Discover your ideal relationship with your horse

CEGA creates an atmosphere of openness and trust in which to explore your own special horse-human bond. We want to help you remove blocks, deepen your awareness of the power within, and help you achieve your goals.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Do a 180! Or even a 360!

With cold weather here to stay, at least for a couple more months, not only is this a good time to get educated by watching videos, auditing clinics, and reading, it is also a good time to think about our relationship with our horses.  A couple of weeks ago, I suggested that you turn off your brain—now I’m suggesting that you turn it back on!

What I’m thinking of is taking a look at things from a completely different perspective.  For instance, if you have the mind-set that your horse hates arena work, you already have certain expectations of how your time in the arena is going to go.  We all know how our mood and attitude affect our spouse or children, and of course it affects our horses too.  You head to the arena, after grooming and tacking up your horse, somewhat less cheerfully than if you were heading out for a nice hack or to jump cross-country.  You may be a little resentful at having to ride inside, or that winter is dragging on, or that you can’t find your favorite winter riding gloves.  Make no mistake, your horse has picked up on your mood.  This may be manifested, for instance,  as your horse being sluggish and unwilling to work, or being squirrelly in an attempt to get your attention, or being cranky and resentful that you aren’t thoroughly grateful to be spending some time together.  

Our relationship with our horses is just that:  a relationship.  It needs to be fed and nurtured and not taken for granted, like all relationships.  Can you envision how different it would feel, if instead of saying to yourself, “Poopsie doesn’t like arena work”, you were to say, “Poopsie and I  have an opportunity to work on our serpentines” or lateral work, or drill team maneuvers with a buddy, or simply spend some time together.

I encourage you to sit with both these scenarios.  Try them on for size, and allow yourself to feel how your energy changes as the scenario changes.  Then think about how your relationship with your horse is affected by your energy.  And that’s just the beginning!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Discover deeper beauty

Beauty is only skin deep--unless it's deeper.

What do I mean? Well, it is still -20 F outside, and the dogs go out for a moment and come back with icicles on their eyelashes. The sun is shining and the trees all around are sparkling. And yet it is truly dangerous to be outside.

Take some time over the winter to educate your equestrian's eye. Watch videos--sale videos on YouTube, training videos, competitions. Look for the flashiest, most striking horses you can find. Then slow things down and take a good look again. How is that horse moving? Is he relaxed and carrying himself and his rider with ease? Is he working hard, but correctly through?
Or is he hollow, doing his best but restricted or stiff in his movement?
How is the rider sitting, and how quiet are the aids (how big are those spurs?).

Is what is happening pretty on the surface, but dangerous when you look deeper? Sometimes the plain looking pair are really the most correct--don't overlook them because they aren't famous or have no chrome.

Look for the best of what is there. Don't criticize, learn. Educate yourself, and at the very least give those who put themselves out there some credit.

My Mother always said, "You can always learn something from every situation, even if it's what you DON'T want to do."

So curl up, stay warm, and get an eyeful!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Winter contemplation

What happens in winter? I really hate the cold and the snow, and yet here I sit--having lived in Northern Vermont for over 25 years.
Getting out there and riding is truly hard. Especially my own horse. I will ALWAYS make sure the clients' horses are worked. Then I just want to curl up in by the stove, and hope my horse knows I love him, but I just can't face another nose/toes/fingers-numbing 30 minutes.
And yet...
When I DO ride him, wonderful things seem to happen in winter. He goes well, and I am very clear and simple in my requests and requirements. Our half-steps are really coming, and his canter--though it still is his area of greatest tension, eventually starts to jump softly under me.

So many things go so well, even when I can only muster 2-3 days a week. It remains a mystery why I don't carry the same spirit and ability when it is lovely and green and the sand footing is perfect....

I'm sure the answer is right there. Whatever it is, I'll take it :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Workshop for Middlebury College Equestrians--Wonderful!

Amazing! Every clinic we teach, every workshop we do I learn something new. And I am amazed and honored by our participants who are open, honest and really in tune with their horsiness.

Thank you to the participants in the Middlebury College CEGA workshop on Monday. You were so impressive in your capacity to understand the connections between mind body and horse, and so willing to expand your awareness to feel the changes in your selves and the horses.

I always feel honored by the folks that attend our workshops. Thank you all, and we look forward to working with you again!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sometimes we get it right

Lately my focus and energy have given me some sort of extra inner confidence that comes out as I ride. It's an ease of doing that comes from knowing.
I've felt this before--and I realize that I have too often assumed that since a thing is easy--flowing--I must in some way not be doing enough or trying HARD enough.
But you know what? Sometimes we just get it right!

I can totally accept this knowing in some areas of my life. Riding my own horse is the hardest place for me to feel it. Indeed, sometimes we just aren't trying enough or asking enough and we settle, and it feels comfortable, easy, and, well--average. This is a hard place to push ourselves out of. It's why so many of my students tell me they ride better and try harder during a lesson than when riding on their own. But for now, I've found that place for myself and my horse, when I can ask for and expect really great things, and we get them and we're together and nothing could feel better--transitions, lateral movements you name it. It's truly a mind-body-spirit connection.

So for now, I've got it right, and I'll hang onto to it for as long as I can!