Tai Chi Horsemanship, as I like to call it. Can bring all the benefits of Tai Chi to your horsemanship. I believe Tai Chi is meant for Horsemanship. The first thing you learn in any Martial Art is a balance stance called the Horse stance. This stance is exactly the same position you want to be in when in a balanced seat mounted on your Horse. This helps you find your center of balance as well as your Energy Center, or Chi Center known as the dantian, which is considered to be the foundation of rooted standing, breathing, and body awareness in qigong, Chinese martial arts, and other martial arts. All movement and energy starts here and transitions in the most practical and effective way. It pulls together many aspects of life from balance, (physical, mental, and emotional), increases our accuracy and abilty, awareness and mental clarity. Tai Chi is a form of Kung Fu. But don't let the term scare or confuse you. Kung Fu in its original meaning just means, "The skill attained by hard work and practice over time." It was used as a measure of skill. Today it is directly associated to the Martial arts. But years ago, anyone who was highly skilled in their craft, from cooking, painting, music, gymnastics, you name it, was said to have, good Kung Fu.
We can use movement to create energy. We can sense and many times feel this energy. Which in turn can create a thought in us or the horse. When we create a thought in the horses mind, they "think" themselves into the movement. Using only the muscles needed for the task instead of bracing, then letting out. The more we practice this, the more simplified and automatic it becomes. This means less work from us to encourage the desired task because we learn to flow in unison, moving and thinking together effortlessly. By using this to manage thought process and frame of mind. It becomes a great way to get and maintain their attention, manage emotions and explain things like, relax, relax into movement, or through transitions. By removing resistance in the mind, we also remove it from the body. The frame in the body represents the frame of mind. So if you see resistance in the body, we can address it mentally and emotionally, removing the resistance in the mind. Therefore improving the frame and softness in the body. All of this helps us attain full mental engagement, ease of movement, and a direct connection to understanding what is needed or expected for both Horse and Human.
Thought and energy is nature's language. Why not use it so we can communicate better with our animals. By using it to speak in this way, we learn how to hear and understand more as well. They are always telling us something. We just tend to not hear it. They send us energy to produce a thought in us. Unfortunately society has taught us to ignore these things. But it is a natural instinct you can get back with just a little guidance and practice.
Tai Chi Horsemanship can help us do that. There are many simple exercises we can do, on the ground and mounted, to help us clarify and make deeper connections to all aspects of Mind, Body, and Spirit. In us as well as our horses. We increase our balance and understanding of Flow. When this aspect is attained, then our ability to sense the slightest resistance is heightened. We also learn how to remove resistance and/or use it productively and not let it get in the way. Once all this is working for you, you can communicate through your movement. This makes ground conversations with your horse to wear you can communicate at any distance and request just about anything you can think of. Riding gets so effortless that you won't even need your reins or legs anymore. But I do suggest you use them for the finesse. Which can make your contact light enough to use sewing thread for reins and still have your horse on the bit.
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