Gasp!
I.
Can’t.
Breathe.

Okay, correct that. Obviously, I’m breathing. It’s just that I’m not doing it correctly. (dope slap) How could I be so stupid! I mean seriously, who knew there was more to breathing than simply inhaling and exhaling? Uh, my trainer that’s who. Oh wait, was that a rhetorical question?

Let’s get back on topic. Breathing.

Are you doing it? Because…gasp!…I’m not…gasp!
I wonder if I’m turning blue yet?

Let me explain what’s happening. Uh, besides the obvious ­— holding my breath.

Scenario 1
I’m riding outside and there’s a riding mower keeping pace with me. Horse not phased in the least. Me? Um, holding my breath.

Scenario 2
Outside again. Bicycle bells announce the arrival of small children madly pedaling their tiny bicycles up the driveway. As these small horse eating demons get closer I can feel the horse tensing beneath me. Me? What do you think? NOT breathing!

Scenario 3
I’m concentrating sooo hard on holding my position and the movement that I just—forget to breathe. Are you sure that I’m not blue?

Then there are the other occasions when I’m just breathing shallowly. Yep, riding along, just using the top third of my lungs. Puffing now…totally out of breath…puff…gasp… Whew!

In each of these cases, I’ve caused my horse to become tense because I was. Huh, some leader I am. I can’t even breathe.

Inhale deeply…
Draw a breathe in and down to your toes…

Exhale…
Feel the air rising from your toes and exiting through your nose…

Feel your shoulders drop downward as the tension leaves your body.

Inhale…
Exhale…

Feel your heels sinking a little deeper as the tension leaves your body.

Watch your horse’s head drop and his neck relax in response.

Now breathe deeply and ride! I promise I’ll try too.

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