Place of Peace and Standing Still Olympics Mindfulness

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by BluemoonOKy, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. BluemoonOKy

    BluemoonOKy Senior Member

    Apr 12, 2013
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    I follow The Red Mare by Tania Kindersley on Facebook. She has written books and is posting a lot lately about mindfulness and the ART of just being...with your horse. She calls this mindfulness practice by creating or finding The Place of Peace and just being still in the present moment The Standing Still Olympics. So, this morning, I went out and just hung out with my sweet horses and asked nothing of them. The three of us were just being and breathing and i was between both of them as they sandwiched me in the middle as they came to me for the Place of Peace and I gently stroked them and was also gently nudged by them for lots of pets and sweet words. I told them how much I love them and how sorry I am that I am always so focused on certain movements and riding and my perfectionism that makes me super hard on myself and others and that we don't just hang out as much as we should . I do make it a point to spend a lot of time with them at night while I'm cleaning stalls and feeding and often don't get back in the house til late.
    I realized I don't give a damm if they ever do a perfect leg yield or shoulder in or a flying change And that those things aren't really that important . It is good enough to just stand there with them and BE. I love to touch them and smell them and brush them and feed them and take care of them. They make me know I am good enough too. That they accept me for everything I am...the good the bad and the ugly scary stuff that I don't want anyone else to see. They see it all and accept me and still want to be around me, even when i dont even want to be around myself. That is so powerful. I hope you hang out with your horses and feel free to share stories...this is training because it is also a lot of work to dive in deep, stand still and be still and BREATHE while doing nothing else. Mindfulness is only in the present moment.
    It reminded me, too of a poem called Wild Geese by Mary Oliver...enjoy
    "I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart's affections and the truth of the Imagination." -- John Keats

    by Mary Oliver

    "Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine..."


    You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
    Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
    Meanwhile the world goes on.
    Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
    are moving across the landscapes,
    over the prairies and the deep trees,
    the mountains and the rivers.
    Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
    are heading home again.
    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    the world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
    over and over announcing your place
    in the family of things.

    "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver
  2. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

    May 21, 2010
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    I find that the less demanding you are, the more subtelty you use, and the more patient you are in waiting for a response, the more time the horse has to think, the less rushed he is, the more the horse gives you.
  3. PyroTekNik333

    PyroTekNik333 Senior Member

    Jul 22, 2008
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    Living with chronic pain I had to accept that some days I'm just not going to be able to ride.
    Well intentioned people often tell me I need to push through, that a bad ride is better than no ride or that I just need to suck it up and for way too long I listened to them.

    But, it wasn't making me happy and it certainly wasn't making my horses happy having to put up with whatever joint of mine decided moving was optional that day. It was hard on me and hard for them mentally to try and figure out why I was sitting different or cueing differently.

    I quit listening to 'experts' and started listening to my horses and to my own body.
    So some days I don't ride at all and thats ok.
    Some days I only ride one or two instead of all of them and thats ok.
    Some days we just hang out or have extra long grooming sessions and thats ok too.
    In fact my rides have gotten better since I decided to quit fighting my body. The horses are more responsive. Riding now is, believe it or not, fun!
    What a concept!
  4. equinitis

    equinitis Senior Member

    Nov 1, 2011
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    Just being with my equines is my sanity. I spend probably too much time just being in the herd. No treats, no demands, just walk around and touch them, let them touch me, etc. I have been known to take a 5 gl. bucket into the pasture and sit on it for hours while the herd comes and goes. They take turns coming to me, some want me to pet or scratch and itch, some just smell and maybe nudge then walk away. Some try to be unobtrusive while they figure out what is going on and just walk by to look but don't ask for any attention from me. Sometimes they stay as long as I do and sometimes they come by, check me out and go on their way.

    They are such peaceful animals most of the time, peaceful and curious. They calm my very soul like nothing else can.
    Bakkir, GONE ROPING, ginster and 2 others like this.
  5. foxtrot

    foxtrot Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2013
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    This is such a beautiful post.

    I'm "just the mini person" around my local community, my horsey friends don't understand the point of minis. They're worthless because they can't be ridden and most of the people I know are either super into showing or else just driven to seemingly go out of their way to make riding a job. I've witnessed friends get burned out and sell horses because all the joy is gone and even on this forum there are so many posts from people who are burned out and discouraged because riding is hard, they aren't progressing how they want, their horse is performing badly in their chosen discipline, etc.

    I think it's sad because to me I never lost that sense of magic and wonder I had as a kid. Even when I had riding horses... most days I didn't ride. I'd just hang around them, pet them, talk to them, or just sit and watch them. Riding, driving, or any type of in-hand training is just a nice bonus. I firmly believe horses are good for the soul and while the concept of a mystical bond may well be nonsense there's no question that horses work better with those they trust, and there's no surer way to build trust than to not constantly ask something of another living being.

    Sometimes it is okay to just exist.
  6. Mcdreamer

    Mcdreamer Senior Member

    Nov 3, 2011
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    I'm that person with a fat, out of shape horse, because I spend more time just being with my horses and doing things that they say yes to. Sometimes I go out with the intention to ride and Oliver says he's not up for it today. Cool. We groom or just hang out. The next time he says "heck yes, let's go explore" and off we go. I have found that the more I listen to him and make decisions together, the more willing and present he is and offers more.
    Henry loves to just stand with me. And he LOVES yoga. Will come from anywhere in the field if he sees me doing yoga and will sleep or offer helpful assists.
    I have found that live greatly improves in general when we focus on being instead of doing.
    14192587_10207076215724917_3409677787716520017_n.jpg 22089241_10209723813718760_4299727183906816198_n.jpg henryyoga.jpg
    lukesmom, Bakkir, Puddincup and 4 others like this.
  7. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2012
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    This is a lovely thread. Just reading it makes me relax..
    equinitis, BluemoonOKy and Mcdreamer like this.
  8. GotaDunQH

    GotaDunQH Senior Member

    Dec 19, 2008
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    I've always just "hung out" with my horses since I owned my first pony when I was 10 years old, far too many years ago. There is just something so therapeutic and good for the soul by just being with silence. I quite often just go and sit in the paddock in the shade and read a book etc. Both Sidney and Roger like it when I gently blow in their nostrils.....this peace comes over their face. ya, I know....I'm weird.
    ginster, Bakkir, Puddincup and 3 others like this.
  9. Puddincup

    Puddincup Senior Member

    May 31, 2017
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    I love this and all the posts so far!

    Riding has never been a priority for me. My favorite thing is to bring everyone in from bad weather and get them dry and toasty warm and just take care of all their needs. It's so rewarding to give them hay to munch on peacefully and clean up their stall and love on them. I could do it all day. It's when I'm at my most relaxed and peaceful too.
  10. foxtrot

    foxtrot Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2013
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    Definitely agree with this! I love seeing everyone tucked away for the night with their hay and water and the peaceful munching. Sometimes I just stand there and watch them eat. I'm sure they don't mind!
    ginster and Puddincup like this.

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