Back in 2005, I was still recovering from the emotional scares of my riding accident. After all, I was one of the lucky ones... I could have been paralyzed - or even killed! This accident was totally avoidable, if I had known better...
My Journey to LIVING & RIDING with CONFIDENCE was the Catalyst for the Program I Teach Today
The accident and my resulting mental and emotional breakdown made me realize that traditional horse training and instruction does not really support the unconfident horse and/or human effectively. As a matter of fact, it can make things even worse - and hence - in the beginning of my recovery - I was on the verge of giving up...
MAYBE... you can relate:
Do you currently face stress, anxiety and maybe even confidence issues?
Does your horse currently face stress, anxiety and confidence issues?
Back then in 2005, my new horse JB (short for Jean Baptiste) was in the same boat as I was. He was scared and unconfident, tense and tight, he didn't like humans - and was deemed unrideable.
We had one more thing in common: We both had no desire to canter! (after all my accident had happened when I asked for the canter...)
One would think that an unconfident human and an unconfident horse was a recipe for disaster, but for me it was quite the opposite: I was determined to change it all, to take the time it would take...
...and hence the journey began:
When I first met JB, he was kept in a 12 x 20’ pen. His owner was looking for a good home for him. She didn’t have the knowledge nor time to help JB with his “issues”: He was wearing a halter 24/7. There was a lead rope attached to that halter so the horse had no chance to escape. I was told by the barn owner that it was the only way to catch him: “BE careful when you grab that lead rope… He bites!” I was told.
His owner would lead him to the round pen. Then she cracked the lunge whip to get him to run. She had been told by others: That’s the way you prep your horse for riding! As I found out, this pattern had caused JB to trot as fast as he could, around and around, absolutely petrified. His owner tried to get him to canter, unsuccessfully.
No Chance to Escape - With his Human Chasing him - his Head was High, his Eyes Wide with Fear!
His inexperienced owner was just doing what life-long horse owners had suggested to her. JB's response was to avoid the human as much as he could, he would protect himself with biting and he froze when somebody tried to ride him. He simply would (could) not move. I understood what he was going through...
His Physical State Told the Tale
He had developed huge muscles on the underside of his neck and around his shoulders. In contrast, his hind end was underdeveloped. His back was atrophied and his spine was sticking out. He was dragging himself forward with his front end... instead of propelling himself forward with his hindend.
In addition to this type of training, his saddle was too narrow causing pressure spots behind his shoulders. The small pen he lived in made it impossible to balance his body, mind and soul...
JB had Developed a Posture That Literally Made it Impossible for him to Canter
He simple was UNABLE to round his back and lift his frontend. His hindend was unable to step underneath his body and push off into the canter...
Many times we humans believe it's the horse’s CONFORMATION that can’t be changed... When it is actually POOR POSTURE - caused by tight muscles and the way the horse is kept, exercised and ridden. The horse is then 'STUCK' in a constant state of tension and anxiety with patterns of self preservation and protection. (an accident waiting to happen...)
Many times I see similar issues in us humans. Our body can be literally “STUCK”. We often fail to recognize that certain muscles are habitually contracted and therefore cause imbalances in our body—not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
Many times, we lack awareness for being in Fight, Flight or Freeze Mode - because we are so used to it.
Fight could be a physical response like pushing or hitting somebody. It also could be a fight with WORDS. Getting angry with our horse for not doing what she is supposed to do is often the precursor to an argument/fight with our horse.
Flight is a physical escape... For example, instead of finding a solution, we stop what we are doing with our horse and we escape by leaving the barn.
Freeze is an internal escape while the body freezes. A mild version of 'freeze' could be: We avoid spending time with our horses, often finding excuses to help us cope. I was a master at it!
I Know MY Body was Stuck in FREEZE MODE After my Scary Riding Accident 20 Years Ago
After my accident, everybody told me 'you need to get back on a horse'. So I did what I was told to do. (BAD IDEA). I still remember being unable to get off my steady eddy gelding after he simply lifted his head to look at - what I perceived as - a scary object. I sat on my horse, crying uncontrollably - literally unable to dismount - while my horse remained calm and never made a step!
Not only did my state of mind, body and spirit affect my HorseManShip, it impacted my EveryDayLife as well. I was tired of not being able to speak up for myself. I was tired of others talking me into things I did not want to do. I was tired of not being able to set boundaries. I was tired of not feeling 'heard'!
The Strategies of my Live & Ride with Confidence Program are Designed to Create the Foundation to
• Give our horses a natural, balanced life style so they CAN be the partner we are dreaming of
• Resolve stress, anxiety and brace in horse and rider
• Create relaxation resulting in peace & joy
• Listen to our intuition
• Overcome irrational fear
• Establish problem solving skills
• Boost your confidence
• and so much more...
So that human and horse TOGETHER will be able to enjoy a balanced state of mind, body and emotions - the foundation for feeling safe, secure, peace- and joyful!
During 30 years of teaching horses and humans, I have learned that the majority of “horse problems” start with a lack of Healthy Physiology - in the horse as well as the human. These "horse problems" then often cause us humans to loose our confidence or even worse, get hurt! But it doesn't have to be that way....
Physiology is Defined as...
Physiology is the science of life. It is the branch of biology that aims to understand the mechanisms of living things, from the basis of cell function at the ionic and molecular level to the integrated behavior of the whole body and the influence of the external environment. (as defined by the Physiological Society)
'Physis' means nature and logos means study.
If you are interested to learn more about the Principles of Live & Ride with Confidence, including Healthy Physiology for Horse and Human, I have a few limited spots available for my upcoming
8 Week Program: CONFIDENCE FOR HORSE & HUMAN
No travel necessary, from the comfort of your home, you will 'restart' your relationship with your horse from the ground up, all the way to riding confidently in all 3 gaits, including the canter.
Click here to learn more! (My Group members qualify for a 50% discount! Get it while you can... This is a founding member special pricing that I will not offer again: Have fun, grow and prosper, gain confidence for yourself and your horse... for about $1 a day! (a dollar and 2 cents to be exact!)
(If you are not a member yet in my free LIVE & RIDE with CONFIDENCE GROUP... hop on over here and ask me for the code when you sign up. Only 8 of 20 Spots are left!)