The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:20 pm 
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I'm not a very spiritual/zen-like being, actually rather the opposite, 8) but when I was walking to Speedy's pasture today, I suddenly thought:'My God, is this really how you're going to start the session today?'
I actually had planned to spend our time together in the paddock just relaxing, doing completely nothing at all, but my thoughts when approaching the paddock were in a kind of frenzy: 'Did I put enough hay in the paddock for him to eat? Check! Water? Check? Did I bring my bag for me to do stuff while he's doing stuff? Did I bring the right book? What if I get bored? Is this the right rope?? ...' :funny:

So then I thought: I need to stop this. And I invented...

The Five Step Horse Meditation :green:
How it's done:
- Walk five steps.
- Halt
- Take a slow breath
- Count to five.
And repeat.

That's all. Don't try to count or walk extra slow or meditative, don't try to match the speed of the walking and counting: just walk, just count, and observe.


The great thing for me about this is that it involves everything at the same time: body, brain, breathing - while often meditation techniques focus on one and the rest of me goes insane. 8)
I noticed that within the first five steps all thoughts on the paddock were gone and instead I was over-focussing on my speed & counting? At first my walking was fast, and the counting was slow, and then the other way round, and then tried to forece them to be the same but that didn't work, 8) and then after a couple of repetitions they were coming together without me doing anything at all, and I didn't think about the beathing, actually I wasn't thinking about anything anymore and then I just strolled towards Speedy that way untill the counting stopped and I was feeling completely relaxed and fuzzy in the brains, ;) not thinking about anything else than being there with Speedy at that moment.

(I have no idea why I suddenly thought of this exercise, but I guess I've based it on the fact that I often see horses do a similar thing when grazing; walking a few steps, then stopping and grazing, then walking a few steps etc. And well, if horses do something, it must be good! :green: )
(And, being a very goal-oriented person, of course I liked it also because I could do it while getting stuff done = walking to the pony 8) )

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:45 pm 
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That's a nice thing to do, Miriam! I usually do something similar. At least I never approach the horses in a direct line - always in a zig-zag with multiple stops in between. and I try to do some conscious deep breaths as well, I found that that really helps.
Sometimes I use another very simple technique to put myself into the right mood and energy level - I simply run. Actual running is for me something I never do in normal life. I walk fast, yes, but I never run. And since running always brings with it a taste of childhood for me, it is the perfect warm up exercise for me when I go to Mucki ;).

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
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Location: provincie Utrecht
oh my lady...go with the flow....
that's the first basic thoughts of WHR and so what if you have forgotten something? you are still with your horse...and he's with you...and yes the connection will be there if you let it all go....
You have a nice meditation found...


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:55 pm 
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This is also a superb way to overcome the desire for the horse to follow. You know...when we walk we so desperately want the horse to be connected that we project an anxiety straight through our backs like arrows at the horse. And they want nothing to do with it! :funny:

This is ideal for that situation as well. Be with ourselves, be inside ourselves...and the horse thinks, "what are you thinking about?" and become curiously connected... :thumright:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:49 pm 
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Thanks, Inge & Karen! :sun:

I actually did it last night in bed as well. 8) My thoughts kept racing and then I thought, okay, slow down: five steps - breathe - count to five. (I visualised the steps by the way, I didn't walk in circles on the bed ;)). And it worked!

Funny thing, I only thought of it as an exercise to calm myself down, but never thought it might have an effect on the horse too. Interesting idea, Karen! :yes:

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:12 am 
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Miriam wrote:
Thanks, Inge & Karen! :sun:

I actually did it last night in bed as well. 8) My thoughts kept racing and then I thought, okay, slow down: five steps - breathe - count to five. (I visualised the steps by the way, I didn't walk in circles on the bed ;)).


I ride tempi changes in my mind. Right, 2, 3, 4 Left, 2, 3, 4 :funny: :funny: :funny:

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"Ride reverently, as if each step is the axis on which the earth revolves"


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:59 pm 
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:)


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