I was doing mindfulness this morning (my words and actions line up!) the topic was gratefulness at work. The host started with this statement….
“Just thinking of what we are grateful for changes our brain chemistry”.
The next instruction was to think about what I was grateful for and what came to mind were important people in my life (husband, children, dear friends, clients) and my horse.
I think that’s what I admire about some riders, how much they love and are grateful for their horse and express it. Michael Jung always regards Sam as #kingsam (seriously, go look at his instagram). Anni Grandia raves about Chaos. She posted this picture with the words, “This horse <3”
*photo credit Katie Holmes, posted with Anni Grandia’s permission **Anni is not my client, I’m just a fan girl!
Anni raves about Chaos and when you see that picture, wow! They are connected, the symmetry is beautiful and she expresses her gratefulness for him (and seems obvious to me).
Why would that matter? Can horses tell we are grateful? Research seems to indicate, yes!
Studies conducted by Heart Math Institute suggest that the electromagnetic field generated by the heart not only has an effect on all cells in the body,including the brain, but can also have an effect on the brain waves of anyone in close contact. The more coherent the heart becomes, the greater the magnetic force it exerts. The more
rhythmically the heart beats, the more coherent it becomes. Positive feelings and thoughts result
in a more rhythmic heartbeat than negative feelings or thoughts. The electromagnetic field of the
heart also seems to have the same influence in the interaction between horses and people. A
horse has a normal resting heart rate of 38 to 40 beats per minute. Research has shown that often
traumatized individuals have a resting heart rate of 100 beats per minute or higher. If the horse
is calm its electromagnetic field has a tendency to calm the human brain (thereby reducing the
heart rate) when the human is in close contact with the horse. By the same token, the calmer the
human becomes the greater effect it can have on the horse. (see more here https://www.habitatforhorses.org/measuring-the-emotional-bond-between-horses-and-humans/
I’d say yes, gratefulness is HUGE. Horses give us so much (look at how high Chaos is jumping!) and when we feel gratefulness and stay with them, we get in a more rhythmic heartbeat, allowing us to be connected and mindful. The mindfulness piece is so huge because we can stay in the present moment, keep our breathing rhythmic and stay connected to our horse and riding.
If you’re interested in finding out more and the connection between mindfulness, gratefulness and riding, let me know. I’ll be at The Event at Rebecca Farm next week with a booth in the stabling area
Quiet your mind. Sharpen your focus. Ride to your peak performance.