Pranayama and your horse
As practitioners of yoga and natural horsemanship we practice pranayama because we want to enhance our self-awareness and deepen our connection to our horse.
What is the practice of pranayama? It is the practice of self-awareness through breath control. We know that when we breath slowly and deeply we connect with our parasympathetic nervous system and this promotes relaxation of both our thoughts and our muscles. Just through the control of our breath we can "will" ourselves to relax.
As practitioners of natural horsemanship we know and appreciate that horses are intuitive animals. One way to deepen our connection to our horse through breath is to do a modified child's pose next to our horse with our hands on his back. In this position we can feel the rhythm of our horses' respiration and in turn he can feel our breath as our bodies gently move in time with each other's inhale and exhale.
Another technique is to first tune in to your horses' respiration. Take note of the rate and force of his breath. Now try to match his respiration with yours. Once you are in synch with his respiration begin to slow and deepen your own breath. Try to make each inhale deeper and each exhale longer. As you continue with this pranayama your own emotions and physical body will begin to relax. Note the changes in the respiration of your horse. He will follow where your breath leads.