There is a radiant assortment of wildlife in the meadow this summer. The birds are present every morning, singing or hopping upon the paddock fencing to see if I may scatter some seed for them to carry away. They are very competent at scooping up any little pieces of chaff the ponies may have left behind after their breakfast!
But, it’s the butterflies this year that are truly glorious. They are a little shy I have found, and my novice camera skills have not yet managed to capture one, but just to know they are there, daintily landing on wild flowers in the meadow, is such a lovely thought.
Despite the presence of such beautiful winged creatures each day, it did occur to me that when we get the sensation of feeling butterflies ourselves, it’s not always such a positive thing – which is quite a contrast when you consider how petite and pretty these little beings are.
Horses are of course flight animals so they are no strangers to sudden bursts of the butterflies – aka – nervousness/anxiety.
These butterflies are present in moments of great excitement for our horses too. An excited horse is a bouncing bundle of energy springing about, head held high – beautiful to watch when they are running free – but cue our own feelings of apprehension if we happen to be on board at the time the wings begin to flutter!
So, what can we do when these butterflies take flight in ourselves (and our horses too for that matter).
Breathe. Breathe deeply. Centre yourself.
Consider what is causing the feelings.
Examine your thoughts closely – Are they true – Are they exaggerated – should you listen to them?
Do your feelings warrant a response.
Are you simply doubting yourself – have courage.
Speak kindly to yourself. Even if it feels forced.
Are you excited. Are you nervous. Is it both. If it is, go with it.
Focus on a positive memory and hold it in your mind as strongly as you can.
Trust that this is just your mind/body preparing to protect you.
Reassure yourself that you are indeed in control – even if it feels like you aren’t.
Good butterflies can be used as your energy and power!
Feelings will ease and settle. Trust that thought.
Keep calm – use the above for us and put into place
Do not react to fear or over excitement with the same emotions. Counteract it, so that the horse may mirror you.
Reassure the horse subtly and softly.
Take control by remaining steady yourself. You are unfazed by their behaviour/emotions.
Wait for their energy to come down a gear before asking for something and beginning again
– be it on the ground/in the saddle with them.
Their feelings will ease and settle. Trust that thought.
It’s often very easy to try and push away our emotions and feelings, rather than dissect them and see them for what they actually are. But if we can work with them, examine them, feel them, and then let them go like a butterfly which has just emerged from it’s cocoon – we stand a better chance at riding upon their fly away wings, and taking back control, with ourselves, and of course our horses.