Have you ever had an instructor say to you in words, or tell you, what to feel with your body?
...or how to feel something?
...or tell you where to place body parts - put your legs here, put your arms here?
Well, you're not the only one, because for all my love of horses and riding, I too have struggled with this and struggled a lot with the aids causing overwhelm.
And somehow I always struggled to find the inspiration that the aids is something that I really needed to focus on.
It was really difficult for me to be inspired about the idea that if your horse doesn't respond, you've got to get a lot louder. They're just not being obedient. They're not doing what you want them to do.
I want to share with you where I first really discovered how to feel.
I recently pulled out my notes from a clinic with Ray Hunt in 1996 and this is a quote from him, directly from his mouth, onto my piece of paper...
"If we feel of her and we feel for her, we both dance together." - Ray Hunt
And when I heard him say that it really hit a chord with me, I really wanted to learn a lot more from Ray. And so I did study with Ray for quite a few years, and went to several clinics. I took lots of notes and rode with him. And I learned a lot, but he was really the first person who showed me and told me about getting more than just the aids and obedience to the aids, which I was enjoying learning about.
There are so many levels of feeling aren't there?
But first, back to this clinic that I attended with Ray hunt and hearing that quote in 1996, that's where I really started to look deeper into how to feel and how a rider feels.
Chris and her horse Merlin...
It's portrayed sometimes as this great big mystery, it's not a mystery.
And I know you may be thinking at this point in time, I'm not gonna be able to get there, or I don't have the time to do this, or I don't have the money. I don't have the ability, the space, whatever, I don't have the discipline, whatever it is fill in the blank of what you don't have that's holding you back.
This is why I developed my Harmony For the Horse Program. I wanted a system for riders where they could learn for themselves, how to feel. So they could learn for themselves, and so they could learn for their horses, how actually how to feel.
CLICK HERE to discover more about our Program.
How to feel your horse in 3 steps:
1. Riders relate to the horse in the horse's own language - this is where when your horse looked at you your horse could read you, could watch you, could feel you, and then go back and say, "I know exactly what she's asking of me. I'm confident I'm clear, I'm able."
2. Riders educate themselves and have an epiphany away from the horse - a way that riders can have epiphanies off of the horse. This is a place where you can start to feel and you can really deeply start to feel. And you know what, there's an added benefit to this...it does is it creates an immense trust between the two of you.
It builds trust faster than anything else, because you are connecting through the truth of the horse - movement. When you connect with the horse through movement, and through your intuition, and through your feelings...that's all connected into the movement.
We're not separating those things out. When you've connected with the horse on their truth, which is the movement, then you build trust faster than anything else.
3. Riders have a way to describe their movement process, to have a way to have this information (you can't get this anywhere else except from our program, or from me, or in my private group). To describe movement and process that's unique to you and your horse.
So it's not somebody, it's not an instructor, telling you what to do. They're not telling you where to place your legs, where to place your hands. Instead, you're using the physics of your body, and the physics of your horse's body, uniting the two of them in a perfect and very effective, efficient movement way.
Another benefit here is that it spills over into your everyday life, our students notice that it's not just about riding, it's about everyday life,
"How do I do the dishes?" or "How do I sit in the car?" or "How do I walk?"
If you get a chance to work with us in our program, this is what you can expect...
It's relatable to the horse, we want to talk through the truth of the horse, which is our intuition, what our feelings are, what we feel in our heart, and what we feel in our movement, how that comes across to the horse is all very important.
And that can be in Liberty, it can be In Hand or it can be Riding your horse.
This is what we do first... #1. Our Body
Once we get in tune with our bodies, and we can see how our bodies are really functioning from our spine, from our whole body connecting and uniting we can then see how we move from our body first.
We do use our hands, we do use our arms, but they're not extraneous, they're just an addition.They're just a very effective addition to our bodies.
That's where it all starts. And we start on the rebounder. It's an amazing, fabulous tool, to help our riders to actually hone in on what their movement is.
Because on the rebounder, you're dealing with physics. You're up in the air, you can't pretend? What connections you have with your body is what you've got. And its truth.
We find our movement and find our balance.
#2. Seek Balance
How we educate ourselves is to seek balance, the holy grail of riding for our horses for us is seeking balance. We are continually seeking balance.
And I want to relate this to dance partners. I like to do that because I am a previous dancer. If you had a dance partner who was out of balance, and you were out of balance, how do you think that would end up?
Do you think someone who is out of balance could then help a dance partner who is also out of balance, somebody has to be in balance in order to help the other being.
So that's, again, why I chose the rebounder, because it teaches you ultimately about balance.
And all the exercises we do on the rebounder, are about balance and how to feel your specific balance as it relates to your environment and your world around you.
It's going to be different for me than what it is for somebody else. It's not going to be the same. I'm not going to tell you words on how you are supposed to feel yourself balancing. It's going to be unique to you.
#3. Keep It Simple
This movement process for riders also needs to be very simple.
Because in order to maintain something in order to sustain it, it needs to be simple. It can't be complicated.
And what are the aids and the application of the aids?... they're complicated, it's very complicated.
How can a human being possibly keep all of that in mind, and keep track of it all and keep track of what their horse is doing underneath them?
And perhaps keep track of an instructor telling them words that they're supposed to take in, change their body, listen to their horse, it's absolutely impossible. It's just not physically, it's not humanly possible to be able to do that with our brains and our nervous systems and have the right timing with our horses!
Complicated is not going to work.
Along with being simple on the rebounder, you can't help but learn about yourself and how you move. It's not something that you can choose to do differently. You can't help but learn.
You're building good, pure movement for yourself.
It's soft and easy movement that doesn't cause fatigue.
If you're fatigued, either on the rebounder or In Hand, or anywhere with your horse, then that's the time to take your rest, because if you become fatigued then you're not being efficient, and you're not being effective. And you may be geting tense. So then your horse is going to worry because you're tense.
The rebounder is a very simple way to show you, when that is happening to show you when you're getting fatigued, to show you when tensions are coming in, so that you can teach yourself what that feels like.
It's very easy for you to keep the commitment to yourself with this process, which is also very important. It's like a promise. It's like a promise to yourself, that I'm going to do this for myself, I'm going to learn this, and it's a promise to your horse that then the horse promises back to you.
Until you promise it to yourself, your horse can't possibly promise it back to you.
You're connecting with their truth, you have a promise, otherwise, it's not sustainable. Doing the aids and the obedience to the aids is just not sustainable. So now become a part of the magic... and it really does become magic...
CLICK HERE to discover how to FEEL YOUR HORSE.
Let's talk about some of the students in our program...
They get the feeling on the rebounder, and then they go to their horse, and it feels like magic, the expression on some of their faces is just unbelievable, where they're like, "Oh, it's working, it's happening." And I'm not doing a lot, all I'm doing is focusing on the feeling and how I know my body moves.
So part of the magic is this deep process. We go deeper and deeper into this to help you to get very, very crystal clear on your own movement. Then we go very deep into your horse's movement and help you to get very crisp, crystal clear on your horse's movement.
And yes, our students, watch videos. But then the real magic happens is when we get to ask you questions that help you to explore yourself more, and help you to explore your own body more.
So it's not me telling you what to do, or it's not the application of the aids to you or to your horse. It gets into the point where it's a deep exploration. And how we do that is we ask you very pivotal questions. And this is where it makes all the difference.
Nobody can do this on their own.
If you want support finding how you feel your horse so you can be confident, joyful and on top of the world with your horse... CLICK HERE to schedule a call with us!