On Taking The High Road: Maintaining Integrity In The Face of Upset & Unease

You know, confrontation of any kind can be a hard thing to handle. In JoyRide, we’re talking all the time about the various communications (and miscommunications!) that happen within all the different types of relationships that we find ourselves in- both within our horsing life and outside of it.

I know way back when I was in my early twenties (when I was also reading a lot of different spiritual texts and throwing myself headlong into my own studies of body and breath), I convinced myself that if I was serious about this whole “mastering myself” malarky, that I needed to take myself off and live in a cave (spoiler alert: this definitely did not happen and actually sounds kind of ghastly to my present-day self. So cold! Those hard floors! But I digress…). What I’ve since understood is that the real learning happens in relationship. With yourself first and foremost, but beyond that with those we choose to surround ourselves with, and with those who temporarily, for a little while, or fleetingly cross our path.

When we are presented with the many faces of relationship, we get to see what our “stuff” really is. And it turns out, well… we have quite a lot of it. Stuff that is.

Enter at A our horses, and we are gifted with a magnifying glass that allows us to see things from a slightly different perspective. And in order to create a conversation, we have to approach things from a different angle, and with a new set of understandings; ones that require us to get out of our head, to let go of the stories we’ve told ourselves, and to be present to our direct experience.

In the last week or, I had an experience that allowed me to practice yet again. A confrontation that jolted me and temporarily knocked me off-center. It is in these moments I am grateful for the lessons that came before that allowed me, however briefly, to create a space between what I was feeling and experiencing and how I wanted to respond… which was ultimately with my integrity intact.

In this episode, I talk about exactly this and more. How we can manage the choppy waters of confrontation and discomfort and do so in a way that allows us to maintain perspective, integrity, and self-compassion.

You can tune your listening ears in here:

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

On Training Yourself With Kindness

You know, when things get tough, usually one of the first things to kick in is the commentary of the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee. The “You should have done this, or you didn’t do this or why did you do that or what were you thinking-ness” in all its hues and colours and variations can pretty quickly throw a wet blanket over any feelings of hopefulness or possibility that we hold for ourselves or our horses- or at the very least suck the joy out of it.

The thing about the Committee is they convince you of things that simply aren’t true. They tie your worth to the outcomes that you create, your value to how much you can get done, and your ability to feel good about yourself to a series of outside metrics that see you constantly chasing the carrot on the string. Those little critters can make life exhausting.

So it’s for these reasons and many more, that I now understand that being able to meet yourself with kindness- being able to separate the essence of who you are from the remarks of The Committee and to treat yourself with self-compassion is the highest form of practice there is.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why kindness and self-compassion is essential for ongoing motivation and momentum
  • How meeting yourself with kindness gifts you with a clear perspective and the necessary understandings to decide the next best step for you and your horse
  • Why kindness is the necessary antidote to low self-worth or feelings of not-good-enough-ness

You can tune your listening ears in here:

 

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

A Conversation with Dr Sarah Le Jeune: On The Pressures of Veterinary Practice & Developing Awareness within Client/ Vet Relationships

A couple of weeks back, a collection of members of JoyRide gathered together on a Zoom call. The purpose of the call was simply to get together and find out what was going on for everyone and get some help and support if needed. Sarah, a member of the group, spoke up about her concerns about her students and if there was a chance we could possibly create something that would help them develop some strategies that would help them cope with what were sometimes significant stresses within their working life and ways to better manage the more difficult client relationships.

As an equine veterinary surgeon, a veterinarian, and clinical professor at UC Davis, Dr. Sarah Le Jeune is well versed in the pressures of veterinary practice. The veterinary field as a whole has some worrying and frankly heartbreaking statistics around mental health that speak to just how significant that stress can be. Dr. Sarah and I decided to team up in this episode to extend support to vets that might be struggling, help raise awareness and share our thoughts on how as horse owners and clients we can be more mindful and considered at our end within the relationship.

Beyond that, we are also interested in creating resources and hosting a round table discussion with equine professionals who would be interested in being part of this conversation. If you are interested in being a part of it, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you!

Please feel free to share this episode around. Although the conversation covers some difficult topics, it’s an important one to put out there and hold in our broader awareness.

❤️ Jane

Body Informing Mind: A Discussion on the Somatic & Interoceptive Nervous Systems & their role in repatterning responses

I’m always blown away by how simple changes to posture; how tangibly connecting with where feeling and sensation sits in the body in relation to a specific thought; how accessing experience through the body can allow us to not only shift our perception but integrate and metabolize experiences from the past that are showing up as challenges in the present.

It’s one thing to see this play out in real life and another to understand the mechanisms and systems at work that explains why working at the level of the body is so powerful.

Why is it that shifting things in the body changes our thoughts?

How does it work that we can make sense of traumatic or stressful events through body-based practices?

The answer lies in understanding the nature of memory and also the function of the somatic, interoceptive, and proprioceptive nervous systems, and how they work together to create templates of our experience.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Explicit and implicit memory; the basic differences between the two and how understanding their functions and role helps us integrate traumatic stress and change any unwanted patterns and behaviors
  • The somatic, interoceptive, and proprioceptive nervous systems; their role and function in memory and why it’s necessary to begin at the level of the body for us to make sense of past experiences making themselves known in the present
  • How our nervous system functions as an integrated whole, with body informing mind and mind informing body

You can tune your listening ears in here:

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

Story Time Episode: On My Clinic Experience, Finding What Works, And Not Throwing Yourself In The Deep End

A storytime episode for you today! These last 12 months have been a period of big transformation for me (and if I’m honest the 12 months prior to that also). I talked in a previous podcast about a personal experience that was really the catalyst for changing lots of things up- for moving from a more mind-based approach to a body-based one, to diving deeper into nervous system understandings than I had previously, and to really committing myself to “doing the work” so that I had the tools to renegotiate and make peace with some things that I knew were really holding me back.

Horse wise, I felt like I’d come a really long way- not necessarily in terms of outward shows of success, but in my ability to be present and to hold my ground and my centre so I could show up for my horses in the way they needed me to show up.

In this episode, I talk about two similar experiences of attending clinics 12 months apart. I discuss my journey, what I’ve learned in between, and what changed as I came into a week-long learning experience with my horses.

You can tune your listening ears in here:

 

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

Surge Capacity: A Conversation On Resilience, Awareness, and Managing Your Energy In The Hard Times

What is Surge Capacity?

Surge Capacity is the amount of energy and fortitude we bring to a situation that is challenging. You know when something happens that really requires you to step up and you gather yourself to rise to the occasion? That’s what we are talking about here; the surge of power that allows you to be able to do something difficult and make the most of it, even if it feels really hard.

In the ideal world, this would only be required of us every now and then and then we would have time to regroup, replenish our resources, and build ourselves back up. But what about in situations- like Covid or any long-term situation where we are being called to access our inner resources in more unusual, taxing, and unexpected ways… what happens then?

Our Surge Capacity decreases. We find our ability to muster energy growing less and less. And as a consequence, our feeling of resilience can be compromised, our attitudes become increasingly despondent and our mental, emotional, and physical health all suffer.

In this episode, we talk about Surge Capacity and how an awareness of it can help us make better decisions and take proactive steps to ensure we are looking after ourselves in times when we need to be in it for the long haul. I discuss three things that I consider vital to pay attention to maximise our resilience and ensure we are showing up for the things that are important to us.

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

The Problem With Goals (And Why They May Not Work For You)

It’s interesting how, when we’re fed something over a period of time, we don’t stop to question that there might be another way of going about things. That’s certainly been the case for me in the past when it’s come to goal setting. Despite recognizing that it’s a system that doesn’t work for me; despite not having used the traditional model that we are taught for a couple of years now, I never really gave much thought to the fact that a whole new way of planning and creating a framework for yourself to live and ride by was possible.

The reason for this is pretty much everywhere I looked it was all very much the same. If it’s a system that works for so many, I thought, it must be me who is the problem.

Set SMART goals! They yell from the rafters.

If you don’t write your goals down, you are already behind! They tell you pointedly.

What do the top 1% of the world’s achievers have in common? Goal setting! They enthuse.

Side note: Who is this elusive 1%, I ask myself, and who is deciding that?

The other thing? Having worked with literally thousands of riders up until this point, I knew it wasn’t working for a lot of them either- so much so, that I have coined a couple of phrases to describe what so many people felt. Goal Shame and Goal Panic (I describe what they are in the podcast).

So, I sat down and got to work. I haven’t set goals for years, and yet I have my own successful business, 3 horses in work, a husband, and two young children. Life was working for me without “goals”. I took everything I knew and distilled it into a completely different approach that I could share with other people- a non-planning plan- that combined all of the important elements that we need to pay attention to that allow us to be a sustainable presence in our own lives and create a framework for living and riding that allows us to follow our curiosity, tune into our intuition, and is full of the essence of what’s important to us.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How your nervous system is impacting your planning style (and your ability to dream and vision ahead in the first place)
  • The origins of the traditional goal-setting process (and why it might clash with how you approach your riding life)
  • Elements that are important to consider when creating a training framework for you and your horse

You can tune your listening ears in here!

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

 

 

 

Making Room For The Past: On the Process & Practice of Integrating Traumatic Stress

A week or so back, a message pinged into my inbox from a rider in the recovery period of an accident that was really affecting her riding. She used a really common phrase that I often hear alongside descriptions of traumatic stress which is:

I feel like I’m living in the past.

I know so many of us can relate. It can be upsetting, frustrating, and frightening to find your mind and body looping around in a spin cycle of concern, worry, and anxiety in the aftermath of an injury and what’s more, easy to convince yourself that the chances of making it back to a good feeling place are slim to none.

Maybe this is just how it is now, you tell yourself. Maybe this is my lot.

The good news is, this is very far from the truth.

When the body holds trauma, what it is essentially holding is unintegrated activation, energy, and experience. If we think of ourselves as an interconnected puzzle, trauma is a piece of that puzzle that fits in somewhere- we just haven’t found out quite where. As a result, it floats in our orbit, out of context with what is happening in our present-day life and wholly misunderstood.

When we experience a “trigger” what we are in the midst of is the invitation of the body to have a corrective emotional experience. An unfinished cycle of activation and energy seeking out completion. It is that missing puzzle piece in our orbit searching for connection and reintegration.

While this experience sounds romantic, it is far from easy. Allowing ourselves to accept and process experiences of the past means that we need to have established a felt sense of safety in the body and have resourced ourselves with the tools and skills to ground and centre in the midst of discomfort. It’s a body led experience of increasing capacity and of accepting and allowing for the parts of ourselves and our experiences that felt too hard for us to hold to be welcomed back into the fold.

In this episode, we talk about the nature of injury and how traumatic stress is held in the body. I expand on the hows and whys of what I teach, and the process I follow that allow us to integrate the uncomfortable, expand on the good, and resource us to meet ourselves and our horses in the moment.

You can tune your listening ears in below or by searching The Confident Rider Podcast on your fave podcast app 😍👏

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

 

A Mash Up Session: On Comfort Not Being The Goal, The Joy Of Movement & Grounding In The Midst Of Social Pressure

So as it goes, I had a very specific idea in mind for what I was going to talk about in this week’s episode, but as soon as I hit record, something very different came out! When it came time to give it an actual title, the only thing I could think of was, well, it’s kind of a mash-up of a few different things so I’ve decided to roll with exactly that- a combination episode of a few different things all rolled into one!

Here’s a brief snapshot…

⭐️ The role of social and systemic frameworks and their influence on us “doing the work”

Let me unpack that a little bit more now…

Something I’ve become more and more aware of is how the structural and social frameworks that we are a part of cannot be discounted when we are involving ourselves in any kind of self-development work. We are fed this idea that if we have concerns, anxieties, or things aren’t going the way that we would like them too that doing the inner work is both the start and endpoint to our “problems”. Naturally, taking care of our “stuff” is super important and developing the resilience, tools, and self-awareness to be able to show up in the world in a way that aligns with what’s important to you is the foundational piece. However, changing things up on a personal level, unfortunately, doesn’t necessarily mean that the world shapeshifts to support you; it’s important to understand that kickback and resistance are in some instances inevitable, especially where there is structural and social inequity. If we aren’t aware of this essential piece, it’s easy to internalize the sharp edges you come up against as a failure on your part, and it’s this misunderstanding that prevents us from truly stepping into our own power.

⭐️ Why comfort isn’t the goal (I go into this one in quite a lot of detail!)

⭐️ The joy of movement and the role of movement-based practices in my work

I hope you enjoy it, happy listening!

❤️ Jane

Developing Responsiveness: The Importance Of Seeking Out Novelty & Embracing The Unusual

Ok team! Let’s think about what it means to be responsive and to have cultivated a way of being that allows us to respond appropriately to the moment and doesn’t see us stuck in any one spot in our nervous system for longer than we need to be.

What does it mean to respond appropriately? It means that whatever comes into our experience, we are still able to mobilize our body- to stand our ground, to move away if necessary, or even to move towards the object or situation in question should that be required- and simultaneously be able to anchor and centre in the midst of that.

It means there is an intentionality to how it is we are in relationship with the energy- that even if what we are feeling is big and powerful, we are still able to contain it within the edges of our skin, and as a consequence, we can choose to direct how and where that energy is going to be channeled.

Responsiveness, then, requires familiarity and the ability to still have access to our own personal agency under pressure or stress. Familiarity means that we can hold power without it causing us to feel frightened by that experience and move into shutdown (for example).

How do we train for that? By intentionally creating experiences that are novel or unfamiliar so we can observe our responses, learn to control the physiology of the experience (how it shows up in our body), and develop a flexibility and adaptability to the world around us and how we move within it.

We talk about all this and more in this episode!

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

“I’m afraid to canter”: Increasing Our Capacity for Bigger Energies & Experiences

Let’s talk about nervous system capacity and how it relates to the experience of being afraid to canter. Before we get into it, I just want to put this out there- some of you will explicitly relate to this example and for others, it’s not going to register on your radar. If you fall into the latter group, take out “being afraid to canter” and drop in there any challenge of choice that you fill like is a sticking point right now. Chances are the same principles will apply….

Back to the canter…

All of the work that we do with our horses exists on an energetic continuum. The walk, for example, produces less energetic resonance than a big trot or a canter. Typically, we think of the gaits from a rider perspective as very compartmentalized but how I prefer to think of them- and what is infinitely more helpful when it comes to learning how to match them- is to think of them as existing on an energetic sliding slide, beginning with lower power states and moving through to experiences of higher power and energy.

Our comfort level and ability to integrate with the energetic experience our horses offer us is wholly dependent on our capacity to hold that energy. I refer to it as activation and from a nervous system perspective, the amount of activation you can hold in your body equates to how much of the same experience you can handle before the experience gets bigger than you, and consequently, you move into a survival response of flight, fight, freeze or collapse.

In this episode, we are going to talk about exactly this and more including:

  • The necessary process to increase our ability to hold activation and energy in the body so we can work in higher power states with our horses
  • The coupling together of that same energy with the feeling of being under threat or is danger (and how to parse those apart)
  • Relaxation Induced Anxiety: Where the experience of opening and release in the body creates a reflexive response back into tension (and what you can do about it).

You can tune your listening ears in here:

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

Riding The Growth Edge: What To Do When You Reach A Stuck Point

Stuck points! We all experience them, we all understand them as part of the learning process but what we also know is there’s a big difference between reaching a blip point and feeling like you’re continually running up against the same brick wall day in and day out.

And what’s more, if we do find ourselves stuck in a pattern of behavior without the context of understanding how our nervous system operates, it’s very easy to start to internalize experiences as personal flaws or weaknesses, rather than direct expressions of our capacity and our body and minds best attempt to keep us safe.

In this episode, we discuss how it is you can move beyond a stuck point in your riding or training and how it is we can begin to understand our responses and resource ourselves to better deal with challenging or uncomfortable circumstances that habitually send us into flight, fight, freeze or shutdown.

We look at:

  • The hallmarks of traumatic stress and the common default responses that occur when we are extended out of our zone of “I’ve Got This”
  • How showing up is your superpower (and why the key to it involves living with less perfection)
  • The “dead zone” of awareness and the path between “I’m ok” and “I’m really not ok!”
  • Looking out for your own calming signals (as well as those of your horse)
  • Parsing about habitual responses to better understand when to keep going and when to drop it back

 

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

Understanding Positivity & Catastrophising From The Level Of The Nervous System

Ever thought to yourself, I wish I could think more positively! Or what’s more, found yourself catastrophizing about every situation that comes your way until you’re mentally drowning in worst-case scenarios? It’s a vicious loop to get caught up in and one that can feel almost impossible to step out of.

Most conversations around this topic approach it at the level of the mind, which at first glance makes a lot of sense. After all, if it’s the mind that’s causing the “issues”, surely that’s the place that we need to be doing the work?

What if, though, the thoughts that we were having were a symptom of underlying nervous system dysregulation, and we were approaching things from the wrong angle?

Think of it this way: When we are operating from a place of chronic hypervigilance or stress, we are operating from the smoke alarm part of our brain. When we are in that place, we are primarily interested in safety and survival. It makes sense then that if this is where our nervous system is sitting, that our thoughts will be demonstrative of that also. Trying to change your thoughts without addressing the underlying dysregulation then means we are always going to be chasing our tail. At best, our system is always going to override our best attempts in its ongoing quest to keep us safe and we will also be stuck in an ongoing war between what we THINK we should be thinking, how we actually feel, and what we are projecting.

We discuss all this and more in this episode; a bottom-up approach to negative thinking and how it is we might be going about things the wrong way around.

You tune into the latest here:

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

Tuning In & Tuning Out: A Broader Conversation On What It Means To Look After Yourself

The belief of not being good enough. The endless quest to be “better” than we are now. The constant busyness….

What we understand about all of these things is that they are not specific to only a handful of people but have come to be a predictable part of our shared psyche and habits. Consequently, when it comes to looking at new ways of going about things, we need to go beyond individual assessments and understandings and look at how our community and cultural beliefs are informing us and influencing our understandings and behavior.

It’s my belief that we are at a transition point in our collective and individual consciousness which leads to us navigating two different tensions; the one we are emerging from tells us that motivation and empowerment come from continual striving towards a future marker, the belief implicit to this telling us we aren’t good enough as we are now; the other calling for more introspection, presence, and responsiveness to the moment. This leads to a struggle between heart and mind as we seek to reconcile the conditioned thoughts that tell us how we should be or how things should look if we were successful according to the traditional paradigm, and a more intuitive sense of our place and how we would like things to be.

In this episode, we look at the intersection of self-care, the concept of flooding, or systemic overwhelm and how this feeds through to how we are showing up for our horses.

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

Connecting To Your Backbone: A Conversation on Power & Empowerment

What’s your relationship to mindful anger, aggression, and power? When you read or say those words to yourself, how do they sit in your body?

We all have a somatic, or body-based relationship to language, and it’s a big part of why the words that we choose matter and how describing something from a slightly different angle can open up a new perspective for us. In the first instance, when I think of anger, aggression, and power, I think of dominance and force. My associations with these words have, in the past, led me to lean away from any demonstrations of them in my own life, rather than towards. After all, if our connections to what they mean don’t represent something “positive”; if we don’t have healthy role models or cultural contexts for what they represent in an empowering form, why would we seek to include them as part of our experience?

The thing is, the experience anger, aggression and power are part of what it means to be human. Our preference for them doesn’t remove them from our lives. If we don’t develop a healthy relationship with these parts of ourselves- and it goes without saying not every presentation of them is healthy- then we inadvertently get ourselves into a situation where they are the master of us, rather than us being the master of them.

The key lies in being able to harness the physiology of what it means to hold activation in the system and to be able to contain the energy within the container of our body so we have a choice about how and where to channel it.

When we talk about the mindful versions of anger, aggression, and power, we are talking about your inner connection to determination and strength; a feeling of something in you that connects you to your backbone, and a restoration of integrity and dignity in the body in the face of what can be challenging circumstances.

Within this, we understand that truly harnessing the power of these energies mindfully does not exist at the expense of the less hot emotions, such as kindness, compassion, and love, but in partnership with them.

The ability to cultivate a healthy sense of your own power is an internal circuit system that allows you to step up that allows you to say “come on, I can get through this part that’s currently challenging me and do this thing I want to do”. It’s a necessary, welcome, and intrinsic part of our humanity.

You can tune into the episode here:

Happy listening!

❤️ Jane

Resetting The Smoke Alarm: Uncoupling Emotional Experiences From Personality & Identity

Let’s consider for a moment that our nervous system exists on more than just an individual level; it exists on a collective level as well. Not only are we working within the context of our own, personal experience but we are also living within the dynamics of the social and cultural nervous system also, creating a broader ecosystem of feeling, response, and reaction that we are all in constant relationship with.

Having an understanding of how the nervous system functions and the tendencies that we all share that lie under the umbrella of “being human” is vital in order that we can zoom out from our individual experience and recognize the context that informs much of our behaviors and responses. Without context- without recognizing how we are set up to survive and thrive as creatures on the planet- it’s all too easy to internalize challenges or feeling states, such as anxiety or fear, and own them as an inherent part of our personality, rather than an understandable response of our nervous system in the face of traumatic stress.

This is where it gets interesting. Let’s say that at some time in the past, I experienced a high-stress event, but at the point of high activation there has also been a highly charged emotion attached- say in the case of an accident, injury or trauma- which has not been effectively addressed or integrated, that energy can stay stuck in the body. It’s possible then that we find ourselves in a situation- sometimes shortly after, sometimes many years down the line- where we find ourselves skilled and able but having a disproportionate response to something in front of us. One that seemingly has no context and appears inappropriate for the moment. If we have enough reactions of this nature, we internalize the experience and instead of understanding it as a result of chronic stress or trauma, we see it as in intrinsic part of us, or what’s more that we are flawed and incapable.

Enter:

I am a nervous rider
I am an anxious rider
I’m not very brave

… and so on and so forth.

This internalization of experience as some sort of weakness or flaw is problematic in many ways. Firstly, if we believe a “problem” is “inherently part of us”, we distance ourselves from the ways and means to move through it.

Secondly, we desensitize ourselves from our intuition and instinct that gives us true and real indications of how to navigate the situation that we find ourselves in.

And thirdly, if you want to fast track to feeling down and out and even hopeless, this is a great way to get you there.

In this episode, I talk all about context and understanding and why both will help you reassess the areas where you may have confused an emotional experience or behavior with a part of your personality or identity.

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

On Increasing Your Capacity & Why Mindfulness Isn’t Always The Answer

Capacity is a word that’s entered into my work in a big way. But what does it mean to increase your capacity? And why is this an important consideration when it comes to being effective, compassionate, and creative horsepeople?

Capacity, the way I teach it, relates to the amount of activation we can hold in our body before we go into a place of flight, fight or freeze. It’s a dynamic conversation based on our experiences up to that point, how much our mental, emotional, and physical energies have been drawn on over the course of the day and where our current thresholds are.

When we turn our attention to increasing our capacity- to increasing the ability of our body to hold and maintain the energy of the experience without disconnecting from ourselves or our environment- then we can move beyond just “managing” fear, anxiety, overwhelm and frustration and create a way of being that allows us to hold more.

In order for us to do so, it’s important to educate ourselves on the way our nervous system works and understand within that why mindfulness techniques may not always be the most effective answer in the moment.

All this and more in the latest episode! You can tune your listening ears in here:

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

The Power And The Presence Of Mindful Anger

Of all the emotions we think of when it comes to horses and riding, anger would be up there with the seemingly most inappropriate. I totally get it. After all, most of our associations with anger link us directly to outbursts that cause harm and upset to someone or something else. Our limited understanding of anger, however, causes us to shut ourselves off from a very important and powerful experience; one that allows us to harness a potent energy that’s necessary for forward momentum, passion, and assertiveness and gives us to tap into our own strength, in whatever way we might need it in the moment.

In this episode, I discuss mindful anger and its role in our riding and our life. We look at how we may have been conditioned out of its essential essence and how we can go about inviting more of it into our experience, for the benefit of ourselves and our horses.

You can tune your listening ears in here!

 

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️Jane

Holding Your Centre In The Midst Of Hard Things

Like many of us, I’ve found the last few weeks to be a continual wave of constant and fairly intense experiences. The general atmosphere we are operating in is charged, and as a consequence, we are approaching everything in front of us from a place of heightened activation also.

Everywhere we go, there are hard conversations. Everywhere we look, there are polarising opinions and calls to ask us to take sides. It can be confusing, inflaming, overwhelming, and at its worst, destructive.

What I love is that everyone that follows along here, especially in my member’s group, JoyRide, is here with the central, unifying reason of horses. For many of us, the work on ourselves has begun with and for our horses. But what has become more and more obvious to me is the flow-on effects to other areas of our life; how we can also see that these skills- the ability to hold our centre; the ability to not shut down or run away; the ability to maintain a sense of self that we are all working on- allows us to have a social discourse and to talk about big issues BEYOND our horses in a way that is loving and mutually respectful, and for that, I am so, so grateful.

In this episode, I explore how it is that our horses provide us with a training ground for life, and how the skills that we develop are transferable to every other area that we involve ourselves in, whether we are aware of it or not.

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️Jane

Olivia Towers: On Mindset, Dressage & Being Enough

Olivia Towers is in the house! Olivia is so many things (all good I might add), but amongst her many talents, she is a Grand Prix Dressage Rider, entrepreneur, Vlogger, and blogger with a passion for mindset and really getting the best out of yourself.

I’ve talked to Olivia before on her podcast a little while back, so it was super fun to get to switch seats and be the one asking the questions! Aside from the obvious bonding point that we both have a horse named Sausage #sistersforlife, Olivia and I chatter about

⭐️ Her journey from self-doubt and anxiety to diving into the world of mindset and self-development

⭐️ How she uses her social media platforms to show both sides of her equestrian journey, and be “the voice of real-ness”

⭐️ Her competitive aspirations and path with her own horses

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️Jane

You can find Olivia on the links below!

Website

Facebook

Instagram

YouTube

When Calming Down Isn’t The Answer: Dealing With Nervous System Activation In Horses & Humans

Is it ever NOT appropriate to calm down? We talked about this in a post a week or so back and I’m exploring more in today’s podcast!

Let’s break it down…

Whenever we move into a sympathetic response that brings a lot of energy to the surface (anger, fear, and anxiety are all examples of this) we are often taught that we need to calm down; that the goal is to move from a place of reaction and activation to relaxation by changing our thoughts and perhaps taking a series of deep breaths.

In order for us to find true relaxation, however, there needs to be a discharge and an honoring of the energy that’s present. This does not mean channeling anger towards someone or something in a harmful way or melting down in a pool of panic but it does mean meeting the energy where it’s at and finding ways to release it from the system so it’s not driven down to a darker and deeper place.

In order for it to be a corrective emotional experience, however, the energy needs to be integrated, not just released. What does that mean? In this episode, we explore exactly that. I give you two examples of how we can work with that- one horse and one human- in response to nervous system activation.

I hope you enjoy it!

❤️ Jane

Instinct And Inner Awareness: 3 Ways To Develop Your Intuition

Intuition and instinct: how often do you allow yourself to follow yours? And what’s more, do you feel like you are connected to that internal sense of self enough that you are able to hear when it expresses a desire or impulse to you?

Many of us don’t. But that doesn’t mean we can’t cast off the layers of social and cultural conditioning that tell us it’s not ok to trust ourselves or to follow our own instincts and curiosity. Reclaiming our intuitive selves requires reconnection and re-embodiment; it’s a process of following our own impulses, of understanding our own boundaries and recognizing that being with our horses and engaging in life is not a pass/fail test.

Working together with our horses takes us through a master thesis of developing feel and inner knowing. Our society and educational system values and applauds rational and logical thought above all else, and as a consequence, we have an overdeveloped thinking mind and have left our emotional and instinctual bodies depleted and dehydrated. Our horses- if we allow them too- pull us out of that space and ask that we reconnect to a much lesser understood but equally valuable part of ourselves that is generated both from within and through tapping into a bigger, universal pool of intelligence that’s available to everyone.

In this episode, we explore how you can reignite the flame of your intuition by paying attention to three areas of focus; your curiosity, your boundaries, and free, organic movement.

You can tune in to the episode here:

I hope you enjoy it!

The Masterson Method: Relaxation, Relationship & Relieving Tension With Your Horse With Jim Masterson

Team, I am so thrilled to be able to share this conversation with you today on my podcast. I’m talking with Jim Masterson about the Masterson Method and how it is we can work with our horse to release underlying patterns of tension and promote optimal health, relaxation, and connection.

Many of you will have heard me talk about this integrated bodywork practice before and it’s something I’m utilizing on a near-daily basis together with my own horses. I’ve found the results to be fascinating and profound, and I really believe that the Masterson Method is something that all horse owners need to have in their knowledge bank.

Over the course of our conversation we talk about:

⭐️ The what, how and why of the Masterson Method: How you can apply it to bring awareness to, relieve and release underlying patterns of tension with your horse

⭐️ The role of awareness and intuition in allowing for relaxation

⭐️ The signs of tension and signs of release: How to recognize both and create space for optimal release and balance

We are also throwing down the challenge to you to watch the Bladder Meridian Video that Jim mentioned over the course of our talk (you can watch that here) and try it out for yourself. Set up your phone, hit record and share your experiences with us! Make sure you tag us in so you can share the magic.

Let’s get into the episode!

 

To find out more about Jim and the Masterson Method, check the links below!

Website

Facebook

Instagram

YouTube

Meeting The Energy Where It’s At: Working With Flight, Fight & Freeze

Beating yourself up for not maintaining a solid baseline of calm with everything that is going on? You’re not the only one! But the thing is, we aren’t designed (nor is it preferable) for us to be calm all of the time. In an environment where there are lots of triggers ringing our nervous system alarm bells- from the sounds of actual alarms in our physical environment if you’re in the city, to a flooding of pandemic social media posts, to more distressed looks on the faces you see- it’s a very functional response of your nervous system to be moving more into flight and fight, and for some of us freeze.

All of these functions have healthy expressions, it’s just that for most of us (in my work and experience anyway) we have come to associate all energetic activation in the body with fear. That also means that when we are presented with a horse with a big amount of energy or a situation that requires us to embody more energetic charge, we find ourselves unable to cope with it- physically, mentally and emotionally.

The learning, then, is to begin to condition (or re-condition in the case of any pre-existing trauma) ourselves to a higher energetic frequency in our bodies as a vital response of the body; vital in as much as it’s an expression of vitality as much as it is communicating a message. I believe this to be of fundamental importance not only in successfully navigating the global situation that we find ourselves in, but in developing the emotional and energetic agility needed to work with our horses.

In this episode, we discuss this and other points including:

⭐️ Healthy ways of meeting and discharging the flight and fight response

⭐️ Understanding freeze: When to take energy away and when to add it

⭐️ Stuck on a channel: Why we need to develop our physical and energetic range for the sake of ourselves and our horses

I’m so passionate about the messages I’ve shared in this episode and would be so appreciative if you shared this post or the podcast episode in whatever way you see fit with your friends or riding buddies.

You can tune your listening ears in here, or via your favourite podcast app:

I hope you find it useful!

❤️ Jane

 

5 Things To Practice Outside Of The Saddle To Transform Your Time In It

Aye kaboosh! What’re the feels out there currently? From where I sit, it’s certainly a mixed bag. One thing I do know is that we need to be even more intentional than usual in looking after our own sanity and wellness so we can ride out the waves as easefully as possible.

The other thing? Whether or not you are able to hang with your horse currently or not, many of us have a niggling voice in the back of our minds telling us to hold onto our horsey plans by whatever means possible (even if that’s in a drastically modified form!).

The beauty of the kind of work I do is that I work with what I call transferable practices. This means that you can apply the principles that I teach in your riding and your day to day life circumstances… which also means you can practice your mindset for the saddle in your everyday life too.

A lot of what is happening right now is emotional amplification, meaning that if you are familiar with operating from a baseline that includes a certain amount of anxiety, concern or worry, those tendencies are going to be magnified now. The good news is that getting on board with what you can do to manage that (and be kind to yourself in the process) means that when you step foot in the arena next, you are going to be in an all-round better position to manage yourself for the sake of your horse (and yourself, obviously). It’s a total win-win.

So in this episode, we expand and chatter more about that. Five transferable practices that you can utilize and get better at wherever you find yourself sitting or standing now that will strengthen your mental and emotional muscles when you’re out there with your horse.

Happy listening!

❤️Jane

Freedom With Structure: Healthy Habits For Sanity & Wellness

Routine! It used to be a word that I turned my nose up at, but these days, routine and I are pretty much BFFs. With so many of us finding ourselves well outside of our normal routines currently, it’s important that we seek out and create some form of structure in our day so we don’t find ourselves floating around in free-form, crazy-making territory!

What it comes down to is this: When you have a lot of time on your hands and not a lot of variety in terms of how you can spend it, it’s easy to get into a routine that follows the path of least resistance and leaves you feeling under-nourished mentally, emotionally and physically (hello endless watching of TV and scrolling the internet!). As humans, two of our base needs is to have a sense of purpose and to experience a sense of progress. Both of these are possible to cultivate, we just need to be intentional in how we are using our time.

The other thing that I consider uber important? Taking care of your nervous system. Right now, I believe self-care is part of our community and global responsibility. This is a time where our considered responses, our creativity and our ability to care for each other are needed more than ever. We aren’t able to do any of those things in any constructive way if we are anxious, overwhelmed and strung out.

In this episode, I run you through some important things to consider to create purpose, structure and wellness in your day, and how you can go about creating a routine in a somewhat routine-less world right now.

Happy listening!

❤️Jane

Some links I referred to:

Freedom With Structure: Healthy Habits For Sanity & Wellness Blog

Sleep Is Your SuperPower TED Talk

Setting Your Intention: A Guided Meditation

?A gift for you!

I thought we could take a little moment together and do a shared, guided meditation. Be aware that within the aloneness, you are very much not alone, and within the non-idealness that might be happening right now, we are very much together in this.

And that it’s possible for us to find new ways of going about things, new ways of connecting, of understanding our minds and our hearts so that we are not only better equipped to navigate the situation that we find in front of us, but we’re better equipped to be able to reenter the fold with our horses, with our loved ones, with our work, with whatever presents as we shift out of this phase also, and into whatever lies ahead.

So here it is- your invitation to spend ten minutes of calm, balance and connection with me as we go about our day.

And if you want to spread the love, please share this! I would love to get this out to as many ears who need it as possible.

Have the best day possible!

?Jane

Coming Back To Ourselves: Cultivating A Sense Of Safety In The Midst Of Distress & Concern

Given the current state of affairs with a global pandemic and the likes, I thought that the obvious place to start this episode was sharing my current obsession (read: past obsession. I’ve since eaten them all) with chocolate-coated raspberries. These amazing creatures were dropped off in my letterbox by a beautiful friend and have brightened all my days since with their outrageous deliciousness.

Although that IS a massively important topic, it’s not the key ones that I want to share in this episode. Aside from all getting together, swearing out loud and screwing up our faces in a kind of “can you believe this?!” kind of expression (the first is banned, but the other two it is possible to do remotely) I wanted to talk about just how important it is to be able to cultivate an internal sense of safety and control so we can navigate the situation we find ourselves in as gracefully and easefully as possible.

The thing is, right now, we have an enormous opportunity to be part of the solution, and that begins with taking care of your body, heart, and mind so that you show up for the day to day in a way that is sustainable, be of the highest service so you can be there for those who need what you have to offer, be a conduit for creative solutions and contribute to the beneficial flow of energy that is so needed right now.

If that sounds like something you could use, we get into the hows and whys of how to make that happen, including:

⭐️ How to create nervous system calm: I run you through a practical process for re-embodiment and getting out of your head and back into your body

⭐️ The importance of self-care: Why self-care is not only vital for you as an individual right now, but is part of your community and global responsibility

⭐️ How to reestablish control in an environment that feels the opposite

I hope you get a lot out of it. If you have any questions, please hit me up in the comments. And if there’s anything I can do to help, just let me know!

One more thing: I would so appreciate it if you share this. I think these tools are really needed at the moment so please send on the flow of love if that feels right for you.

Onwards,

❤️ Jane

In this session, I mentioned the Be The Wellness Series that ran live and is available for you to sign up to now. Click here to check it out.