I’m a failure, I’m ruining my horse, I think I should give up, my horse is feeding off my nerves, I had an accident and I haven’t been the same since. I hear all of this on a daily basis, in my inbox, and in posts online.
On the flip side, many of the responses that are offered revolve around changing your thoughts, your mindset, your perspective, and while that is part of the process for sure, I’ve come to realise that this is not the start point. In fact, telling someone to just “think their way out of it” can drive those feelings of despair deeper, and if you’re on the receiving end of that advice, make you want to poke your eyes out with a toothpick.
Why? In the first place, these experiences are physical. They are illustrative of the current capacity of our nervous system and the dial that we currently find ourselves stuck on- be that flight, fight, freeze or collapse.
Confusion, dissociation, a feeling of helplessness, or being a lost cause, resignation, despair… these are the psychological and emotional bi-products of freeze or collapse. Physically, this shows up as a lack of tone in the tissue and the fascia, the literal and emotional container of our body.
Think of the way someone who demonstrates these thoughts will present. Not with a posture of integrity or assuredness, but where the front part of the body has crumpled and lost its own tonality. In collapse.
In order to begin to emerge from that place, we need to invite activation and energy back into the body, and at once, resource ourselves the be able to handle it; to increase our window of tolerance to be able to hold the bigger energies of more active emotional experiences and stay connected to ourselves, our horses and our environment.
From there it’s possible to change our thoughts, but before that? Our whole system tells us it’s not safe to do so.
Establish safety in the system. Activate and contain. Mobilise body and mind.
Curious to learn more about JoyRide, The Confident Rider Online Program? You can check it out here: