My meditation I created for riders! ^
At this point, I think we all know the benefits of meditation, whether it be first hand knowledge or just a nagging thought that we should really start doing that...I hope the meditation I created can help push some of my fellow equestrians to take the leap. Through my own experience I have found my riding has become much "cleaner" once I was able to really focus in on my body. Without distracting thoughts, the sensations in the body become much stronger, and so the feedback mechanism between you and your horse becomes much clearer. Think of listening to music in a crowded room (your thoughts) vs. listening to music in a quiet room, with your headphones on. My mind is clear and so my commands are clear and so, my rides become much more controlled and effective. Training takes less time and when resistance comes up in a ride, I can see exactly where it came from, thereby placing "blame" where it is warranted and figure out ways around it (or through it) the next time I ride. If you can't write out what exactly you did during your ride and where things went right or wrong, then I suggest meditating before (and during!). Meditation has removed those frustrating rides from the past where everything went to sh*t and I had no idea why me and my horse were both so sweaty at the end of it! There are no more unnecessary power struggles or frustration (at least on my behalf). This doesn't mean every command is immediately obeyed and there aren't rough patches, it just means when they come up I have full confidence they will subside again because I deeply understand what has happened and WHY. I start to identify the horses strengths, weaknesses, and their triggers CONSCIOUSLY. I have noticed a lot of riders (myself included in the past) unconsciously avoid our horses triggers in an attempt to keep the horse happy and the ride easy. This is one of the biggest problems, and why so many horses are hopelessly (not really) crooked. Once you are able to get a clear mind, you'll be able to consciously work through your horses weak spots and issues and catch yourself BEFORE you adopt or act out of habit. I often have my students say they don't know what to work on when not in a lesson and I totally understand (especially with the way I teach-a comment every couple seconds sometimes!). I feel however, that this comes from lack of clarity in the mind. Every time I sit on a horse I just ask questions...I gentle close my calf, do you want to listen to a gentle aid today and go forward? I listen for the horses answer and go from there...that is how the ride continues until I feel accomplished. I understand that is very vague but I think you get the point- just stay totally present and your horse will show you what needs working on that day-theres only so many movements you can do on a horse- forward, back, and to the side. Play with each until you find something that isn't perfect and work on perfecting that one thing and then check and see how sweaty you and the horse are- simple!