We’ve all enjoyed that immersive feeling of time simply evaporating at the yard – hours slip away when your mind is bent on your equine pal. But if you can’t leave the outside world behind, you might find it affects not only your focus in the saddle, but also your enjoyment of time spent with your horse.
However, modern life is full of daily challenges that can sap our attention away, causing us to live inside our heads. Developing the ability to turn your focus to the present, or practise mindfulness, could help you boost your mood and appreciation for the here and now, rather than dwelling on negative thoughts and feelings.
What is mindfulness?
Simply put, a state of mindfulness refers to being aware of what’s happening inside and outside our bodies in real time. Mindfulness can be practised anywhere and in a number of ways. Some people find sitting somewhere quiet and focusing on deep breathing helps them tune in to their surroundings, while others benefit from practising mindfulness while undertaking gentle activities, such as walking or doing the washing up. Horse ownership involves a whole variety of non-strenuous, repetitive tasks, so the yard is the ideal setting for honing this technique.
How can it help?
Being present and in the moment not only helps us reconnect with the here and now, but also encourages us to develop an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen. This can enable us to think more clearly, helping calm an active mind and process emotions more positively, which can assist in easing anxiety and boosting your mood.
Get yourself into the best mindset with the help of November Horse&Rider, on sale 17 September.