Kathy made my day today! During a break in her lesson she told me she’s taken up walking at the mall. Today she walked two miles. More importantly, she confided, “I kept thinking about what we’ve been practicing in our riding lessons. I keep reminding myself to breathe, and put on my cloak!”
For people who are visual learners, I use a lot of imagery in my explanations. “Wearing the cloak” is one of my favorite and most effective visualizations to bring riders’ shoulders back into a supple but strong posture (exactly the opposite of how most of us march through our days!)
I ask the rider to picture the cloak clearly. What color is it? What kind of fabric is made out of? does it reach to your saddle or stream along your horse’s back and hindquarters? Now, as you ride forward, feel how it flows and billows behind you in the wind. The more senses you can involve in your visualization, the more effective the results. Go ahead! Try it Now!
Kathy realized that practicing good horsemanship doesn’t always require a horse. Good horsemanship requires acute body awareness and control. You can hone your awareness and improve that control while walking, driving, standing in line… where ever!
The habits that you carry on the ground carry over into the saddle. The silver lining in that cloud is that breakthroughs from the ground bring breakthroughs from the saddle.
As you walk the malls in search of the perfect gifts this season, I encourage you to seek your own breakthroughs!
Comment below and share your experiences–we love to hear from you!