment your horsemanship communication.
Turn up with a relaxed inner peace and your horse will notice. If this is a huge change your horse may be puzzled. Where did the high energy, buzzy, stressed, anxious person go? Keep test driving being a relaxed calm assertive partner to your horse. Tap into using relaxation, intent, balanced energy and calm assertiveness and take your horsemanship to another level. Notice how other areas of your life will benefit too.