Confident Horseman exercise part 3...Change your mind, Change your horse

Riding Mercury Bridless requires me to be completely focused on what I want to have happen and not what bad and dangerous things could happen...

I will be offering for those who want to participate, a Flower Essence mix suggestion for a new approach to dealing with fear in the horse and person. It will complement the next exercise which has 3 steps to it, is the hardest but also the most powerful.

The next part of the exercise is:

Step 1: Learn how to identify fear coming up in yourself as it starts. Then recognize the fearful or negative thoughts that follow.
Example: "Oh my horse is scared of dogs, and hear comes one" the next thought may be "oh he's going to spook and I'm going to fall off!"
So this is how the fearful mind starts to gain power or the situation.

Step 2: Recognize the the thoughts coming up and make a choice to change them to a positive thought.
Example: "I am now changing my mind about this" We are walking calmly past the dog, and nothing is going to happen" You'll note I said "we" not the horse is going to. "We" is a team, a partnership. You can add calm deep breathing to release your own fear and tension and mirror to your horse. Two other very powerful exercises is to visualize you and your horse doing exactly what you'd like. So I'd see me and my horse walking calmly past the dog together. I'd see that picture in my mind and hold it and breath. Some of you may find it nearly inpossible to not visualize a bad experience so instead, I want you to visualize something calming and soothing that may have nothing to do with that moment. Examples would be a sunset, A beach, doing yoga, a hot bath, even a glass of wine! Hold that though until you can own it and the moment has passed. This takes practice but it does become a new thought pattern with time.

Step 3: I consider an advanced exercise and a goal to set for yourselves. It involves getting to the point where you don't even get to a place of fear anymore when a possible situation arises. This is when you have mastered the power of the mind.
Example: You are riding toward the dog and you immediately send a picture of the two of you walking calmly passed the dog. In this scenario you exhibit what I call Calm Leadership. You recognize the horses concern and using positive visualization. you "Lead" your horses mind to a calm place with yours. You maintain clear focus and your horse has confidence in your Leadership and guidance. We don't want our horse to feel like he has to take over every time he is afraid because we get just as frightened as him.

One other scenario I want to talk about is "Real" fear, necessary, sensible, self preservation fear. This is the voice that says "We are in real danger and we need to get safe. That is the time to listen to your instincts and stay as clear as possible. Try to learn the difference between your gut telling you the truth and your mind taking over control of clear thinking.

As for the Flower Essence part of this. There are Essences that can help release the grip of fear and "Stuck Thinking Patterns" I am offering to help anyone who may feel they need additional help of Flower  Essences to help release a really stuck pattern in themselves and or their horse. Respond in the comments section. Let me know how your confidence is improving!
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From Fearful to Confident Horsemanship...

Mercury has been a very good teacher to me about Calm leadership , focus and clear thinking...

Carrying on the theme for the last post of using positive thought patterns and breaking stuck thinking patterns, I want to continue with more ideas for working through and past fear. We cannot be seen in a leadership position if we are mirroring fear to our horses all the time.

People often want a trainer to make the horse fearless so they can be less afraid. But at the same time we need to work on our fears because a horse will mirror back whatever you are feeling. An example is a horse being calm when I work with him because I am exhibiting Calm Leadership. This same horse can be given back to his person who is afraid and the horse begins to mirror the person he is with. Horses are in the moment with whoever they are with. Some horses are generous and confident of nature and not as bothered by a person being fearful around them. Others are too un-confident themselves to have a person be the same.

If you find yourself in this situation, It is good to start breaking down the issues into little achievable goals. The first thing to do is to get an idea of what your fears really are.

There are three fears I see when working with people. 1. I am afraid of certain things but my horse is actually quite confident. In this scenario, you are working on your own fears and your horse may actually build confidence. 2. You are afraid of your horses behavior because you have had an accident or you think you could have one with him. So you are actually afraid of your horse. 3. You are afraid and your horse is afraid as well. You both need to work together to become more confident as a team. It also ok to find another partner if it seems like a better situation for both horse and person. Sometimes this is the best option.

So if you thought about those 3 categories and thought you might fit in one, you are on your way to becoming a more Confident horseman.

The exercise is to write down a list of what exactly you are afraid of and also what you are not afraid of. Be as detailed as possible. Also write down what you would like to be able to do as a goals that you are afraid to do now. If you would like to share these lists in the comments section, please do so as we can all learn from each others experience. I will post the next step in the next post.