Horse Whispering – Ponytail

11-20-2015 3-49-22 PMWhen someone takes three strands of hair and braid it together, “Voila?,” we have a ponytail! A three stranded cord is not easily broken.

This Thanksgiving month, I want to talk to you about what is possible when we braid a dream, desire and destiny together! This comes to you through a story of a sixty-two year old woman who simply had a dream and a desire to ride a horse. Destiny happened.

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First of all, let’s define the three “D’s.” A dream is a vision, an internal picture; a hope. Desire is an internal longing, a want, a yearning, an aspiration or a need. Destiny is “future,” providence; a divine intervention.

What would you do if you had a desire to ride, yet, the next seven years held some misfortune between you and your horse? You found yourself undergoing two surgeries due to a horse/human accident. At age 69, your desire to ride remains, braided with your dream, and you are now in a horse barn safely expressing your longings and concerns.

Let’s face it; at this age, we don’t have the “bounce” we once had! What’s the first thing that happens before you hit the ground? You lose your balance. Having an “independent seat” is important. Many times when you don’t feel confident, it’s because your balance is not sure enough. The more balanced you are, the more confident you can become.

11-20-2015 3-49-32 PMIf you put your balance and effort in your upper body (your shoulders, arms, and chest), it actually makes you top heavy. It creates an imbalance. It’s when you connect with your core, a triangle shape (which is the strongest shape in the world) that puts you in the safest position on the back of a horse. Those three points are (1) right butt bone (2) left butt bone (3) belly button.
Find yourself a barrel or a good size tree log that you can straddle. Sit on object, right leg on one side; left leg on the other. Outstretch your arms shoulder height. Lift one leg just a little bit off the ground. Now lift the other one. Sit upon your crotch. Your back is hollow. Roll back on your seat bones, all the way to the spot where it dips. Don’t lean backwards; you pull your hips backwards. Suck your belly button back toward your spine and pull your ribs together. Keep breathing. Relax.

11-20-2015 3-50-07 PMYou are actually strengthening your spine. Your spine gets stronger when your abs gets stronger. Now put your arms out and anchor your weight down in your tailbone. Lift your leg just a little bit. When you are on your balance point, it should be easy for you to lift your legs or even lift your knees easily. Now sit on your crotch and see how difficult it is to lift your legs and knees! Now back to your core. Lift both legs up and down, (bounce, bounce, bounce) and place them on the object you’re sitting on, heels touching. You have discovered your core and your balance point.
Those times you are not feeling so safe on the back of your horse, here’s a thought: put your hands in front of your knees (do this on an object before doing this on your horse). You are leaning on your hands. Now push. When you push, your back is going to round. You should feel your ribs knit together and your stomach pulling. When you get this “pushing position” your legs should be light and you’re nothing but a “butt.” It’s the safest thing you can do. It’s way safer than pulling on the reigns; it anchors you to your horse. Push down on your seat bones, but don’t tighten your muscles. When you tighten your muscles, it actually lifts you up from the horse. Have one seat bone come down, have the other come down. It’s simply a release. No visible physical movement should be seen. It’s not tightening muscles, it’s releasing them. You learn the feeling by doing this exercise. It’s from your core, your balance point, that independent seat, independent hands, and independent legs are established.

You can have friends test you and you can test your friends to see if y’all have the “feel” of your core and balance point. If you choose to do this, remember to push don’t shove. Big difference! Push in on your friend’s shoulder and then forward, backward, right, and left. How did they do? Anchored? Flopping?

Hold fast to your dream, braided with God honoring desire, and sing, “I’m somewhere in the future and I look much better than I look right now!”
Your “Neigh”bor,
By: Deb Kitchenmaster