Knowing I Am Enough

It seems when life gets busy the first thing I set upon the shelf is this blog. Lately it’s been shoved to the very back corner where only dust and spider webs live. In the months it’s sat idle an entire summer has slipped by.

The balmy days between May and September are undeniably the busiest for the business. With only 5 seasons under our belt, Enchantment Equitreks is in its infancy and I’m trying to learn how to juggle and balance all the hats I now wear. Somewhere amidst the chaos I decided to write a blog. I was keeping up pretty well with a weekly post and a few longer pieces sprinkled through out the month. Yet it seemed as the days got longer I found less time to write.

A few days ago, as I was mucking paddocks, I listened to a pod cast about You Are Enough. Even though it was an interview with Deborah Burkman about her 17 year yoga teaching career, I found it spoke directly to my multifaceted life that reads like a drop down menu.

Business Owner

>Horse Trainer

> amateur vet

> full time groom

> semi amateur farrier

> barn manager

> poop scooper

> Marketing Manager

> website designer and master

> social media director

> head of advertising

> photographer

> blogger

> Wrangler

> trail guide

> sous-chef

> yoga instructor

> gardener

Find your purpose and come back to that. And know that you are enough

I may be missing a few categories, but when something needs to be fixed, fed, or facebooked, I’m your go to gal. However, I find my self bogged down with trying to get it all done. During her interview, Burkman said, “Find your purpose and come back to that. And know that you are enough.” This simple and clear message lifted the self imposed weight off of my shoulders and folded it into a more manageable carrying case.

What I do every day is enough. No matter if my day is filled with time in the saddle, time on the computer, or even time reading a good book, it is enough. My to-do list will always be there. The emails will keep coming in. Horses will need to be fed in the morning.

Part of accepting this truth is focusing your path and knowing your purpose. I had to start with the big questions. What is the purpose of my business? Then work down to the smaller details. What is my purpose for this blog? I love writing because it gives me the creative outlet needed to keep my brain lubricated. I’m ok not making money, becoming famous, or having heaps of followers. So when my brain shuts down for a while, and my blog sits in the recess of a dark shelf for months, I’ll know it’s ok. My purpose guides my path and what I do is enough.

Finding Balance In Equi-Yoga

What exactly is Equi-Yoga? You may have visions, like I did, of a graceful yogi in down dog on the top of a bareback horse, lounging in circles like a vaulter. It is actually a practice developed by Marty Whittle that combines yoga techniques of body awareness, breath and movement with equestrian training. Whittle found that implementing these yoga based exercises with the movement of a horse will help stretch, strengthen, and balance the rider. So our vision isn’t so far fetched. In Enchantment Equitreks Equi-Yoga program you will begin on the mat, creating a foundation of poses and breath that will be translated into the saddle. As you move to the saddle our horses stand patiently, often breathing and stretching with you, as you begin to find a flow. When you are ready to advance, the horse walks out on a long line as you match your rhythm with the animal. For more advanced riders, the horse is urged into a trot and a true study of balance is achieved. 





This unique technique targets many trouble areas, such as the neck, shoulders, arms, seat and legs. By loosening and strengthening these areas, the rider allows the horse to flow through them. By facilitating  Ujjayi breathing, new lines of communication form between horse and rider. “It helps you explore your body from the inside out,” explains Whittle. Personally, I found that I often forgot to use my core and compensated by using alternative muscles. For example, after reaching down to my stirrup I would squeeze with my knees and leg to help right my self in the saddle. My horse took the cue to move forward and I would over correct to stop the movement. How many times do equestrians lean down to adjust a stirrup and the horse trots off? My natural reaction is to tense through the saddle and hold my breath, which in turn makes the horse tense. I had to learn to engage my core and regulate my breathing to keep my body relaxed and in control.  Through Equi-Yoga I began to understand that communication with my horse can be misconstrued by being unaware of my body. 



I also found a deeper understanding of my own yoga practice by testing my balance on a moving mat. Although our horses are well trained to stand as the rider reaches new positions, they can be distracted and take a step. When in a twist the rider may have to adjust to the new position of the horse. There are also moments when the horse will stretch its neck as you lean forward and both of you are working together to reach equilibrium, finding that unspoken  partnership. My greatest revelation came when we started the moving portion. As my horse walked at end of the lounge line, my instructor guided me in twists and bends that complemented the animals natural gait and I realized that I am a booty rider! In order to keep my balance I tended to over compensate by sticking my rear end out just a bit and slightly arching my back.  This throws my seat forward and legs back in the saddle, which explains my habit of sometimes loosing a stirrup. Even though it was a slight misalignment in my body, it highlighted the affect it had in my riding. When I returned to the mat for my regular yoga sessions I felt my rear end creeping back out. Now that I am aware, I tuck it right back under my pelvis where it belongs. 



By adding the equine element to yoga the equestrian will learn to adjust to new situations with breath and suppleness, recognize and adjust the body cues to keep clear communication, and build a deeper connection to your horse. The yogi will challenge balance, develop deeper self awareness while staying cognoscente of out side influences.





For this new and exciting program we are blessed to be working with Nicole Fitzgerald, an experienced yoga teacher who has completed Equi-Yoga training with Marty Whittle. Her enthusiasm for yoga, horses, and Equi-Yoga is contagious. Nicole focuses on making this experience fun, relaxing, and informational for many levels of riders and yoga enthusiasts. 



A single day course includes an introductory mat session, an on the horse standing flow, and a walking sequence.  However, we believe that a foundation for the practice is best built during an Equi-Yoga Retreat Week. This encompasses multiple mat sessions that reinforce poses and helps work sore muscles, multi standing flows, walking sequences, and the introduction to the trotting positions. We then take this knowledge and apply it while trail riding, such as warming up with your horse and after lunch stretches. The team here at Enchantment Equitreks look forward to sharing this extraordinary and new technique in both the equine and yoga world. 

For Love of the Horse

While chasing clouds in my coffee this Valentines Day morning I ruminate on all the people I love and love me in return. This holiday can be about expressing your love for others, and I am very fortunate to have friends, lover, and family to share my heart with. This holiday, although can be bogged down with a hefty price tag, is essentially about passion.

I’ve met so many people who talk about what they love but so few express passion, that all encompassing emotion that drives you to extraordinary feats just to be apart of that particular moment in time. As I drain my mug and head out to feed the horses I know that I have found my passion. I know because I wake up every morning willing to do what ever it takes to be apart of this equestrian world. Love can be easy, it’s passion that proves to be a challenge. So I beseech all my Valentines to reflect not only on love today but explore passion.

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