It is 2 o’clock on Friday afternoon. The sun is bright and warm, but it’s countered by the cool breeze. She hears that breeze as it moves through the leaves above. There is a pleasant sensation in her body as she pulls in a deep breath, in cadence to the hoofbeats.
A bird glides by and as her horse watches it for a moment, so does she.
Time is in that beautiful state where there is no rush, no urgency. Another breath in, the smells of horse hair, leather, and earth mix together.
There is no tension as she picks up the rein and they move together.
“Is this what it feels like?”
“Is this what it means to be connected? To be present?”
“Where is the worry, the what ifs?”
“Can it really be this simple?”
“How do I stay here?”
“How do I find this again?”
Whether you are riding down the trail, about to enter the show arena, or simply trotting around, from calm you can ride your best, you can be there for your horse, you can choose your challenge.
Every single one of us can access this calm. And we can access it even when others around us, including our horse, are not so calm.
It is not a special gift that only some people have to be calm, cool, and collected.
It is a skill that can be learned, cultivated.
And there are teachers that have been practicing and teaching this skill long before there was a yoga studio in every town and words like “mindfulness” became commonplace.
Cathy Woods is one of those teachers. Cathy studied yoga, meditation, and eastern teachings, translating them into simple practices for modern life, and more specifically, for the people she cares about most – horse people.
As riders, we have a challenge unique to other athletes.
Our mental state, presence, level of being in the “here and now” does not just affect our emotions and ability to use our skills, i.e. ride well.
Our mental state also affects our horse, our partner in this endeavor.
It starts with us.
And so, I invite you to join Cathy in this new program, In the Moment – a Rider Visualization Series.
The practices you will learn through this series are not theory, and they aren’t just some “woo-woo” technique.
Visualization is proven and it is used by top performers in every sport, and every walk of life.
See in your mind’s eye what you want, what you will be doing, and your body lights up. Muscles start firing, sequences activate. Your body is practicing that rising trot, easy canter transition, flying change at X, even though you are still sitting in the tack room.
See yourself handling your nervous horse’s spook, practice how you will breathe to calm yourself as you feel adrenaline kicking in.
THIS is what it means to prepare.
This is how 5 minutes can change your entire ride. Heck, your entire day.
This is what you will be learning in this new program.
Through this experience, relax, become more at ease, and notch down any nervous energy.
This program is designed to bring more mindfulness, a deeper relationship, and greater connection with your horse – from ground to saddle.
The guided practices can be done almost anywhere and are suitable for any discipline of riding or horsemanship. No prior meditation or visualization experience is required.
You can listen to these short 10-13 minute experiences at home, before going out to meet your horse, sitting in the tack room at your barn, or before a lesson, event, or trail ride.
Some are meant to be done while standing next to your horse, several can be listened and practiced while mounted, to guide you through mindfulness exercises.
The tools you will learn in this program are not only helpful in our horsemanship, but in our daily lives as well, helping us become more skilled human beings and better for our equine partners while deepening our connection with ourselves and with the world around us.
Cathy teaches her Mind. Body. Equine® Retreats at centers and ranches around the United States and in Iceland
She has authored the book Yoga for Riders, and as her students say, Cathy is the “real deal” when it comes to teaching mindfulness practices. She brings over 30 years experience to help her students understand true wellness, physically and mentally, and how it can transform their riding.
George J. Felos
Purchase Now for Guided Instructions to Find Calm and Connect to Your Horse
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