Back in the Saddle

 In Weekly Forum Discussion

The first thing that came to mind reading this week’s topic is horseback riding.  This is my “go to” when feeling unbalanced.  This is the perfect balance between being in my comfort zone and having unpredictability.  The slightest change in me, the weather, or my horse and the ride could go from good to bad drastically.  I must be present at all times to think and connect with my horse well.

Horses are a flight animal and when uneasy their first instinct is to run.  If I am not in balance up on my horse he knows that instantly and he could lose trust in me very quickly.  To have a great connection with my horses, I need to be balanced around them.  If I’m not, they let me know immediately.

The minute I feel off balance, I know the best route back to balance is riding my horse, When.   When is over a thousand pounds, and is able to read me already when I cross the field towards him.  He can tell if I’m angry, sad or happy before I am even close to him.  You can imagine then, how quickly he can read my body when I’m sitting on him.  As I head to the first barrel in a barrel race at full speed and pick my inside rein up just slightly and shift my weight back, he knows it’s time to gear down and dig in for the turn.

With fewer than twenty seconds to run a barrel pattern, I just don’t have time to make any mistakes.  We need to be fully connected, and I need to be fully balanced – both in the saddle and in my mind.  A bad day needs to be left at the arena gate every single ride.

Every single time I climb on my horse, I am forced to let everything go to be in balance with him so he can read me and I can read him well.  This way we both stay fully connected, safe and happy.

He is so in tune with me, that I could ride him without a saddle or bridle, and he would know exactly what I was asking by just a simple turn of my head.  It would not be fair to either of us if I was riding him worrying about my finances or about how bad my day had been.

For me balance is to be present.

When I am present, I am unable to dwell on the past or worry about future hardships.  I am just riding and connecting with my horse.  That’s it.  Simple.

As busy as my life is, I so appreciate the simple life.  This is the one time when nothing else in the world matters.  To watch a horse and rider moving in perfect balance together is thrilling for me to watch.  It is even better when I feel it on my own horse.  I think I will tackle life in the same way.  Perhaps I just need to picture myself in perfect balance with my horse to be able to feel more balanced in my daily life.


Amber. I DID miss this. I’m so happy to post it on the .com just now and read it properly. I know I read it, but it obviously didn’t sink in. It’s wonderful actually to be recognizing that in myself at the exact same moment as you are writing about being present, and especially in a way that I understand – with my body. I don’t ride horses like you do, but I ski like you ride horses. It’s where I don’t question the present. I telemark ski, so the binding is not fixed, and I rely on both the forward and side to side balance that my feet make as they connect with my ski, that is gliding effortlessly on the snow. It’s such a magical feeling. Proprioception is the body’s alchemy.

I think it is perfect for me to be reading this post while we are actually doing abundance (squared ha!) as a group. I did an abundance meditation a bunch of years ago, to locate the feeling of abundance in my body, and it was the feeling in between my shoulder blades after I have just ripped a mogul field or a phat line. It’s specific. It has to be a feat more difficult than my mind can get it’s caution around. It has to be hard. It has to be fast. It has to be such a way that my body takes charge of the present moment.

I had this feeling when I was running last week. I ran the last lap so hard that it produced that exact euphoria. Your post is perfectly timed for me. I had forgotten that running like that (a hard last lap) could create that feeling. I am so far removed from skiing every day… that fact creates not only a sense of lack and yearning, but an imbalance. I love suddenly connecting these feelings with the reflection of balance in your post.

I’m not lacking abundance or balance. It is not about activity or location. It’s about me, all out.

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