Let your Horse Help You
At Cavallo, we chat with horse people all day and it seems most of us are doing pretty well. We live in the country and enjoy a rural setting. We all have our animals to keep us from feeling too much isolation. Let your horse help you! They are often the best companions anyway. During this time, people are out riding their horses, and they are calling us for the best value in durable hoof protection. We’re happy to have a chat, and we’re very busy getting horses into hoof boots.
Unfortunately, not everyone is doing as well. For example, my neighbour is negatively affected by this pandemic. By the news, the fear, and the anxiety around Covid. She’s not alone. I just had a woman in a store demand that I stop staring at her. I wasn’t, but I understand that the amount of distancing and whether people are wearing masks has many people really upset.
These folks are placing their frame-of-reference on the external forces around them and forgetting to refer to themselves and nurture their own internal states. They’re letting the news run the show. My friend has a hard time looking inward and is continuously being distracted by the media. She lost her horses last year, and I now see how important they were to her happiness. They helped her focus, be quiet and connect with nature. That’s what horses do. Let your horse help.
Connect with Yourself Instead of Covid
Connecting to the essence of nature changes our perception. The fear of the events, circumstances, people, and things becomes less impactful. While we’ll never have that innate connection that horses do (we’re simply wired differently as a separate species), we are still part of nature and can work to increase our connectivity to the natural patterns of the world. We can do this by hanging around our horses. It can provide a lot of comfort.
I would rather sit quietly with my horse than being disturbed by all the news. Horses give us a reality check and help us put perspective on what matters.
A simple way to start calming down is to focus on breathing, finding a rhythm, feeling the rise and fall of your diaphragm, becoming aware of your heartbeat. It takes time, but as you practice and master control (or at least awareness of your breathing), you become more in a flow and attuned to the rhythms of nature, of the universe. You start to realize that the life form of your horse and you are somewhat interwoven. You’re both alive, breathing the same air, hearts beating in sync. It’s very uplifting.
Being Horsey: Your Super-Power
Being in this quiet place with our horse, free of the fear of the ‘what’s ifs’ and the ruminating thoughts is very calming. Alternatively, it’s hard to connect with your horse when you’re wondering if that guy in the store has Covid and why the woman was sneezing everywhere without a mask. Humans have more than 60,000 thousand thoughts a day. That’s quite a distraction. And most of them are meaningless.
Our horses don’t do this. They are present, and you will benefit if you meet them in present time. How do you do it? Through stillness and noticing. You don’t usually detect the beat of your heart or the cadence of breathing. You don’t usually perceive how your lungs are sustaining you by working as your breathing apparatus. But once you find the stillness, the awareness, and the noticing, you will find joy. You’ll find the joy in seemingly little things, like your beautifully functioning organs.
Some people sit and meditate. Some can find connection through a walk in the forest. And horse people can find it through being with or riding their horse. Regardless of how you find it, once you do, you can lose your cares and worries.
Let your Horse Help Enable the Silence
Some may think this is something “flaky” or for those who live in a fairy tale. But we don’t have to go far to find real people who have made meditation a part of their lives. Not only football players like Joe Namath, but there’s also the media mogul Rupert Murdoch, David Letterman, Clint Eastwood, Jennifer Aniston and Sheryl Crow, to name just a few.
Meditation helps release the past and disconnect from the future to allow you to truly be in the present moment. It will enable the silence you need to listen to your inner wisdom and guidance from Spirit, God, and the Universe. Meditation keeps you grounded and focused.
When you’re first learning to meditate, it can be frustrating and challenging to quiet the incessant chatter in your head. It may be most comfortable to start with guided meditations that help steer your mind. You could also use a mantra – a word or phrase you silently repeat as part of your breathing pattern. Some find that playing soft instrumental music in the background can be helpful as well. For me, it’s a distraction because I am always listening to find the melody. We’re all a little different.
It is usually not something you can jump into for long stretches. If you’ve never done it, try to be still for just two minutes. Just observe what it is that you are thinking about. If you can quiet the mind to the point where you can track and be aware of your thoughts, the next step is to observe the gap between the thoughts, where your often over-active mind gets a break.
Don’t Run Yourself Out of Time
Once you feel you have mastered that, add a minute. There are people who have ritualized meditation in their lives for decades and only meditate for fifteen minutes at a time. It doesn’t require extraordinary effort. It is a skill that takes time to build but has tremendous benefits for your mind, body and spirit. People say they don’t have time to sit still. They say they are busy, and they are always running out of time. Well, let me tell you, if that is your perception, you will create this, and soon you will run out of time.
In many ways, taking the time makes you more productive and focused so that you can actually achieve and enjoy more. Oprah has been practicing meditation every day, ever since she invited meditation teachers to Harpo Studios in 2011 to lead the entire company together in meditation. “That way of being ‘still’ with ourselves—coming back to the center and recognizing that something is more important than you—it’s more important than the work you are doing, brings a kind of energy, an intention that we have never had before,” she has said. The results were incredible. Her co-workers no longer had migraines, slept better, and developed happier relationships with their friends and family, says Oprah.
In these tumultuous, uncertain times, we horsey folks can access the quiet solitude of beauty that resides in all of us. Relieve agitation. Relax fears and anxieties. So, quiet your mind and go sit with your horse.
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Wishing you happy and calm, peaceful trails,