If you haven't established a daily centering routine - whether it's a morning routine or a routine that you use just before hopping on - I'm here to tell you what a valuable tool this can be for your riding.
In my last post, I discussed the importance of arriving at each ride in the same mindset (as much as possible - we're all human, after all!). So, how do we do that?
Routines are an excellent way to help you find mental consistency in the turbulence of day-to-day life. This helps you re-center yourself and approach your horse and your ride with the same calm, focused, fully-present mind, regardless of what your day might be throwing your way. Not only does this horse help you and your horse learn more effectively, but it also helps you get the most enjoyment out of your time together -- which is what we all want!
Here's a glimpse into my morning routine that I use before I get on my first horse:
- An important part of my morning routine is my meditation practice. I set aside 15-30 minutes to sit quietly and meditate, using simple practices to still my body, quiet my mind, and connect with my heart. I do have a meditation cushion that I sit on, but meditation looks different for everyone! You can start with just 2 minutes of noticing the sensations in your body as you sit still in a comfortable position and see what you notice. Be curious...it's a practice, not a cure. Like anything worth doing, if you give it time and commit to consistency, you will notice positive changes.
- I try not to be on my phone first thing in the morning, before I do my morning practice. It makes my world feel a little less chaotic, and allows me to focus, so it's helpful for me to give that little gift to myself. Otherwise, I find that I may meet the horses with a busier mind than intended.
- After I meditate, feed my children and have my own breakfast and coffee, I put on my riding gear and try to set an intention for the day ahead. I will do a bit of visualization before riding my horse, Albert, or any of the horses here for training - clearly seeing and feeling them going straight, forward, or whatever my goal is for the ride.
- Then, I find myself ready to head into the barn and meet my horses and clients with a calm, clear mind.
In my next post, I'll talk about some ways to build your own morning or pre-ride routine!