I hope you and your horse had some good practice sessions after the last blog about stressed horses. In this blog I’m going to write about your own stress.
Tension, stress, nervousness, or trauma… No matter how you call it, it can be a real struggle during your trainings.
After Aslan spooked and galloped next to a highway without me (that story will be in the next newsletter) I didn’t walk with him for over a year. Just the thought of it made my stomach ache and my heart go faster. I would think about all the terrible things that could go wrong outside the barn. He could run off again, get hit by a car, lose his way through the dunes, get in a fight with the Scottish Highlands, break his legs, etc… You can understand that that mindset wasn’t helpful. And I knew that! But once you feel stressed about something, it’s pretty much impossible to tell your self to simple let go of that stress.
Before I share my tips for dealing with your tension, I want to make extra clear: fear is fear. There is a difference between rational and irrational fear. Rational fear is caused by a real threat. Irrational fear is not caused by a real threat. But like I said. That doesn’t matter to your brains. So don’t tell yourself you’re dumb or stupid for being tensed. Be kind to yourself and deal with your tension in a way that actually helps you.
This is was helped me:
Singing or humming to breath from your belly which is more relaxing than breathing from your chest
Telling yourself you could stop at any moment. Even if you just started whatever you were doing
Doing whatever you can to prevent your ‘worse case scenarios’, for example by adding a tag on your bridle with your phone number if you’re afraid your horse does spook and run off without you.
In the next blog I will tell you more tips especially for people and horses who experience stress during walks.