The minute his body tells me something is not quite right, I stop what I'm doing. I take a heavy, deep and loud sigh, and I chew (think cows chewing their cud). If Chaos doesn't relax, I repeat the process until I get hear a heavy sigh from him, followed by chewing. His reaction is followed by a release of tension, his head comes down, his eyes soften. No frustration. No argument. Just a peaceful way to refocus him, to regain his attention. It also relaxes me, refocuses my energies, and helps me to problem solve for a positive outcome, rather than a reactive one.
Relaxing is a win-win. It eases tension and stress, it reassures, it helps us succeed in the task at hand. It builds trust and confidence. It centers us both, and enhances our ability to communicate.
|A deep breath. It's the difference between this...|
|... and this|
So the next time you ride, or you find yourself face to face with an evil snowdrift, take a deep breath and relax. Your horse will thank you, and your body will too.