Updated: Oct 26
The Path to Creating Connection, Communication and Healthy Relationships in Holistic Horsemanship.
In Latin coherence simply means “sticking together”. This means when something has coherence, all its parts fit together well. Coherence also implies harmonious order, connectedness, stability, and efficiency.
Heart coherence is the scientific study of the heart’s electromagnetic field, frequency, and heart rate, called HRV, heart rate variability. This is one of many key elements that we study in Holistic Horsemanship.
Please click here to access Part I of this article where I explain more about what heart coherence is, it’s value and the many natural and holistic benefits of being and working with horses this way.
In part one I promised to give you a few exercises to help you align and synchronize yourself with your horse so you could begin the process of heart coherence, heart and energy connection.
The very first exercise I begin students with, both two and four legged, is the Taoist Reverse Breath Technique. Not only is this breathing technique used for meditation, but it is also a catalyst to developing flow.
Flow is created when we are congruent, in sync and aligned within ourselves. When we are congruent, we create a flow state.
This state of being is both a mental state in which a person is completely focused on a single task or activity and a somatic experience, bodily sensations felt through the body via the nervous system.
The Taoist Reversed Breathe Technique (TRBT) not only guides you into this mental state by teaching you how to focus on your breath work, but it also releases the hormones dopamine and endorphin throughout your nervous system, naturally producing states of calm, relaxation, and well-being.
Through self-regulated breath (TRBT) we strengthen our heart coherence. This happens naturally as we reduce cognitive thinking by focusing more on what we feel within our body.
Heart coherence also strengthens our ability to self-regulate our nervous system. This happens because when we practice focusing on our breath and how it feels, we begin to release our “feel-good” hormones of dopamine and endorphin thus causing states of relaxation, calm and flow.
If you practice deep breathe meditation, you understand the amazing effects it has on your overall state of well-being.
These effects are what allow us to get aligned within our heart coherence. The opposite would be feelings of stress, anxiety or anger. These feelings cause our minds, emotions and body to tense up and go into our sympathetic nervous system of freeze, fight or flight.
Next time you are out with your horse, practice the Taoist Reverse Breath Technique and in a small area like a paddock or round pen. You will be amazed at how quickly your horse will relax, stand close to you, if not beside you.
The Taoist Reverse Breath Technique is so powerful and effective it not only opens your heart frequency it strengthens it so your horse can feel it and become aligned with it.
The Taoist Reverse Breath Technique is best understood visually and by means of an instructional video. While I teach this technique in my big program, and most importantly how to work with horses this way, and how to improve yourself as a rider, you can learn about it through these two introductory videos:
Another great exercise I teach in my big mastery riding program is called Grounding.
Grounding means just that, you ground yourself, your energy and into Mother Earth.
First you learn how to focus on your steady, rhythmic breathing (TRBT) so you create flow, the feelings, sensations of ease, relaxation, and harmony within.
As soon as you feel immediate relaxation, calm, and states of flow within your body you can begin focusing on how you feel in your body.
This is more about creating a feeling than asking a question. Meaning, we want to focus on creating the feeling of being heavy, of weight bearing, and in your feet, specifically your heels. Why your heels? They keep you balanced when standing.
When you can do both the TRBT and create feelings of heavy, weight bearing, in the heels of your feet, you are ready to ground.
Next, we are ready to take both our breath work and our ability to feel grounded to our horse. Note, you can do these two exercises anywhere, anytime and without your horse.
You will ask your horse to stand next to you, side by side, with you behind the shoulder and aligned with where your leg would be if you were riding, basically where the girth would be.
This position is very important and for many reasons. The number one reason we will focus on is aligning our third chakra energy with our horses third chakra, their Fire Chakra Energy.
The Fire Chakra Energy is always in motion. It is the source of your power, your horse’s power, our wills, our basic instincts for survival and purpose. Because this energy is in constant motion, it is of the utmost importance that we connect to this energy and ground it, especially before we ride.
If a horse does not feel comfortable with you in their Fire Chakra they will not allow you there, plain and simple.
They will move around you, face you, back away, pin their ears, freeze with bulging, worried eyes or cow kick. If this is your horse, you cannot make this happen, meaning you cannot force this exercise. Instead, work holistically, naturally with your horse by going back to the TRBT and practicing it with your horse and in a small, safe space. Eventually your horse will connect to the heart coherence you are creating and relax and trust you.
If your horse allows you stand in their Fire Chakra Energy, they are communicating that they trust you and are open to connecting with your energy.
Connecting with your energy means you will be standing next to them, Fire Chakra to Fire Chakra, placing all of your weight now on the leg closest to them, cocking, bending and relaxing the outside leg. You will then place the hand closest to them on their scapula. You want your hand to be open so the palm of your hand lies on the flat, or round, scapula muscle under their withers. See photo for reference.
This position allows your energies to connect and through the palm of your hand resting on their scapula and down through your leg, and next through your weight bearing heel. This position creates a pathway for your horse’s Fire Chakra to pass down so you can ground that energy into Mother Earth.
The idea is that your breathing will allow you to relax your energy, create heart coherence, connect it by means of both energy frequency and physical touch and then send it down your body so like an electrical current, you ground the energy with the Earth.
The science of this is called Earthing. Earthing (also known as grounding) refers to the discovery that bodily contact with the Earth's natural electric charge stabilizes the physiology at the deepest levels, reduces inflammation, pain, and stress, improves blood flow, energy, and sleep, and generates greater well-being.
The physical sensation, and physical position, of weight bearing teaches you how to place weight in your seat when you ride. This allows you to connect your first chakra, your Root Chakra, to your horse’s Fire Chakra, thus ground it not once but twice.
Twice the amount of energy because your Root Chakra is responsible for naturally grounding you in your body and now you are taming the Fire Chakra within you and your horse so that energy is calm, controlled and at ease.
These two exercises are the foundational building blocks to my proven and signature riding foundation program.
This is where I begin with all of my students, two and four legged, and my secrets to my amazing success in both rehabilitation and foundation.
In the end, we want to feel safe around our horses and we want our horses to feel safe with us. It all begins from within, from the inside out.
If you would like to learn more about integrating heart coherence in your horse training, my Mastery Relationship, Ground & Riding Foundation Program offers it all and will show you how to work with horses naturally and holistically, from the inside out, start to finish, ground to riding, rehab to recovery, novice to pro.
May you always be one with your horse,
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