Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Soft Eyes and Breathing

First, I’d like to say Happy Birthday to my friend Gretchen. I hope you had a fantastic horsey day with Rainbow and Tootsie.

Let's work on Soft Eyes and Breathing. Even though this seems really easy to do, once we start concentrating, we move into hard eyes and quit breathing. We start to stare at 1 spot. We start to hold our breath. We tense. And our horse tenses as well. We forget about the world around us, but our horse hasn’t. Feeling the tension, our horse starts to tighten his muscles, he lifts his head, and may start to be skittish.

As we tense, we tighten up. Our shoulders get stiff. Our hands tighten on the reins. Our arms quit moving with the motion of the horse. We lose our center and our seat. We tip forward or backward. Our thighs tighten, and we start to grip without knees and calves. We lose our weight in the stirrups and the grounded feeling.

Now take a deep breath, then take another deep breath, and let in sink into your center. Take another deep breath, and let it settle and sink down into your seat. The 3rd deep breath should sink down into your feet.

Now take a moment and see everything that is around you. Open your eyes, while looking straight ahead, still see what is around you. Breathe deeply. Now see the same view, use your peripheral vision. How much more can you see? As you breathe deeply, how much more relaxed do you feel?

Begin to walk your horse. Breathing deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth, feel how much more relaxed you and your horse is. Breathing deeply, realize how much more you can see. Pay attention to nothing. Ride anywhere, allowing your horse to relax and drop his neck.

As your horse relaxes, you as the rider, relaxes. The horse begins to move freely, and you as the rider, begin to move more freely. As you move, the tension leaves the moving parts. Therefore, you can’t be tense and move. As you look around, you breathe easier. You aren’t concentrating on 1 thing, but you are taking in everything.

Before, we were spiraling downward, as hard eyes and holding our breath was causing tense muscles and a tense horse. The tenser we got, the tenser the horse got. We caused the tension with the hard eyes and lack of deep breathing.

Now, we are spiraling upward. As we soften our eyes and breathe deeply, our horse relaxes. We feel the horse moving freely and we relax. The more relaxed we became, the more relaxed the horse became. It is easier to see everything. It is easier to breathe deep. Our limbs move, our joints are relaxed, and we’re riding the horse without tension. The horse moves out freely. His movement becomes deeper. The tension leaves our body and we move freely also.

I'll chat more about this topic on my chat Horses Are Our Lives, at

Come join in on the discussion, and the journey!

Embrace the Journal!

No comments:


Messick Quarter Horses

Check out my website at:

Lessons, Training and Horse Sales
E-mail me at

Messick Tack & Feed

Messick Tack & Feed
website will be up soon! Click on logo to see current specials!