“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

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