The importance of visualisation
Visualisation is an important tool, not only in horse riding but also in everyday life. Many people visualise circumstances that they don’t actually want to happen. Unfortunately when we visualise something that we do not desire we are more likely to make it happen. This is especially important when it comes to horse riding.
Horses often pick up on the pictures that we are portraying, so we do need to be careful what we are asking them to do, even when we’re not aware of it!
Firstly, if you find yourself visualising a situation which you do not want to happen, think of erasing that picture or video in your mind and gradually replacing it with the situation and outcome you wish for.
When we work with visualisation for nervous riders it is best to start the technique whilst in a quiet place. Don’t put yourself in the scary situation and then try it out. First we need to train our minds to think positively.
For this exercise I will use a horse spooking, which makes the rider nervous, as an example.
- Find somewhere quiet to sit, where you won’t be disturbed
- Make yourself comfortable. Take some deep breaths. Close your eyes. Feel your body relaxing into your chair. Your shoulders relax down.
- Allow your mind to become still, if any images come to mind, for example, your ‘to do’ list for the day, just acknowledge them and let them pass by. They aren’t needed at the moment.
- Connect to Reiki in your preferred way.
- Feel the energy filling your body.
- Now begin to imagine the lead up to the situation you are going to focus on. Perhaps you are walking into a yard, or driving to a riding school. At this stage begin to go through your body and check how each part of your body feels. Can you feel any tension anywhere? Do your feet feel firmly connected to the ground? If you feel any tension or worry emitting from any part of your body, send Reiki to that part of your body.
- Carry on visualising each step of the sequence which leads to the event you wish to focus on and checking through your body.
- Now go back and imagine yourself in all of those situations being confident as you approach.
- You will now be ready to work on the main issue.
- Imagine getting on to the horse and having a lovely ride. See yourself smiling. Feel the reiki energy gently flowing through you and through the horse, filling you both with a loving calm energy.
Whenever possible take a few minutes to carry out this exercise. After this first session or if you find visualisation quite easy, you can spend a couple of minutes ten times a day. Every time you think of horse riding, change the picture you imagine to one of you and the horse enjoying the ride, being at one, connected.
Don’t worry if you find it hard to visualise at first, this will become easier with practice. Once you feel confident using this exercise, you can tailor make it to fit the area where you need more confidence.
You needn’t carry out the whole exercise every time to use it. Just the last few pointers will make a great difference to your horse riding experience and enjoyment.
If you do find yourself in a situation that is scaring you, think of Reiki flowing down through your crown, to your shoulders and arms, deep into your elbows and wrists. Think of the energy flowing through your torso and into your hip, down your legs and deep into your knees and ankles. You don’t need to close your eyes and start doing Reiki to do this. By simply thinking of Reiki and then turning some of your attention to these parts of your body, the Reiki will follow your intention.
Interested in learning more about Equine Reiki?
Photo credit: Michael Chen