Trail riding is a wonderful way for both horse and rider to relax.
I think that the best part of trail riding are the sounds. It can be so quiet that you can hear every bird chirping and all the animals playing in the woods. Believe it or not you can even begin listening to your horses hoof beats. Trail riding with other people is fun, but when you ride by yourself you are so much more aware of your breathing, your thoughts and your own feelings.
Have you heard the saying “Become one with your horse?”, Well if you are relaxed, quite, and open enough, the most amazing feeling of you and your horse being connected will come to you.
I have learned so much by just doing nothing. Many people are against doing nothing and think it is wrong but not for me. Horses have the most amazing ways of teaching and helping us. I learn so much when I trail ride.
Scribbles, one of my horse was very unsure of herself when I got her. She was like a teen that was lost and very confused. Most people would have taken this perfect horse and asked her to keep being perfect. Not me. No one is perfect and if they are they life must be very stressful. So I started listening to what she needed and what she liked. I learned so much about her just walking down a trail. She didn’t know how to relax undersaddle. So she learned that trail riding is a way that she can relax and unwhind.
I know that not everyone has horses and not everyone has trails, but there are ways you can get this feeling in you home or park. For everyone at home just take a blanket and head out to your back yard and lay down. Now don’t think about work or school, just think about your breathing. Relax and listen to the sounds around you. Pick one sound and focus on it. As you are doing this you need to hold yourself at the highest good. What I mean by this is think of a time when you felt really good about yourself and you felt that sense of accomplishment. I tell the kids I work with to say “I Rock” or I”I am the Bomb” or something like that. You can now begin to think about your business or your life. But you have to let thoughts flow to you not go out searching for them.
End your session by saying thank you. It doesn’t matter who you are saying it towards but graitude is very powerful. Gratitude is the glue in the brings things together.
For those of you that have horses. Get on you horse bare back and go to your horse’s pasture or someplace he can graze. As he is relaxing you need to begin by taking deep breaths. Think about how much you care for your horse. Now close your eyes and raise your hands above your head. Breath in deeply. As you are doing this feel you horse under you. Now relax your arms back at your sides and start stoking you horses neck. With each stroke breath deep and think about where you want to go with you horse. Is it to win the next Three-Day Event or just to become closer to your horse. This process should take no less the 15 minutes. Make sure that you thank you horse and do something nice for him after.
You will begin to build a close connection not only with your horse but also with yourself, and your connection to all things.
In Natural Horsemanship you will begin to be more aware of your connection with your horse and deepen your ability to communicate without words.
Try this and let me know how it was for you. Share your stories or upload a video to share.
Danielle Herb, The Horse Listener