Alternative Methods in Horsemanship™ - Tina's Tips
Tip #6 – Take a Deep Breath, Then Exhale
Sounds like a good idea, right?
But here is what it took me years to learn – HOW you orchestrate your body while breathing in and out makes all the difference in the world!
And the way most folks do it causes as many problems as benefits…for themselves and for their horses.
Watch how bodies move themselves when people take a deep breath…
What directions do the shoulders move?
What part of body expands the most as air is inhaled?
How does the exhale rate sound, from beginning to end?
If we study how babies use their bodies to breathe, nothing moves or sounds the same.
What are the differences?
* Adults usually raise their shoulders upwards towards their ears as they inhale air * Adults usually fill only the upper portion of their bodies with air. * Adults may extend inhale expansion to lower ab area, but not many expand intake in to sides or back side of torso…and that affects postural balance of a body. * Adults exhale with greater volume and sound at the beginning of the exhale, and finish exhales with very little volume…little did they know that this becomes the mild version of a horse’s way of alerting the herd to “Watch Out…Danger in the area!” * Babies inhale into their entire torso, in all dimensions, without losing their balanced posture. * Babies exhale in more equal volume, from beginning to end, and may do it longer than us.
I did a serious of private lessons with Michael Grant White, creator of ‘Optimal Breathing’ Among the revelations that changed many elements of breathing for me included the new found focus on the importance of The Exhale. By modulating and equalizing the rate/volume of air that I exhaled, then extending the exhale an additional few moments of completion, I truly emptied old air out of my lungs! Michael also told me that the final gentle push to squeeze out old air would trigger some smart neural systems that would note the need of better intake of air…so inhaling began to encompass the use of my entire body, equally and 3 dimensionally in new ways. Not only did this help me live in my body more happily, this style of exhale was a serious ‘calming signal’ to nervous animals and humans.
Example: I was teaching a group of young riders in Nevada. They were seated in chairs outside a barn with a large central aisle. A new horse was trailered in, unloaded and expected to enter the aisle. The horse stopped and froze near the barn, head high, his breathing stopped and eyes bulged as he stared at our group of seated humans. We began to do our 3-D breathing, with our eyes glancing away from the horse frequently. Literally within minutes, the horse heaved a big sigh, lowered his head and was marching into the barn aisle without any concerns. We conveyed mammal ‘calming signals’ via our breathing patterns, and he got it.
Try it with your own horse in many circumstances and see if it affects how the horse thinks and responds to tasks.
We breathe every moment in order to live…learn to breathe better, and your life will grow even more wonderful!