Sometimes ideas float through space and settle in different minds at the same time. This makes something happen, people start talking about it, and impressions, thoughts become topics of discussion, awareness is created and a new reality is established.
One of these ideas is “riding without emotions”.
It is a key lesson in order to ride really well. In my opinion riding without emotions means to discard of all negative feelings during a training session. To notice that which does not work well, but to react to it without emotions. Meaning: to not get annoyed, to not get angry, to not get impatient. Not with the horse and not with myself. Staying completely in the present moment.
So riding without emotions does not at all stand for “riding insensitively”.
On the contrary. Because only if I am able to free myself from such emotions can I be fair and sensitive.
I do not remain with an unpleasant feeling that makes me act more harshly than the situation would require.
I do not remain with a negative spiral of thoughts that disconnects me from feeling.
I do not allow myself to be goverened by negative thoughts with the result that I do not even notice anymore what my horse is up to beneath me.
I stay in the here and now. I am attentive. I take in without judging. It certainly does not mean that I simply allow the horse to do whatever it wants. I categorize and react. I watch out for every opportunity to be able to give positive support, to praise, to be happy.
Yet neither am I artificially ecstatic, which could warp my ability to notice what is just as much.
She who remains relaxed and joyful allows little room for negative thoughts. Negative thoughts are inner monologues like these for example:
„But he was able to do this last week already”
„Why on earth is he so stuck now”
„My inner hand is too strong again, I have to let go faster! When will I ever be able to do this!”
Instead: Lower your expectations, if something does not work.
Oh, how easily said, when exactly this is so darn difficult.
Even if your head is willing – your gut has to follow suit. It simply cannot remain upset about having to downgrade. And here we are again: being gracious. Towards oneself. Towards the horse. Riding with affection. With all technical consistency.
Because all the ambition and the demands on the horse and oneself are just obstacles on the way to being successful together. They even obstruct the goal. To raise your own awareness can be helpful in getting rid of negative thoughts. Take a free walk on a lose rein whenever you catch yourself thinking such thoughts. If you don’t succeed immediately in switching off the negative thoughts: don’t get upset. Be patient and be certain: you will be able to do it. It’s just a matter of time.
By the way, I was taught to ride without emotions the hard way. By a horse, not a person. A young mare who so consistently punished me every time I was not in the moment and with her, but entangled in an emotion, that I had no choice but to learn it. At first to simply stay in the saddle. Later to have her fine and motivated. I am very grateful to her for this lesson.
Thanks to Cavallo, this is a sponsored post.