#72 Fine Tuning your Observation Skills

Mar 16, 2023

In the 3 Day Mindful Challenge you had the opportunity to play with sitting and observing your horse/s- what gets their attention, how they move, what relaxation looks like or doesn't, how often your mind wanders and then bringing it back to observing. 

All master horsewomen and men are amazing observers.

A horseman I admire greatly and had the opportunity to take a colt starting course from a few years back, Rob McAuliffe, would watch people in airports standing in front of a snack display to see if he could tell what they were going to order. He practiced his skills of observation in between his time with horses. 

Adding this into your day takes intention though or we won't ever do it. That's where the 3 Day Challenge comes in. 

Once you've tried out the challenge, here's a little something to add in for variety.

You'll practice what Tom Dorrance encouraged, "Isolate, Separate and Recombine". 

Isolate out one of your senses. For me, my sense of sound is the easiest to start with. Sit for 1-2 minutes and listen to all of the sounds. Most likely, even in this short time frame, your mind will wander- when it does, no big deal, bring it back by searching for a sound to focus on.

I think you'll find this quite amazing- especially if you're outside. If you're in a safe place to close your eyes, do that. 

Yesterday, I stood with Suede while he munched on some hay, I leaned against him, with my arm over his back, closed my eyes and listened. I heard 6 different bird sounds, planes, cars, my neighbors horses walking on gravel, Suede's wide variety of chomping noises and the approach of Bobbie (another of my geldings) long before he reached us. It was fun and gave me a glimpse into the world horses live in- they take in so much more information than we do!!

You can stick with one sense for awhile, or try out a different one each session. 

I hope you have fun with it and make some discoveries along the way.  


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