Have you ever looked back and realized you said something in your past that you had no idea how profound it was? I have one of those instances tied up into my fascination with pausing.
The first time I remember “getting it”, that pausing was a thing, happened about 15 years ago. Looking back, I wasn’t aware that the journey toward being n equine facilitator was really starting to take form. I had my private counseling practice, and I was also teaching riding lessons. Since I had said many times that I would never again take riding lessons from someone that wasn’t also a student, I got myself back into taking riding lessons.
One of the things that happened for me ~ a lot ~ was that I would read books and articles related to my self-growth profession and relate the information to my riding. I think this started when I was 18 and asked my trainer for a book to read on horses and riding. She handed me a copy of “The Inner Game of Tennis”. What, are you kidding me? And, it got more intense from there. Because, if you aren’t familiar with that book, it could be described as….how to improve your game and discover your true potential by increasing your concentration, willpower and confidence. Yep, pretty sure that’s where my insatiable appetite for combining horses and self-growth really ignited.
So, the stage was set. Hindsight is so interesting! Back to the subject of the pause, I was taking a distance course on mindfulness, and part of the reading we had to do included a quote from a pianist after someone asked him what made his playing so beautiful. He attributed it to the pauses rather than the notes. That stuck with me. The beauty lies in the pause.
At the time, how it really caught my attention and resonated had to do with half-halts. If I didn’t wait to see how my horse answered my request, I was missing all that opportunity for beauty. That moment of waiting for a response, of experiencing actual communication would be lost. Good inspiration for me to remember to not get so caught up in my experience that I left my horse out. I shared this with my instructor, and she also loved it! Maybe I can attribute a little of my obsession to her……
Because, these days, I am so enthralled with the pause. Being in the present moment with horses has impacted my life in such a positive manner. It has helped me be able to emotionally regulate much better. (Very important for a highly sensitive introvert!) It has also allowed me to be able to understand my horses better and help them be able to bring themselves closer to their natural balance. The herd of horses that I have, as well as many that I get the privilege to work with, have some type of physical or mental imbalances. Slowing down and extending invitations to them has become the basis for my healing practice. Both for humans and horses. It’s crazy good!
Slowing down, focusing in the present moment can make world of difference for us and for our horses. Such beauty lies in these pauses. It can allow us to act rather than react, to not take things personally, and to release the stress of runaway thoughts. This has proven time and time again to be a great trust builder, and really strengthened the bond I have with my horses. If you haven’t already tried it, take some moments to be fully present with your horse. The rewards will be amazing!