T’ai Chi is about chi, energy! The daily practice of Chi Gung or T’ai Chi (TCC) is about letting go of the excess tension that we hold in our minds to our muscles to our body language and that excess tension is broadcast all around us. I call it white noise. In the human realm we have learned to ignore it in others, somewhat, and we have definitely learned to tune it out in ourselves. In the horse realm, horses would tell you most of their riders are screaming at them through the unconscious body language they are projecting. How do we stop screaming at our horses? We practice TCC! Does the mind affect the body and does the body effect the mind…absolutely, both are true. That is not the question here. The question is, “how do I become more aware of what I am broadcasting and learn to become quiet and consistent within myself?” When you can learn to relax your body through the gentle exercises of Chi Gung, they can have a calming effect on your mind because you use your mind to consciously make the movements. By listening to the effect the movements have on the body the mind becomes calm. We call this taming the wild horses of the mind. When I can see more clearly the wild ponies of my mind, I can practice letting go of random thoughts, when I can let go of random thoughts, the ponies of my mind become calm. When my mind becomes calm, my muscles can let go of excess tension. Then the cycle begins again. You have to learn to think in circles!  Much better than the vicious cycle we unconsciously project. TCC is a practice and practice means patience, dedication and discipline to work at it everyday. Everyday work brings you to a life time of calm. (p.s. rethink the meaning of discipline, it doesn’t have to mean beating yourself into submission with a stick!)

You see, what we have trained ourselves to do in this culture is to grab something and have a short burst of satisfaction and  move quickly to the next and to the next and genuine satisfaction is never achieved. Can you imagine what this must sound like to your horse? How is she to make sense of this when she has never been shopping in Target, or has had to drive through traffic on a Friday afternoon? Do you see what I mean? When you are frazzled it becomes noise without any sense to it to your horses. They have no concept of our lives outside the barn. Horses feel our energy, energy is their reality. They do take it personally, believe me!

I have a mustang and he is very sensitive to this. In fact he is teaching me the finer things in my energetic life. One day, I got a late start to a lesson and it was “hurry up, we gotta go! Actually that should probably be in all caps! He stood outside the trailer and I know he was thinking, “I don’t like they way you are asking me to do this! I know how to load in a trailer, but I don’t wanna!” I remember at that point when I recognized his reaction, I let it go, which is a T’ai Chi practice in and of itself. He immediately got this look on his face as if to say, “that’s better. I’ll load now”. Crap! He really had my number. Lesson learned but I still have to keep practicing that.

If you are genuinely interested in being a calm, quiet, and confident leader for your horse, then practice these simple exercises and develop the discipline to become the safe place your horses is looking for you to be. Don’t make your horse have to figure it out…that is not their responsibility. And besides, this is just ONE little benefit of TCC. I will share more.

Please ask questions, I would love to hear from you. Please share with your other equine friends.