I'm standing next to a small mare, named Bet, and her owner Myriam in a muddy arena.
Myriam has tears in her eyes while she's explaining: "Karine, I'm struggling so much with my mare Bet. When leading her she often doesn't want to come along, she stops a lot and doesn't want to move anymore. When I try to lunge her, she doesn't want to leave on the circle and if she does, she pulls away from me.
The other day she managed to pull loose and run back to the field. My husband wants me to sell her, because I'm so stressed about this, but I don't want to. My instructor told me I should be more firm with her, but if I do that it only gets worse. Can you help me?"
When Myriam was sharing her story I could see she had some tension in her body and this became even more clear when I asked her to lead her mare on the track. She walks with short and tensed strides. She clenches her jaw and the shoulder of her leading arm is pulled up slightly.
After only a minute or so Bet stops. She plants her hoofs in the mud and refuses to take another step forward. Myriam looks at me and says: "See?! And now I can do whatever I want, she will just stand there."
I ask Myriam to show me how she handles this when she's alone, and while Myriam is working with her horse I can see that she knows how to handle a horse. That's not the problem. The problem is her tension.
So I ask Myriam to drop her pulled-up shoulder.
"Which shoulder?" she asks.
Now, if someone asks someone else which of his shoulders he is pulling up himself, then you can be sure that this person lacks body awareness...
So not only the tension was the problem, but also the lack of body and movement awareness.
I decide to work with that. We take Bet's halter off and we practice some Mindful Moving exercises. Myriam becomes more aware of her shoulders and the tension she's carrying there. She releases that tension and is able to move with relaxed and soft shoulders.
Then Myriam becomes aware of her clenched jaw and how important it is to relax your jaw if you want to move better. Her stride becomes more natural, more balanced. I can see a smile on Myriam's face.
"Walking like this feels so much better" she says.
In the meantime Bet is watching us from a distance. We walk up to her and halter her. I ask Myriam to walk with awareness, and to implement what she just learned while leading her horse Bet.
Myriam walks and Bet follows. For 1 minute, 5 minutes. No stopping.
Myriam asks Bet to go on a circle and Bet walks and trots on a circle for a few minutes. No refusing, no pulling.
Bet is calm, relaxed, and willing.
Isn't it amazing how expanding your body and movement awareness can have such a profound impact on your horse?
That's because it all starts with YOU.
It all starts with the awareness of YOUR body and YOUR movements.
One way to develop and expand your body and movement awareness is practicing Mindful Moving.
And you can learn all about Mindful Moving by joining my upcoming Connection Circle!
What do you need to be able to attend this connection circle about Mindful Moving?
"Becoming aware of they way I move has changed the way I work with my horse tremendously. I'm better in explaining my mare Siske what I want from her, there's "less noise on my radio" you could say. I stopped doing to much and learned to do only the necessary. Siske loves the change in the way I communicate. Our connection got stronger because of it."
"Developing more body awareness has been an interesting journey. I became a different horse trainer: physically more balanced, mentally and emotionally much calmer, energetically more sensitive to what my horse is trying to tell me."
"My horse was always very tensed. I tried different training techniques, without good result. Now I know why: it had nothing to do with the methods I followed, but everything with my own body and how I used my body. When I started to move with more mindfulness, my horse also started to move with more mindfulness and less stress. It's fun now to train my horse."
"Wow, the micro movements you thought us Karine helped me to realise I'm totally out of balance when standing and sitting. I was not aware of that! I will try these micro movements in the saddle as well, because my horse is often very lazy, just like you explained what can happen when you're sitting out of balance in the saddle. Your mindful movement lesson was a true eye-opener! Thank you!"
Samantha- The Netherlands
"Mindful Moving helps me to release tension, I feel better and happier, I am more connected and grounded. My riding is influenced in a good way because of it.
Maja - Finland
"I really love this practice and I believe it changed how I go through my days. Much more peacefulness."
Susan - USA
The price will be exchanged to your local currency during the check-out process.
Below is an indication of what you can expect:
USD $59 / GBP £43 / AUD $77 / NZD $83 / CAD $74
After purchase you'll be redirected to a page where you can register for the session. Please be patient and do not close the page. We will send you the details about how to access the live workshop.
Founder of Horsefulness Training
Next to being a full-time horse trainer and instructor for the last 25 years of my life, I developed 3 online programs about horse training.
The goal of these programs is helping people to build a true connection with their horse in liberty
and train their horse on the ground and in the saddle in a respectful and mindful way.
These "Connection Circles" are my newest project and my goal with these interactive and online workshops is to bring people from all over the world together online to learn about horse training and related topics.
Knowing that you are learning together with other people, at the same moment, is highly motivating and inspiring.
Especially if everybody has the same goal and the same vision: creating a better world for horses and becoming the best horseman they can be for their own horse.
Because it all starts here and now, in your own (horse) life.
That's why I invite you to my Connection Circle: to learn together, practice together and grow together!
And to make a difference in our horse's lives!
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