Navigating that line in terms of knowing how far to “take things” in training is always an interesting discussion. We all know that in order to level up in anything, we need to go through a period of resistance that’s synonymous with pushing the edges of our comfort zone and expanding our window of tolerance (or our horse’s comfort zone, depending on which one of us is the focus). What I’ve realized of late is negotiating this area is actually far simpler than I thought; it’s all to do with the connection. The moment that you lose the mental connection between you and that is the moment you know you’ve gone too far over threshold.
This in and of itself is not the end of the world, it just means that any “training” becomes obsolete until the connection is re-established. It always needs to be the primary concern.
It’s interesting to observe this connection within ourselves also. When you feel that you have lost your center or been thrown off course, make returning to that your priority. For as long as we continue to move from the inside out, we will continue to move with the flow of emotion and energy instead of against it.
Nadia (the horse pictured) is one of my gurus of this practice. From a training perspective, it’s possible for us to dance. If I lose the connection, however, I lose everything. The dance does not just slow down, it grinds to a halt. To remain connected to her, I must remain connected to myself. Which is easy, of course, until it’s not.
“Connection: The energy that exists between two people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship” ~ Brene Brown.
No doubt she would say the same of our horses.
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