Counterintuitive Series #3:
take a breather

This is our third video in our counterintuitive series – those basic things in our riding that are important to do, but they’re easy to forget or think that they don’t care that much weight.

And most often, our natural tendency is to do exactly the opposite!

Number 3 is all about breathing.


We KNOW we need to do breathe, but how many times have we held our breath through almost an entire ride, or at least barely breathed.

I have some perspectives for you.

When someone says to me, “Breathe, Barb, breathe!” it’s almost always in a situation where I feel tense about something. That’s how we all think of being reminded to breathe.

And those reminders, either from someone else or to ourselves, are good things.

But typically, what happens is that we think about taking ONE breath, and then we just go back to being tense. Ha!

I have some perspectives about breathing for you, and to be honest, I was having a bit of a challenge about how to make breathing visual. So, I’m going to sit here on Nic and give you a kind of infrastructure for breathing.

For the rider:

  • It keeps us grounded before and during our ride.
  • We can breathe throughout our ride in a kind of rhythm.
  • We can use it to calm ourselves if we get excited.
  • We can use it to bring our energy up if we’re tired.

For the horse, think of your breath as a source of energy. Inhale for increased energy and gait, and exhale for slowing your horse down. This is incredibly powerful.

I hope this was helpful. I hope it expanded how you think about your breath. Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are about breathing. You all are so awesome about leaving a comment.

Print This Post Print This Post    Email This Post Email This Post   


14 Comments on Counterintuitive Series #3:
take a breather

  1. Mayra Segovia on Sun, 25th Apr 2021 6:01 am
  2. Barb, this was the most interesting video yo me & really made so, much sense. It’s so, logical but, the way u explained it made so much sense to me. Can u possibly do another one on this topic & illustrate the breathing while ur riding Nick. On another note where did u get Nicks bridal, I love it..thank you. May u walk in beauty & harmony always, Mayra

  3. Roberta Rollins on Sun, 25th Apr 2021 2:38 pm
  4. Great video, Barb!
    I will practice; practice, practice this until it is just I’m ended in my mind.

    The how to energize is also great! I. We’d that even when not riding!

  5. Dorothy Cordell on Sun, 25th Apr 2021 4:14 pm
  6. Thank you
    It’s a good reminder too

  7. Jaime Brown on Sun, 25th Apr 2021 5:03 pm
  8. This is so powerful. With your recommendations I have been practicing being more intentional, breathing to slow down my heart rate and transmit calmness to my horse. It’s amazing how responsive he is to these things. Yesterday we did a ranch riding schooling show and he was his best ever (Ha! I was as well because of your guidance.) I did not worry about placing, I was very content with the fact that he did everything I asked. Just like you say, the results took care of themselves. Thank you for what you do for us!!

  9. Jaime Brown on Sun, 25th Apr 2021 5:05 pm
  10. So helpful and powerful!

  11. Janice on Sun, 25th Apr 2021 5:35 pm
  12. I rode, yesterday and remembered partway into the ride to breathe. I’ve never thought about it on my past rides so I am happy to say I’m thinking during my ride a bit more. I did suddenly wonder if I actually was doing it right but we had a good little ride so, at least, we’ve improved. Yay!

  13. Lynda Savenkoff on Sun, 25th Apr 2021 7:14 pm
  14. Hey Barb!
    I recently discovered some Apple watches will actually notify you if you’re holding your breath!!
    Perhaps I should buy one??!!🤔😂
    Hope all is well with you!
    Take care!😍

  15. Tonya Holmes on Mon, 26th Apr 2021 8:14 am
  16. Hi Barbara,
    See you in Moab. Wish to be there also such good memories and such good friends we met there.
    This is Tonya Holmes the barrel racer in the cow pin. Haha.
    Just wanted to let you know about my futurity finally. Remember several years ago I was fretting about getting two horses ready for futurities with being out with broken things (thumbs, ankles,backs). Well those horses didn’t make it. One died and the other is a nice open horse now.
    The cool thing is that God has given me another! One I didn’t have dreams for but was a natural from the start. I’m blessed over the moon! So easy for this old lady. Not the fastest but I want her to mature into a fine open horse. So I’ll wait for her speed to come.
    Thanks for you encouragement.
    Have a great retreat. Encourage patience still.
    Tonya Holmes

    PS tell Sandy Hi. Leaned so much from her as well.

  17. Mary Kay on Mon, 26th Apr 2021 9:45 am
  18. Great reminder, and should help me on my young mare who sometimes gets a little excited.

  19. Cindy J on Wed, 28th Apr 2021 1:20 pm
  20. I had an experience With not breathing-I was in a drill team and had to move to a position that I hadn’t ridden before. I was nervous and afraid I wouldn’t remember all my turns. Half way through I was feeling faint and realized I had been hold my breath. So really started concentrating on breaking. So I really found out how important it is to breathe. So glad to get these tips on breathing. Thank you Barbra

  21. Robbin Sinclair on Sun, 2nd May 2021 10:58 am
  22. One of the many things you’ve taught me that I just love. Breathing and waiting for my horse to breath with me. ❤️

  23. Judy on Sun, 2nd May 2021 6:38 pm
  24. You are right! I love that about the Apple Watch. It’s funny but how many times do you bypass that opportunity? I do way too often. It’s a sign life is too busy whenI can’t take 2 minutes to breathe.

  25. Judy on Sun, 2nd May 2021 6:42 pm
  26. This is great if I practice it. I really have to think about it. Where I fall short is waiting too long before I really feel nervous and it’s out of control then it’s almost too late to breathe before I enter the ring. My timing is off.

  27. Joanne Milton on Mon, 3rd May 2021 6:20 pm
  28. More than once, as I stepped off my horse at the end of a raining run, the judge has told me “You can breathe now!”

Tell me what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.