Getting Out of The Way

When riding of late, I’ve been actively practicing getting out of the way of my horse. Doing the absolute minimum when it comes to guidance and correction, and then saying to her, “You know what to do, I’ve seen the magnificent way you carry your body when I’m not on your back.

Let me try to find my own balance so that you can do what you already know how to do”.

And if she doesn’t find the balance, the softness that I am hoping she will find, instead of making her find it, I’m trusting that she will. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but she will. And as I ride forward, I hold the intention in my mind, the vision that I share for both of us that acts as a lighthouse as we both move forward in our training together.

With horse and rider, I think that the ability to develop lightness and connection can be examined on three levels; the physical, the emotional and the intentional.

It goes without saying that we need to be physically organized; to ensure that we find our own centre of balance first and foremost and organize ourselves to find that with our horse a opposed to the other way round.

Then there’s the emotional organisation. The ability to stay present, to ride with love and compassion, to cultivate positive focus.

And the intentional. This encompasses the vision, the creationery power that allows us to dream of the ideal, not as a weapon against which we can judge ourselves, but as a point of inspiration that allows us to be guided by the highest part of ourselves.

Physical, emotional, intentional. Finding your own balance so you free the horse to find theirs.

xx Jane

Exercising Your Creative Power

Imagine that in front of you was a big line.

The line stretching out to your left represents your past; all the wonderful things, the not so wonderful things, the disappointments, the lows and the highs. 

The line to your right represents your future. All the dreams, the possibilities, the yet to be knowns.

And right now, directly in front of you is a huge pile of stuff. This stuff represents your present moment. You might like what you are looking at. You might not. You might examine it, poke around in it, call some other people over to look at your pile of stuff with you.

So what is that stuff? All the stuff is is the present manifestation of everything that has already happened. It’s the result of all your past decision, your actions (or inactions), you conditioning, experiences. All making themselves known in the present moment.

The thing is, it’s possible to observe this pile of stuff and move forward to create a whole different pile in the future. But what many of us do is we stare at it, kick it around, get some on our shoe and then we drag it with us as we walk into the future. We take it with us instead of looking at it for what it is, taking what we need from it and then moving forward in the way that we need to.

You see, regardless of what’s happened in the past. Regardless of whether you have been wronged, or whether things haven’t gone your way- it doesn’t matter. Letting go of that stuff doesn’t mean that you necessarily condone what has happened, but holding onto it ensures that you take the energy of it and drag it into your future.

So no matter what that pile of stuff looks like that’s in front of you right now, you have the power to decide how you want things to be. You can step back, look at it, and then say? What do I want? How do I want things to be? Create the vision for what that looks like. See it in your minds eye, infuse it into your being. And then move forward in accordance with THAT vision, rather than the “reality”.

You are always free to make things different to what you have experienced. And the only moment where that continues to be possible is right now.

xx Jane



If you want to bounce against the edges of your own emotional conditioning, experiment with how willing you are to express yourself in different ways.

I’m not the first to mention this- Madonna released a song about it back in 2009 (always ahead of her time!)- but joking aside, it is amazing to observe how rigid a framework we have designed for ourselves when it perpetuating emotional patterns or operating within the same emotional range day in day out.

Your body language is a physical expression of your thought processes. And the beautiful thing is, not only do our thoughts influence the way that we hold and move through the world and with our horses in a very tangible way, but it works in the reverse direction also; by changing up the way we are using our body, we can affect thought patterns, mood and emotions.

So try it… how stuck are you? If I asked you to get up and skip around the room right now, what would you think about that?

If I asked you to look up, hold your hands above your head in a big “V” shape and grin the biggest, silliest grin you ever did grin, would you give it a shot?

Or make a crazy face.

Would you do it? What comes up for you?

We all get stuck. We all become predictable. But one of the best ways to extend your emotional range is to well, loosen up. Be louder than normal. More expressive. Introduce more energy into how you move.

And then do the reverse.

Exercise your emotional agility. Develop the volume of your emotions, both up and down.

You’ll be surprised what comes up.

xx Jane


The longer I spend learning about, interacting with, and letting myself be cracked open by this whole horsemanship journey, the less it is about “point here, go there, heels down, look up”; it’s not that the tangible things are no longer important, it’s just that there is so much MORE behind it.

The horse and rider relationship, at the level of art, is about alchemy. It’s a meditation. I don’t pretend to be nearly at that stage, but the idea of it, the inspiration of riding and operating within that sphere is intoxicating to me.

And I realise to even begin that dance, to even have that as a possibility, we need to consider that a different level of being with our horses exists- and to even begin to have THAT within our line of vision, we need to first and foremost recognize their sentience.

I’ve been reading a lot of books of late on collective consciousness, and interweaved among it are incredible encounters that involve animal communication, stories where the normal boundaries of the day to day have been dropped to allow for something higher, more connected to be experienced.

I got to sharing my thoughts with my husband last night, and he said that when he was in Africa filming with the Baka tribe (a pygmy tribe in Cameroon), he would go out with the hunters on their hunts and the forest was so high, dense and thick, that if you lost sight of the tribesman, you were completely disoriented- you didn’t know which way you came from or where anything was. It was like being in thick fog.

One say he asked them (through the translator), how do you know where to go? We go in different directions every day, how do you know where to go? And they said, We don’t know where to go. We ask the animals.

He said he was confused for a moment and thought that something was lost in translation, so asked again, what do you mean?

And they said, well, they are animals and we are animals, so we ask them where to go and they tell us.

Simple as that.

Maybe it’s true what they say. Maybe it’s not learning we are involved in, but remembering.

How could we ever be bored when there’s so much magnificence yet to be experienced.

xx Jane

Taking Time Out

Ive been doing this crazy thing lately. Some of you may have heard of it but chances are, some of you haven’t.

It’s called “Time Out”. And it’s amazing. Google it.

Not time out as in “go and sit over there on the naughty stool until you’ve changed your attitude” time out. But breathe in the air, feel that lovely feeling of hugging your horse and allowing some white space to come into your mind Time Out.

You see, I know what it’s like to be more about Time In than Time Out. I have my own wonderful business. I have two little boys, 6 and 2 years old. I have a husband and horses. And I also have dreams and aspirations and books I want to read and times when I want to just do nothing.

I’m not alone. We all have our own version of this.

The thing is, all of those things that require energy? I love all of them.

Like my business. Wouldn’t change it for the world. The word “business” actually diminishes what it is to me.

My family. Bit of alright they are. I love squishing them together in a big bear hug.

My horses. Goes without saying. Rainbow unicorns the lot of them.

But when the equation is all out, out, out and no in, your perspective on the things you love can get skewed.

So if this has you nodding your head, consider that is not WHAT you are doing that has to change, but HOW you are doing it.

Maybe looking after yourself hasn’t been as high on the list as it needs to be.

So this is me and Nadia (isn’t she amazing?) taking time out in the middle of the day, safe in the knowledge that it’s going to make the Time In a whole lot better.

It’s part of our new Degree we are studying for called “The Positive Effects of Being a Time Out Ninja”. It’s a home study course. Try it yourself!

xx Jane

On Expectations

I hear a lot of talk about expectations, especially in advice-giving scenarios.

“Your expectations were too high! That’s why you are disappointed!”

“Oh yep, high expectations will get you frustrated every time.”

I’m inclined to disagree.

What if our expectations didn’t only predict our reality, but created it?

Your level of expectation dictates your internal stretch. When we project our expectations onto ourselves and our horses, day in and day out, we start to believe in them. We start to see them as measures of our capability, as future predictors of what’s possible for us and our horses.

We create safety nets for ourselves that stop us from going all out. Trip wires that highlight that seed limiting belief that’s lurking below the surface.

“Good luck!” someone might call to you.

“I’ll probably stuff it up!” you shout back… despite the fact you really want to do well. Despite the fact you’ve been working really hard.

Safety nets we put up for ourselves… just in case. Just in case we can’t actually do what it is that we really want to do.

You achieve at the level you expect of yourself.

Want to know the catalyst to great change?

Set high expectations. Don’t adjust those. If you need to adjust anything, adjust your time frames.

Take notice of what comes up, of the safety nets you cast for yourself. Why is it that you are concerned to back yourself? What information does that give you and what are you going to do about it?

Expectations create reality.

Low expectations are a vacuum of nothingness that sucks you in little by little. You then take events from the past and use them as predictors of the future.

Your level of expectation determine the decisions that you make, the actions that you take and the amount of effort you invest in yourself and your horse.

Keep them high.

Make believing in yourself your highest priority. And surround yourself with people who believe in you also.

xx Jane


Toot Toot! Look out! It’s the Don’t Believe Everything You Think Train coming through reminding you to well…. not believe everything you think.

There’s nothing that can trigger our deepest insecurities and limiting beliefs than comparing ourselves to other people, or other horse and rider combinations. It’s like there we are, merrily minding our own business when CLUNK! We trip over a massive log placed directly in our path by the YoureNotGoodEnough Fairy and fall flat on our faces.

And while we are busy trying to get the dirt out of our left eyeball and gather up our reins, WHACK. We take another great copping blow by the her evil sister, Miss YoureOuttaYourLeague.

Aside from maybe having a quiet swear to yourself and grabbing a bar of 85% dark lindt chocolate (so good just FYI), it may also comfort you to realise that comparisonitis is something that is familiar to all of us at one point or another. In part it comes out of operating from a fixed mindset, but it also comes from a place of scarcity- of believing that someone having something that you have means that there won’t be enough for you also. And as I mentioned earlier, if there’s any way to really bring to the surface those limiting mindsets we have about ourselves, is to start to think about where we should be, where we aren’t, or how we would love to be in the same place as that person over there doing that thing that we want to do.

This post though is not about limiting beliefs, or fixed mindsets or even dealing with the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee. It’s me grabbing my megaphone (do they still make those?) and yelling in your eardrum…

You. Are. Enough.

You don’t need to compare yourself to anyone else because #1 it won’t get you closer to what you want anyway and #2 you are completely unique.

That brand of you that’s floating around inside you? Nobody else can ever have that.

The combination of you and your horse? There is not another horse and rider combination out there the same. Not one. Not one in the whole. freaking. world.

In your face whateveryournameis Fairy.

Your riding journey has very little to do with what others are doing and where it is that they’re heading, and it has everything to do with what you are doing and where you are heading. So don’t get caught up in other people’s stories and forget to write your own.

So as you were. Back to being fabulous puhlease.

Ain’t nobody got time for anything else.

xx Jane

Is it safe to trust yourself?

Part of the 1:1 work that I do involves making guided audios that address specific concerns or limiting beliefs that we may have. In order for someone to be completely relaxed, it’s important that they feel safe. That they know that it’s safe to make the changes that they need to make. That it’s safe to connect to the more intuitive part of themselves. That it’s safe to really be in touch with their own inner wisdom.

That word “safe” though is a big one. I’ve got feedback from more than a few people who really respond to the word safe, like it’s a huge relief to think that it IS safe to relax, to trust and to move towards whatever it is you dream of or aspire to manifest in your riding and your life.

I feel as though we’ve been conditioned to feel that it’s NOT safe to trust ourselves. That instead of cultivating the ability to connect logical thought with intuitive instinct, that cord has been cut. Thought and feeling have become disconnected and as a consequence, we are missing more of our own emotional notifications that tell us when to do, when not to do, when to back ourselves and when to back off. Instead, we wait for someone else to tell us what we can and can’t trust.

In my own learning and evolution, I have moved from someone with a very competitive focus to realizing that horses have been the lens through which I experience self-development on every level, including (dare I say it), spiritually. And as part of that understanding, I’m learning that in order for my riding to become art, in order for the harmony I seek to become actualized, I need to ensure that I am congruent on every level. That my thoughts are united with my feelings, and I am aware of the signals and energies that I am projecting on every level that are so keenly felt by my horses.

It’s less and less about my horse and more and more about me.

So I wonder… do you feel that there is a disconnect? Do you find it hard to merge thought, feeling and intuition? Do you find it easy to trust yourself?

“Who you are speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you say” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

xx Jane

Internal Buoyancy

It’s easy to get caught up in the feeling that you are the only one who feels anxiety, fear or self-doubt, but what I find myself most apologizing for these days is my level of enthusiasm, excitement. You see, it’s part of the norm, almost expected that we gather together and share our concerns over what’s not right with ourselves, with our riding and with the world, but in my experience, what needs equal attention and love is the epidemic of well, all of us, who are afraid of being… shiny. Exuberant. Full of enthusiasm for what a broad sense of possibility life holds for us.

Gosh, sorry, I’m getting carried away, I say.

Or, wow, can see I better tone it down, I might add.

Or my internal voice, the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee might pipe up with, gosh Jane, wind it back hey! You don’t want to appear over the top!

But the truth is, screw that.

Enthusiasm, the ability to have something move you and cause you to bubble over like a human can of soda is something to be celebrated. It’s a signal you are in the midst that means something to you. Something that has sparked the internal flame, and all parts of you- the logical part, the feeling part, the energetic part have lined up and said YES! Pay attention. This is the good stuff that you want more of. This is the place you need to spend more time.

But for whatever reason, we are afraid of being our fullest, most shiny version of ourselves. And for the most part, it’s not because of us at all. It’s because we don’t want to make other people feel bad. We don’t want to separate ourselves from the idea of what is accepted or expected. And unbridled enthusiasm? It’s celebrated in children. As long as they stop when you say. It’s very rarely seen in adults.

So if you feel that energy, be fearless in stepping into its embrace. If other’s don’t accept it, that’s ok. Light always shines a torch into the dark places that some would rather forget were there.

But the most important thing, it’s not about anyone else. Suppression never gave birth to joy, or change, or connection. Whether it be good or bad, suppressed feeling turns in on themselves and become something they never were in the first place.

So just as you may need permission to feel your feelings that represent challenge, you also have full permission to feel your feelings that represent joy and to not be afraid of them.

Joy is your reminder that you are part of the bigger matrix; allow yourself to be split open and let it overflow from within.

xx Jane

On Focus

You can’t look out for bad things and expect good things at the same time.

You can’t focus on what’s working and what isn’t working at the same time.

You can’t focus on what you want and what you don’t want at the same time.

It’s one or the other.

If you are focusing on what’s wrong, then you are choosing to focus on that at the expense of what’s right.

If you are focusing on what you don’t want, you are favouring that over what you DO want, and as a result you highlight that in your mind as an object to move towards.

It’s a choice.

If you are here, you can’t be there.

xx Jane

On Seeking Beauty

Over the weekend, whilst flicking through a non-horsey related magazine, I was confronted with an image that made my stomach turn and my heart feel sad. It was a picture of a wild horse overseas being used as a centrepiece in a demonstration, and the contraptions that they had in his mouth and the look in his eye doesn’t beg description.

It seems also, that this last week more than most I have come across images and read words of “advice” from people whose ideas of horsemanship and equitation clearly differ from that of my own. And although it is easy for such matters to dominate the mind, I do believe that the tide is turning, that there is a rising ground swell of consciousness and understanding that appreciates the sentience of the magnificent animals that share such a large part of our lives, and who seek to find the way and means we can go about creating a fulfilling partnership for both of us.

I am also of the belief that you do more good by promoting what you love than “hating” on that which you disagree with, so I have decided to take a few moments to write about what it is that I hope to do through Confident Rider and it’s influence on our most beauteous, most magnificent of equine partners.

It is my hope that as riders and horse people, regardless of our background, level of experience or level of expectation, we will do everything within our power not to inflict both a disorganized body and a disorganized mind onto our horses. Instead, as an inquiring rider, as someone who is interested in the qualities of partnership, respect and beauty, we will take moments to disconnect ourselves from our “problems” or our “horse’s problems” and seek to discover ways firstly, that we, ourselves, may be perpetuating or initiating the current challenge- be it through our own biomechanics or body organisation, lack of skill or horsemanship knowledge, of confidence or emotional control- and actively enquire as to how we may go about finding solutions to any limitations that we may feel arising.

If you feel stuck, move. Ask. Enquire. If the answer doesn’t work the first time, ask different questions, get different answers.

As riders and horsepeople, we must learn continuously to “stay in the moment”. Do not expect this to be instantaneous in the saddle if you can’t do so out of it. Practice mindfulness. Set yourself realistic challenges and be patient.

If we are seeking unity, seeking beauty, we must work our horses ethically, to let go of arrogant assertions that we are somehow training them and be open to the realisation that true horsemanship is self-mastery in union, more than mastery of another. We have to find ways of working with them that promotes joy within us, and consequently allows them to feel the relationship is of benefit to them also.

As the saying goes, “Anything forced or misunderstood can never be beautiful. If a dancer was forced to dance by whip and spike, he would be no more beautiful than a horse trained under similar conditions” ~ Xenophon, the Art of horsemanship.

My thoughts.

xx Jane