The Power of Pause. Why its so important to take breaks when you work with your Horse.

I don’t know about you, but I remember having lessons (and even later on teaching lessons) where it was all go-go-go. We would go from one exercise to another, whether it was pole work, transitions, jumping etc, without stopping for breath, because it was all about how much ‘progress’ you could pack into a session.

I very vividly remember, way back in the day, teaching this way- feeling pressured to get as much done as possible and to ‘keep everyone moving’.

Nowadays, I’m happy to report that I know much better, and I understand the power of having lots of pauses for integration throughout sessions I am teaching, and also when I exercise or work with my horse.

So why are pauses throughout sessions with your horses so important?

In working sessions between humans and horses, those moments of pause play a crucial role in facilitating learning and integration. This is rooted in the functioning of the nervous systems of both species.

Humans rely on their nervous system to interpret signals and communicate effectively with our horses, and pauses allow for reflection and relaxation, aiding in the consolidation and integration of learning and refinement of techniques, mentally, physically, and energetically.

Horses possess a sensitive nervous system that enables them to perceive human cues, and allowing moments of quiet, provide them too with the opportunity to process information and alleviate stress, fostering a sense of safety and trust, and preventing them feeling ‘overloaded’ with information, particularly if we are working on something new. This then allows us to make progress together, because learning and growing from a place of relaxation, rather than constant buzz and stress, is considerably more effective and enjoyable for all.

Overall, pauses are integral to working sessions, allowing for the synchronisation of body and mind, fostering trust, and facilitating effective communication between humans and horses.

Next time you work with your horse, I encourage you to try introducing some mindful pauses in your sessions to breathe and integrate, it may seem counter intuitive to ‘slow down to speed up’ your progress, but I’d love to know if you try it, how it changes your sessions…because I have a feeling, there’ll be all the better for it!

Thats all for now, lots of Idyllwild love,

Kim 🙂

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