In my DVD I talk about the synergy between Yoga and Natural Horsemanship. One of the synergies I have found is listening. Listening to your body and listening to your horse. I came off my horse last week and it was because I did not listen to her. I had been on/off her all day no problem which is very normal. However, when it was 4 pm, I was ready to mount and ride back home. Her mind was set on getting to the barn, time to eat! I knew the right thing was not to mount, but I was direct line… after all I needed to get her back home, fed and ready for riding in the early evening... I didn’t want to waste my time doing the right thing and get her mind back with me, because it would take too long…. Hmmmm. I mounted, rode for awhile toward home as she was head long with one thing on her mind, and BAM, a dog came chasing over a hill and she went straight up and in the opposite direction and let’s just say I dismounted from her high point in mid air right then and there. I should have LISTENED and MODIFIED accordingly and again I KNEW before I mounted it was not the savvy thing to do. But, I had a plan and taking the time it takes wasn’t in my plan on that particular day, in that particular moment…Hmmmm.
I was not hurt, but extremely sore and it caused me then to do the right thing and LISTEN to my BODY and take the time it took to get my full yoga practice back. So, this time I did listen. I waited 2 days to do a yoga practice and when I went to the mat, my right arm could not lift my body in high to low plank, so I aborted, I went back to the mat a day later and I could do it, but there was a lot of tension so I modified my practice to do only the postures that would not put more strain on my healing body and within 4 days I was in my full practice modifying where I needed and by day 5, I was executing my full practice, like I never was injured.
It is humbling to write that I did not follow my own prescription with my own horse. But, I am writing this because it brought home to me the reality of how commonplace it is for us to have an agenda with our practice or an activity with our horse and we push through the threshold which can cause serious injuries and confidence issues in our horse and us. I rode Kip that day to work, over lunch, a 1/2 mile to get mail, and then had the issue later in the day. My thought pattern was “Hey, she was great all day today, she will be fine.”
It is important that we remember to stay in the moment, listen to our horse, and/or our bodies on that day and in that moment not looking at what happened before or what we believe should happen. When you go to the mat, remember to listen to your body. What you did with excellence yesterday may not be the case today. You may notice shoulder pain, knee pain, back pain, when you notice it, modify and if needed come back to childs pose and just breathe and rejoin the practice when you are ready. Real inner strength is to set our agenda’s and goals aside and listen to our body, not push our body beyond its limits. It is not about meeting an end point, it is about where your body is at on that particular day, in that particular moment. Same goes for the horse, really listening to what your horse is telling you and what he needs from you in that moment, this goes a long way in building a relationship and preventing an injury to you or your horse as well as shaking your horse or your own confidence.
I write this as a reminder to all of us, to LISTEN and MODIFY accordingly.
Let me know how you are coming along in your practice and what you are noticing in your everyday life and horsemanship. Join ZennerYoga facebook group and post your progress or write me with questions at email@example.com. This will help me help you and others at the same time!