One of the main concerns I help adult riders with is falling. A very reasonable worry given that the number one fear of our nervous system is falling, and that the number one job of the nervous system is to prevent a fall from happening. This worry is also very reasonable as life experience has made it clear that we are not indestructible. Balance is the sweet spot between gravity and action, the sweet spot between physical, mental and emotional co-existence. Balance is the place of lightness, and is expressed by the horse and rider’s soft expression and calm breathing.
What allows balance to exist?
The answer is the breath that continues unencumbered during physical, mental and emotional activity, and creates calm. What is the tipping point from balance to unbalance? The answer is a disruption or cessation of the breath during physical, mental or emotional activity, and creates tension and anxiety. To begin to free your breath: As you walk your horse notice where you are in your breathing cycle (inhale/exhale) every time his hind right hits the ground. Is it the same place every time? Now, let there be 3 or 4 hind right foot falls for every breathing cycle. Go back a forth from your familiar breathing/movement connection to the new connection. Do this tracking to the right, then to the left, then do this with the left hind, then at the different gaits. Now, let there be 5 or 6 hind right foot falls for every breathing cycle… Spend a few minutes every ride to let your breath be independent of movement to create that sweet spot of balance.