Whether it's on foot working with your horse or you are about to throw your leg over an unknown mount breathing plays a big part in the connection to your horses.
Most of us have breathing issues regardless of horses but in this article I want to explain and focus on Equestrian breathing.
Horses being prey animals and prone to flight, energetically are much more sensitive to the disposition of their human. Once trained to follow on the ground and from the saddle horses tune in to the Alfa in command. Be it posture or the connected energy you are creating in the lead rope or reins this is what they respond to most.
Have you ever got on your horse angry and cranky with someone and you have the worst ride! You couldn't let go. You replayed your frustration over in your head. The escape you sought was unfounded and I bet you can't remember if you ever took a conscious breath the whole ride.
The horse feels everything from you. They don't have the ability to decipher through your emotions they simple take all things personally which makes them our greatest healers and teachers.
There are times when we have a bad day and we get on our horse and we are able let go of pent up anger and frustrations allowing us to get in the "Zone" and we dismount feeling much better and grateful to our horse. Breathing is the facilitator to get in that zone.
When we ride we want to leave all thoughts of last night or the grocery list behind. It's quite like a meditation.
Here is a simple breathe exercise to do before each horse encounter - be it to do barn chores or to ride.
Sit down. It's only going to take a couple mins.
This can be in your car when you pull up to the barn or right after your coffee before you walk over to do your morning feed.
Close your eyes.
Deep breath in through the nose all the way down to your belly extending it out ( yes we want to be big and fat for this breath lol) then hold for 3 sec.
Let your held breath slowly out through your mouth with a sigh. Hold for 3 sec.
Repeat 3 and 4 for 5 straight breathes.
Open your eyes and you are ready for your horse.
One deep breathe as you mount and exhale as you sit will set the energy for the ride.
Breathing is a necessity which we obviously do naturally to survive. Most of us are shallow breathers which creates nervous energy giving way to distraction and is quite frustrating to our horses too.
This breathing exercise will change your focus and make your energy more grounded and welcoming to the horse who relies on you for his lead. I have also learned that it is greatly appreciated by equestrian husbands too!! lol