What does it mean to empower yourself with your horse and where do you begin? When you’re empowered you feel more in tune to your horse which yields a better connection. You’re able to set a goal or intention you want to accomplish with your horse and believe that you have a really good possibility you will achieve it! When you are empowered, you will feel good about yourself and it will improve your self-esteem and self-confidence. It is not uncommon to experience difficulties and setbacks. It happens but you must learn to view them as learning experiences that in the end will make you stronger. You take each day as it comes and appreciate all that you have. You learn to be grateful whether it is for your health, your friends, a job or simply that inner peace and contentment you feel while being with your horse. Empowerment is also about being authentic, honest and true to yourself and your horse. It’s recognizing your gifts and talents and ability to connect with your horse and earn his/her trust. Is this something that interests you? The following are a few ideas on how to empower yourself with your horse.
Give Yourself a Period of Exploration
You might be feeling disempowered because you’re stuck in a rut. You can’t pick up the right lead or sometimes post on the wrong diagonal and you don’t have a clear idea on how to correct it and move on to something else. Perhaps you’re just bored with your horse in general and need a new reason to ride. Give yourself permission to take a six to 12 month length of time and try some new things with your horse. These new things do not require being related to your area of unhappiness. You just want to get some energy moving in your life and challenge yourself a little. Ideas might include taking some lessons, riding in a clinic, experiment with a new discipline, or try trail riding and explore someplace new.
Focus on What You Enjoy with Your Horse
I have discussed many times how intuition is like our inner GPS. It’s always pointing us towards success, joy and greater happiness. There are many ways to hear its wisdom. One way is to pay attention when something feels draining, boring or uninteresting. That’s your intuition saying “do not do this.” On the other hand, when you feel drawn to something, energized or excited, that’s your inner wisdom telling you “This is the better way to go!” Again, just be open to what shows up for you right now. You don’t have to figure out a big new goal or how you’re going to achieve it through exploring this new interest. Just keep taking next steps in the right direction with your horse’s best interests in mind.
Move Your Body-Not Just Your Horse’s Body
Before you groan about the word EXERCISE, think about how it could make your ride better. Perhaps the idea of working out with a bunch of rugged, in-shape people at your local gym makes you want to crawl back under the covers. If that’s the case, what do you enjoy? You might like something simpler, like a leisurely stroll, a bike ride or a beginner yoga class. Start where you are. Getting stronger and having more stamina and energy is a great way to feel good about yourself and in return will make you a better and stronger rider.
Think of Someone You Admire
Imagination is a powerful tool in becoming more empowered. Think for a moment about someone you admire. Perhaps it’s someone in your group of friends and family. It could be a local horse trainer where you currently live, or an historical equestrian figure like someone who won the Olympics. Close your eyes for just a moment. Bring this person to mind and really feel those qualities you admire about them. Are they powerful, kind, full of vision and purpose? Do they have a great work ethic when it comes to horses? Use the power of your mind to imagine riding or training with that person. How do you feel in their presence? What would they say to you right now to encourage you? Psychologists say that using your mind in this way actually boosts our self-confidence.
Have More Fun
Sometimes life just sucks. You may be going through a tough time right now and have lost some confidence in your horse abilities. What could you do to make this time a little less difficult and a little more inspiring? Is there a friend you could invite over to hang out with and elevate your mood? Is there something fun and inexpensive in your local community like a horse fair, equine demonstration, a clinic or convention that you could plan to attend? What’s “fun” is different for each individual. You may be the creative type who gravitates to horse art and crafts. Or you may be the person who loves all things techie. Honor yourself and your interests, but sometimes it is okay to do something non-horsey. Or perhaps you might want to do something different with your horse. If you are a dressage rider, you could try taking trail ride. If you are a trail rider, you could try learning a training level test.
No matter what your fancy, sometimes we need to step away from what we know, learn something new or experience something different. In the end, it will ultimately make us better partners with our horse. I challenge you today to try something new, but most of all don’t forget to enjoy your horse!
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