Horses are amazing, they pick up on every little change in energy. However that also means they pick up on every change in our energy and our emotions.

There is nothing wrong with deciding that today is not the day to ride and choosing to do groundwork, go for a walk in hand or groom instead.

Not only do horses pick up on emotions and energy they also mirror them.

They can show us what is going on within ourselves long before we realise.

Horses enable you to be able to see what is going on within yourself, however it can also prove to be an issue when we are nervous or unsure as we can easily show this to our horses who in turn mirror our uncertainty. This is a vicious circle and one that often only has one ending.

A ride which goes from bad to worse.

So what can you do?

  • Choose when to ride and when to not, without beating yourself up.
  • Learn to manage your emotions, yes your horse will still pick up on them, but if you can manage them the impact will be much less. There are so many mindsfulnesss and visualisation activities out there. I often use visualisation within my riding.
  • Use distractions, affirmations, singing…..whatever works for you to take your mind away from the negative you are focusing on and back to the here and now where everything is ok.
  • Look for your horses signs, for example during a ride if they start to get frustrated and you get cross and frustrated,they will start to associate that action with frustration. Rather than getting to that point, switch what you are doing, lower the energy levels then go back to it.
  • The more you can remain calm and in control the more your horse will see you as a safe space which shows what is safe and what is not. As soon as your horse starts to feel like this and relaxes, you will relax more. This is the emotional circle that you really want.

BUT most of all remember having a horse is meant to be fun! We forget that sometimes. Take time out to play, to groom, to just spend time with them. It doesn’t always have to be about the ride and often it is trough this time that we learn the most from each other and the biggest bonds are formed.

I would love to hear what you do to manage your emotions around your horses and within your riding.