Thursday, February 20, 2014

 
Preparing for Padangusthasana with Half-Pint.
Half-Pint making me laugh with his throaty half neighing to our mare, Centella, in the field next door.  He wants to play with her.


 
Ok, Half-Pint has accepted he will stay with me a little longer before going to the paddock to play.
 

 
Hmmmm, why is she leaning on me with one leg?

 
Humans are strange, but, okay.

 
She's happy so I'm happy and relaxed.
 
The pose, Padangusthasana,  translated as Big Toe Pose, is a fun pose to share with your horse.  First, make sure you have established a connection with your horse and that he is relaxed and receptive to your voice and movements. 
 
 Calmly and slowly lift your leg and foot into position.  It is at this point that your horse may decide to move away  from you so it is important that you  listen carefully to your horse's moods and signals.  When your horse is at ease he will hold his whole body loosely, face and ears will appear relaxed, sometimes the eyes are closed, and he  may lick his lips or lower his neck and head.
 
 Horses are trained to move away from pressure so when your body weight is pressing on his side and back his first tendency will be to move away  leaving you in an increasingly wider and wider straddle!  To counteract this reaction use your voice and your facial expressions to signal your calmness and peaceful intentions towards your horse.  Once you are in position stay very still and give your horse time to get used to the pressure on this back and to your position.  As he becomes more relaxed and learns through experience that you are not asking any more from him except to stand still and accept your weight,  he will remain still and calm for longer periods.
 
The benefits of this pose for humans are many.
  1. helps to reduce diabetes
  2. improves head to toe flexibility
  3. improves powers of concentration
  4. helps relieve anxiety
  5. improves respiration
  6. calms the nervous system
The benefits of this pose to your horse are many.
  1. learns to stand still and relaxed
  2. learns to accept your weight
  3. when you place your foot near the shoulders and withers you are connecting with his heart chakra
  4.  when you place your foot nearer his hips you are connecting with the lower chakras that govern his identity and self-confidence.
Poses to help prepare you and your horse for Padangusthasana are Warrior I and II while standing to the side of your horse and placing one hand on his withers, back or hip.