“What is so important in our world right now, where everything is pulling us, is to slow down, rein it in (no pun intended!), and choose – what is important to you? – Jenna Knudsen

Are you familiar with the feeling of striving? Wanting to do it all, see it all, learn it all. 

Many of us, as riders and equestrians, are doers. We want to be the best for our horses, and as we learn more, we also realize how much we still don’t know. If you started riding later in life, you may also feel the pressure of “how many years do I still have to ride” pulling you to accomplish as much as possible NOW. 

I know the feeling of striving intimately, but horses have also taught me, time and time again, that all is most available when I pause, trust, and allow instead of bullishly trying to push ahead. 

For me, this happens when I have a training plan for one of my young horses, but they are balking, skittish, and distracted. The more I try to forge ahead, the greater the disconnect between us becomes. 

But when I pause, when I see them, when I allow what they need to change my agenda, our time together becomes so much more than what I had even planned. 

I have felt this in my riding as well. When riding in a clinic, or with one of my coaches, I can try so hard to feel what they are describing and it doesn’t come. But later, riding by myself, just having fun, I feel it, the opening for the understanding is there. 

For myself, I choose what is important for me and then channel my striving into being in the right situations. I agree to train the difficult horse, I sign up for the course, I go ride in the clinic, but once I’m there, I trust I will learn what I need. I trust it will all work out. 

Not only does it all work out, but the whole process becomes a lot more fun! 

In today’s video, meet Jenna Knudsen, coach of Leg Up Coaching here at HorseClass, to hear how to limit distractions and embrace what’s best for you. 

p.s. Interested in Leg Up Coaching – the community to bring you to your riding goals? Click Here to Learn More

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17 Responses

  1. Thank you for the good advice and reminder. One thing about never growing up with instant communication at hand has meant than I am not attached to my phone. I am displeased to see younger people on their phone while riding or so often the “coach” spending a good length of time on the phone and not watching the student or class! ‘Become a Single Tasker’, would be a good bumper sticker.

    1. I love that “Become a Single Tasker!” multitasking has become so glorified in our culture that we don’t even realize that it can be actually counterproductive to progress.

      Phones are a huge distraction and sometimes leaving them in your car at the barn is the best thing you can do 🙂

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  2. That was refreshing to watch-thank you. I’m a realtor so must be responsive to my phone pretty much all the time for my work. HOWEVER, when I am with my horse my phone stays in my car or tack trunk so I have the luxury taking time for myself and my horse. My horse deserves my full attention and it can be a big reset for me to be on horse time without any distractions.

    1. That is a fantastic idea! It is really hard to disconnect I’m sure but you deserve time to yourself Rebecca 🙂

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  3. Loved, loved this reminder… I take my horse out for a long hand walk during a summer evening when the sun is low in the sky and let him nibble grass – just for the pure pleasure of his company and the time of day. He doesn’t have to do anything for me but be my partner as we walk. Such peace!

  4. Great reminder— Human BEING! During this past year, when I get to the barn, I mute my phone and leave it in my tack trunk. It makes all the difference!!! Anxiety drops away and I can better ground in the present and BE present for my horse. He seems to appreciate this and loves to interact. This makes time at the barn seem timeless, even though there are large clocks visible from the cross-ties and both arenas! And the rest of my day feels more grounded.

    1. Amazing what a simple thing like leaving your phone behind can do to allow you to be more present, I’m sure your horse does really appreciate it 🙂

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  5. my cell phone always stays in the house or in the truck. I recently decided that I was trying to advance faster than my green horse was ready to go, Thankfully I came to my senses and made a slight retreat. I am an older rider returning to dressage and jumping after about 10 yrs and need to regain my form and confidence and allow my horse to gain his.

    1. Returning to basics and solidifying those foundational skills can help you progress to that next level even faster!

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  6. Yeah, I never take my phone, except when I ride out for safety concerns. I never use it except to take photos and then only sometimes. When I’m with my horse I don’t share that time with anything! Tuning in is delightful, glad you think so too! I love your Ideals. THanks for your encouragement.

  7. I so appreciated your messages, Callie & Jenna – particularly about slowing down. Today as I was about to mount my horse, my phone in my pocket twice pinged with incoming emails – so NOT the right timing! And so distracting for both my horse and me – we lost being “in the moment”. I consider the phone my safety net as I ride alone – but that was a great tip about turning off the sounds. Thanks for all your helpful videos.

    1. Great reason to leave your phone in the car or tack box – unless you carry it for safety reasons!

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  8. While White my horse I am out of time and space. I forget all about other tasks and things to do of the day. The aren’t gone, but loose some of their wheight. I first came into horse- contact at age of 48 and, gosh, I’ll never miss it. I’m still a poor rider (noch 55),I’m working on that. But caring for my horse, spending time with her and with the herd and doing things what ever with her- all that leads me to me.

  9. I made a commitment to my horse and my riding. I do not take my phone into the barn. m focus is 100% horse and his needs. My boss knows this as do the people I work with….horse time is my time…

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