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.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend that complements the ideas of courage and fear. So.. I wanted to share some more thoughts and see what other people have to say on the subject.

I have been working on becoming clearer about choosing what I want and how to move forward to make it happen. This has been challenging for me. Because, I have spent a large portion of my life trying to make other people happy in order for me to be "safe". I am the master of figuring out what everyone else wants so that I can fit in, they will like me, and then I will be safe. (This is childhood stuff that I learned at a very young age in order to survive. Now that I know where it came from I am consciously choosing to change it.)

Part of the process of getting clear about what I want has been about listening to my heart and not justifying everything with my head. This takes courage to overcome my old survival fears. I don't always have the courage to follow what I know is right for me in my heart. I often begin the process of justifying or recycling some reason why I can't do or have what I want and before I know it I have immobilized myself from being able to take any action. I make a decision that feels right for me and then I begin to second guess myself into stagnation as I sort through what the outcome might look like and all the details in between. (not to mention the onslaught of opinions from everyone else) It becomes a mess of made up assumptions about how it won't work; As I slip further and further into the fear (false evidence appearing real) of what might happen if I make the "wrong" decision. The truth is there are no right or wrong decisions. If I don't like it or it doesn't work I need to make another decision and keep moving sooner or later I will create more of what I want if I keep choosing what works for me. It is just like using a half halt, re-balance and take another step. You don't know how long it will last or how soon before you need the next half halt you just keep being in the moment with your horse in as balanced a way as you can.

Yesterday, while I was riding I had a choice to think my aid had not been clear and I was doing it wrong or to say excuse me my aid was clear and you need to listen. The clearer I am and the more I pay attention the more aware I become of the choices I have. My default reaction of "I have done it wrong" is changing into choice. The more aware I become, the clearer I become, the more my horse responds with ease and grace. The more joy I have.

I couldn't see it and I never would have believed it a year ago.

Where can you change a default reaction into a conscious choice?

Choose to create your life the way you want it to be.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Courage and confidence

Let’s talk some more about courage and confidence, especially as it applies to your horse. (Check out cegavt.blogspot.com/2011/07/courage.html)  If courage is about overcoming fear, and confidence is not having the  fear to begin with, what does this mean to your horse?  

Courage in your horse is asking your horse to give a little more, push himself a little harder, try something he hasn’t done before, trust you.  Confidence is all about that “look of eagles” that some horses have—they don’t know the meaning of can’t!

What happens when your horse is not feeling courageous, even fearful, about the task confronting him?  He becomes tense, rigid, tight.  His back may hollow, his jaw may lock up and clamp down, his neck becomes rigid, his gaits lose their fluidity.  His muscles will tighten as he prepares to “fight or flee”. What does this mean for his performance?

A horse who is rigid and tight is only going through the motions.  He may be technically doing what you ask, but something will be missing.  

What is your job in this?  What can you do to help?

The first thing, of course, is to know your horse, his personality and how his mind works.  Does he  thrive on challenges and learning new things?  Does he need plenty of time to absorb the new task?  Does he get tense, wound up, and have to be pushed/helped through his tension? Or does pushing him make him even more tense?

Some horses are naturally courageous, some are not.  You can help your timid horse to be more courageous by first helping yourself to be more relaxed, of course-if you are anxious, you can bet your horse will pick up on it!  Remember to center and ground yourself by using three deep breaths to release your own tensions.  Ask your timid horse to expand his comfort zone incrementally, whether it’s leaving his herdmates a little farther behind, or tackling a slightly more challenging series of jumps.  Praise is always a good thing, as long as you are praising for actual good behavior. And if you feel yourself becoming frustrated, take a break—don’t add to the stress level.  

And remember that our horses are so often mirrors of ourselves.  Take the time to really examine what’s going on, and ask for help if you need it.  

What techniques do YOU use to help yourself and your horse relax and gain courage?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


What is courage and what is confidence?

Confidence is knowing you are able to do something, or to figure it out safely and fairly accurately and perform with a reasonable expectation of success.
Courage on the other hand is doing a thing even if you lack the confidence you wish you had.
For some folks, just putting that foot in the stirrup requires great courage, and the send of accomplishment when settled into the saddle is no less exhilarating than for someone clearing a 3' wall in the hunt field.

When we take a next step in our riding--first canter, first crossrail, first horse show--we often find that through the doing we lose a lot of the trepidation and grow in confidence. It takes courage to take the new step, every time.

Look for areas in your life and your riding where you have confidence, look for areas where you need courage, and look for areas yet to be conquered. With knowledgeable supportive help and conscious practice, you can gain confidence where you had none, and courage to tackle areas where once there was only fear.

What is courage? What do you think?
We'd love to hear your stories about you own adventures!