Mindfulness You and Your Horse
This week we are touching on mindfulness, not just in everyday life, but also being around your horse.
- Do you know what Mindfulness means?
- Are you aware of the incredible benefits from practising Mindfulness? Have you tried meditation?
- Did you know mindfulness can go along way whilst you are at the yard, horses being hyper sensitive to how we are feeling?
If you aren’t aware of or are a little unsure as to what Mindfulness is all about, please read on.
You will never have to tell your horse you are sad, happy, confident, angry or relaxed; he knows long before you do! Whilst we can fool another human with words, we can never fool our horses. Our emotions and moods are language to our horses. So just being aware of your emotions is key and the largest part of mindfulness.
Your Mindset and Horses
Helping our mindset will in turn help our horses. Everyday we have between 60k-80k thoughts. Many of these can be negative or stress enhancing. Being mindful of our thoughts can have a profound impact on our lives. Stress is the biggest factor here and has a huge impact on both our physical and mental health, increasing cortisol (stress hormone) levels in our body. Too much stress and cortisol can affect our sleep or leave us feeling drained, which isn’t great if you want to train and ride. This knock on effect of stress is profound if your mood is also low.
Just Take A Deep Breath
There are many simple techniques to mitigate this, from tuning into your breath (you’ve heard the saying - “take a deep breath”) and 5 senses, to guided meditations and journaling.
This is something we need to work on everyday. Feeling better is an accumulation of all the small things we do time and time again. Over time and with constant awareness of our thoughts and feelings, this creates transformation and TRUE sense of wellbeing.
Meditation is one of the most popular Mindfulness tools. Even 10-15 minutes following a guided mediation can make the world of difference to our mental health.
Next week, we’ll touch upon mediation and connecting with your horse, enhancing that magical bond you already have together, but for now, we’ll leave you with one of many breathing methods to help lower stress and those cortisol levels. Being mindful about how you feel and knowing to use a breathing method (as many times a day as you like!) will have a profound affect on your mind and body.
The 5-5-5 Breathing Method
- Inhale very slowly through your nose for 5 seconds.
- Exhale very slowly through your nose or mouth for 5 seconds.
- Simply wait for another 5 seconds and then repeat the process three more times (1 minute total).