Photo: In an old hay shed in Australia, we discovered ways to improve riding that may well change the way riding is taught forever. In the Fast Track Knowledge Base on the Student Forum, you can watch Clara & I discovering a way of riding that is beyond mere riding, where riding with such togetherness created the possibility for amazing healing of both horse and rider. Clara was visiting from Alaska to do some private lessons.
For those of you who have had frightening falls off horses, you have already released some of the stuck spots in the psoas muscle when you released fright imprints. And when you released spinal stuck spots in the soapy bones lesson, you increased the flexibility of your spine for being a good rider.
This lesson is about releasing whatever else is in the way of an incredibly magnetised butt, in the pelvis generally and in the psoas muscle specifically, so that you can easily learn to ride with the feel of your whole body.
So that you can learn to ride with the feel of your whole body…
That’s a very few words for a very big concept that, when you add it to what you have already been learning about the connection with your horse and their Comfort Zone, will have you break through into the circuit of powerful energy that melds horse and rider into one being.
Some of you will find that circuit of energy with your horse after this lesson. Some of you will find it after repeating this lesson a few times. And some of you will need to go back to your horse, help them to release more fear, tension and resistance and really find that self carriage that comes from a horse in their Comfort Zone – so that they can be the OTHER half of that circuit of energy.
Some of you, like me, will find it after releasing blockages and tension in the other parts of your body that I am going to cover in the NEXT lesson.
At 57 years old now, having abused my pelvis with falls and frights and child bearing and tons of unacknowledged tightnesses and resistances and fear over my life time of being a scaredy cat with horses and a cranky cat in general, it took a little over two weeks, 5 times a day in those first few days, to get a pelvis flexion that I am happy with.
I laugh at the coincidence. My commitment to that program of getting good pelvic flexion was prompted by a sprained foot that wouldn’t heal – the pain in the foot WENT AWAY with every pelvis release that I did – the pain in the foot that would only go away when I did that pelvic release often enough. A coincidence – yeah right! What a benefit to my riding (and this course) that sore foot turned out to be!
I have changed some deep seated patterns and habits and released some deep seated problems using this exercise. I was using VERY short stirrups to get any pelvic flexion at all and have come down a comfortable four holes in the stirrup leather over the last two weeks.
Because of my age and where I started from, I suspect that most of you will achieve a useful pelvic flexion a very lot faster than me. But please feel free to come to me for one on one fast tracking help if you are repeating these lessons and feel that you are taking too long.
Depending on what you want to do with your horse, you can explore the following exercises with long reins or bridle-less – but even if you never want to use two reins, do yourself a favor and feel the magic of the dance – feel what this kind of communication is like with two reins when your pelvis and spine is flexing smoothly and easily. Feel the changes of energy that will happen between you and your horse with no reins, long reins, shorter reins and firm feel, short reins.
You dressage riders are going to specially LOVE this!
The first time you listen to this lesson, sit on the riding chair that you have been using – lift the chair up with books to get a leg position similar to the one that you have in the saddle – and mount up, facing the back of the chair.
When you are repeating this lesson, here are some variations that you may find useful and eye opening:
1. You can set your saddle up on anything that allows you to sit closer to the way you would sit on a horse. We use Magic here in our old hay shed – a 44 gallon drum on legs covered in carpet, made to vaulting horse specifications. That’s Magic Clara’s sitting on in the photo. When I’ve done clinics away from home, I have at different times used a large log at the right height to sit a saddle on and some saddle stands are tall and sturdy enough to work too.
2. And if you could get someone else to hold the other end of the reins for you – someone who understands good posture – you could explore what it feels like when that person pretends to be the horse, what the reins feel like as they stand with straight locked knees and what it feels like as they arch their back like a horse who is NOT in their Comfort Zone and NOT in self carriage and how that changes when they are in good posture. Oh my goodness doing THAT is a BIG eye opener and an instant commitment to have a horse in their Comfort Zone and thus in the good horse posture of self carriage.
3. Then to complete the experience, you could have someone hold your horse for you and repeat the exercises in the following lesson. It would need to be someone that your horse is comfortable with, and you and your horse would have to be very much in your Comfort Zones for this option to be useful to you.
As you work through this audio lesson, don’t assume that all the stiffnesses and stuck spots and tensions are yours. Just like our feelings can be a message for or about someone else, our pains and discomforts and tensions can often be a message about something we need to know or do for or about our horse.
Take this lesson to your version of Magic or I’ve also done this on a chair with numerous people successfully.
If you haven’t seen the video of Clara’s basically unedited lesson where we discovered the capacity for healing of horse and rider in togetherness through feel, then you can catch the video on the Student Forum under the heading of this lesson on the Fast Track Knowledge Base.
Written Version of the Audio
Like all our other Quiet Minds, we make a commitment to be gentle with ourselves and in THIS Quiet Mind, we make a commitment to ourselves to NOT do anything that is painful – we work ONLY to the gentle limits of what our body is comfortable with. Whoever said “no pain, no gain” they were seriously mistaken.
Whatever hurts or stuck spots there are, will change and release through repeating this audio, so it is unnecessary to, and indeed unproductive, to push yourself.
Unproductive is such a gentle word and not strong enough. Pushing into pain or even into discomfort will actually get in your way and stop the good stuff from happening. Everything about my work is about doing it easy.
So right now please, take a moment to make a commitment to yourself to do this the easy way – and contact me if you need any extra help with this.
Check for any feelings that something is Not Quite Right, COMMIT to noticing any feelings of Not Quite Right and back off, relaxing, listening to my voice and relaxing for the rest of the audio.
This audio is designed to repeat as many times as you need until you are happy with the flexion of your pelvis so you don’t need to try and rush this.
So, take yourself into that place of Inner Awareness, listening inside yourself. And deepen that feeling of listening inside by making the soft ahhh eyes and noticing everything about your breathing and what parts of your body move as you breathe.
Track your breath as it moves deeper towards your lungs.
Some of you trigger that feeling of listening inside more easily by listening to your heart beat, so listen for your heart beat and if you can’t quite hear it, make soft eyes and imagine that you can.
And some of you will trigger that feeling of listening inside more easily by noticing the energy inside your body – feeling the tiny sensations – sometimes big sensation of prickles of energy or the ebb and flow through certain parts of your body – the movement of energy around your body. So notice that energy now.
And if you aren’t noticing anything at the moment, then just imagine that you can.
I ground myself even better and deeper by deliberately reaching with my attention into the earth and out into the beautiful energy of All That Is.
You can do that now – reach out with all your gentle attention into the earth.
And for those of you who are religious, connecting to God like this is a beautiful thing to do and if you are not, then connecting to something beautiful that is bigger than us is a beautiful thing to do too.
Notice the deeper sense of Inner Awareness that happens as you reach out into the earth and expand your awareness out into everything around you and notice everything about that deeper sense of Inner Awareness. Take a moment to enjoy that.
Now allow your Inner Awareness to take you into your effortlessly powerful riding posture rather than using your mind to get there.
Then take up rein contact by pushing the backs of your fingers against the chair in front of you – and check for the flexion in your pelvis and spine when you push on the chair. Just notice what that feels like right now.
Feel into your sitting bones and notice what they feel like. Don’t move them, just notice them.
Are they even? Do you feel the same pressure on both in the same place?
When I did this for the first few times, I noticed that one of my legs was sitting slightly forward of the other and as I have released my pelvis, my legs are now even.
Look down and check the position of your legs now.
If you are set up with reins and a horse like our Magic in the hay shed, then you could do these exercises with reins – or for this first exercise, you could just gently rest your hands on top of your thighs.
If you are using reins, then pick them up in two hands, take a firm feel on the reins and explore the flexion of your pelvis and the lower part of your spine as you slide your tail bone closer to the ground and then back up a bit and then close to the ground and then back up a bit.
If you have reins in your hands, feel what the reins feel like to flex your spine and pelvis like this.
If you cannot feel much flexion of your spine and pelvis yet, making soft eyes, and still listening deeply inside, allow your body to slide gently into a position that WILL give you some flexion of your spine and pelvis. Don’t worry, the work that we are doing today will also increase that flexibility.
Don’t be afraid to shorten your stirrups or simulate shortening your stirrups to get this spinal flexion happening first. When you have released some blockages, you can lengthen them again.
Remember where your hip joints are. They are down deep in your groin where the leg meets the pelvis.
Now, still listening inside yourself, just IMAGINE that your hip joints are softening and opening wider – make your soft eyes – there is to be no pushing, not even in the imagination.
Now take a big releasing breath as you imagine your hip joints softening and opening to spread your legs wider and more comfortably around your horse, remembering all the time that THIS is about releasing GENTLY.
Notice the movement of energy in your body, pay gentle attention to anything that changes, remembering your commitment to yourself to do this easily and notice the changes that happen as you imagine your hip joints softening and opening around your horse.
If there is any tension in those hip joints, just notice that tension – don’t try and fix it – just make soft ahhh eyes and smile gently as you breathe deeply and evenly and wait for the message from your body.
If you feel any pain on the imagine, then bring your legs a little closer together on purpose, find a Comfort Zone to relax in and then you can have another go later.
Hit the pause button if you need more time here and come back to me when you are ready for the next step, even if that is tomorrow.
Now, still listening inside, IMAGINE that your pelvis was flexing deeper into the saddle. Imagine that your tail bone was sliding closer to the ground.
And notice everything about how THAT feels.
Now physically slide your tail bone closer to the ground, flex your pelvis and feel for any blockages or stiffnesses or stuck spots or tensions there as you do that.
If you find one, melt off it a tiny bit and sit there for a while noticing with soft eyes… everything about how that feels. Hit the pause button if you need more time here and come back to me when you are ready to go on even if that is tomorrow.
Now here is the next bit…
Still listening deeply inside, very, very slowly, rotate ALL your eyes for a rotation – for a turn to the left. No, slower than that even!
Make sure that your real eyes do not turn any more than the “eyes” you have put on the front of your shoulders and hips and knees.
As you rotate, notice the block that you run into on the chair or the saddle. That will be the first bit of tension that you feel as you rotate for your turn.
Notice everything about how your body feels as you push through that block slowly. Notice what happens to your muscles, notice the tensions and feelings you experience as you force your way through this block. Does that feel some kind of Not Quite Right for you?
Come back to facing straight ahead.
Now THIS time, ever, ever so slowly start your rotation to the left and stop at the block and as soon as you feel it, move a long way away from it, maybe even back to looking straight ahead.
Notice what it feels like to do that. Interesting isn’t it, it doesn’t feel so bad, but it doesn’t feel good either. I guess that’s because it doesn’t solve anything so well to just back away and not solve a blockage.
Now this time, very very slowly again, with a gentle thought, feel your way ever so slowly as you rotate to the left again, find the edge of that block, meet the very gentle edge of that block and just IMAGINE that you were melting off that blockage. MELT off it the tiniest little bit, maybe with just a thought or a breath – just like the meet and melt that you learned to do with the leadrope…
And wait there in that melting place and notice everything that is happening in your body while you are in that melting place – hold that space for you and your horse to think and melt whatever that blockage is.
Soften your eyes. The message is perfect. Don’t try to change anything. Just notice everything that happens as you are in that melt off place – notice what happens for you and notice what happens for your horse. And enjoy the energy of the change.
Hit the pause button when you need more time for this and come back to me when you are ready.
Are you back looking straight ahead again now? Now turn all your eyes again very very slowly and notice where the block is now. Are you rotating further around than before, to find the blockage?
Eventually – even in the chair, there will be no feeling of blockage there at all – EVEN IN THE CHAIR. Now imagine what it’s going to be like when you are on your real horse, when THAT is how you will meet a block from your REAL horse, meeting it with your whole body and MELTING OFF the feel of that block or resistance, allowing time – allowing the room for the healing and releasing to happen.
Until there is no blockage, just two beings moving as one together, melded together as one being.
Just take a moment now to dwell on the wonder of that.
I did these exercises until there was no blockage any more, until my pelvis was flexing smoothly and easily, until I could pick up the reins on Magic and feel a smooth flex of my pelvis and spine as I took up pressure on the reins.
Some of the insights that came to me when releasing a blockage were for me and had nothing whatsoever to do with horses.
Sometimes the insight was about my horse. I remember some very happy tears too.
So repeat this lesson as often as you need, until your pelvis is flexing smoothly and easily too, until you can feel a smooth flexion of your spine and pelvis as you take up a firm contact on the back of your chair or on the reins in your simulated horse and then on the reins of your real horse.
I will see you in the next lesson to take this concept just a bit further.
In your next lesson, we’ll take this even further and take another big step towards riding as one with your horse.