Mental focus is basically our thoughts. Good mental focus involves taking a plan and breaking it down into smaller steps, visualizing those individual steps so that our bodies follow that picture and building it all up to have the plan in action.
Body focus is knowing about and using body language. Knowing the way our body moves, with energy and purpose.
What you need to be aware of when around your horse are things like where your body is in relation to his, is he pushing into your personal space, is the environment safe, where are other horses in the field and how are they behaving! All these things take awareness and if your horse sees and feels your awareness and confidence then he can be confident that you’re looking after the situation.
With awareness and focus we learn to know how the horse moves and where the horse is likely to move to. They understand body language very well so it is us that needs to learn how to use ours better to help us become in better harmony with them.
Once we’ve learned about awareness and focus they become second nature. It’s like driving a car, when you start you have a lot to think about such as checking the mirrors, changing gears, which foot for acceleration or braking and indicating left and right, and also where all the other car users are. Also all the smaller things such as keeping windows clear for vision, checking the petrol and oil, making sure the engine is running smoothly and many other jobs. It seems overwhelming to start with but soon we do it all instinctively, and this is what learning invisible horsemanship is like too. Once we learn how to be aware and to use our focus well it all becomes second nature.
To have a horse confident in us because we’re aware of everything and so focused we don’t get side tracked is the mark of someone our horse is happy to follow.
- Shelley – HorseSavvy