Get your Butterflies in Formation

ButterfliesDo you get butterflies in your stomach when working or riding your horse? Do they make you emotional? Do they upset your horse? Do you feel you can’t control their fluttering? If so then maybe these technique can help ‘get your butterflies in formation’ so that you can use that energy and focus positively instead of them distracting you and making you feel overwhelmed.

What I try to do is visualise the ‘feeling’ of ‘butterflies’ in my stomach. To me they are  seen as real butterflies with glorious colours all fluttering. When there are many of them due to high anxiety, energy or excitement then I try to make them useful to me and to have ‘control’ over them. To control them I ‘synchronise them and put them into ‘formation’.





I bring all of them down to just 6 butterflies visualised under my ribs towards my belly button in a 2 across, 3 down formation. Synchronising them means they start to all flutter with the same wing flaps and rhythm, this helps me control my energy and getting them into formation helps me create a focus of where to take that energy…this is then picked up by the horse and we start to become more harmonious because I am being more focused.






To help bring the energy down in me, or my horse, I try to visualise those 6 butterflies flapping less and less and when it feels right I go from ‘seeing’ 6 butterflies to just 4.






As my energy, breathing and butterflies become more controlled I visualise just 2 butterflies becoming calmer and more synchronised.






Finally when everything is calm I see just one butterfly, representing a peaceful state. When that one is completely still it is in what I call ‘neutral’ and represents where the horse and I are usually connected standing still.

The single butterfly can flap low or high and it represents controlled connection and can build up to 2, 4 or 6 butterflies again in a controlled manner to help find the inner energy for upward and downward transitions. With this visual and with breathing techniques our horses can find us more harmonious to be with .


  • Shelley – HorseSavvy