EMHH Episode 21: Better Than IntuitionMar 30, 2022
Wouldn’t it be great to ride and handle your horse with ease and natural feel? And to intuitively know how best to help your horse? In this episode, you’ll learn how tapping into your own body and mind can help you understand your horse more. We’ll dive into how you can develop the skill of “informed intuition.” It’s like intuition on steroids! And it’s a skill anyone can develop.
💥If you want my PERSONAL coaching so you can put this into practice to help your horse - and yourself - have more flexible, balanced, and confident movement, you're in luck! For a limited time, we're opening enrollment in our group coaching program, Move with Your Horse.
Click here to get all the details. 🐴 💖
(Doors close on April 12, 2022)
- Feldenkrais® for Riders videos: marydebono.com/rider
Hello, and welcome to easier movement, happier horses today. I'm going to talk to you about something that is better than intuition. You always hear about people talking about using your intuition and, you know, tuning into your intuition and while that's great, you could think of what I'm about to tell you as like intuition on steroids. Okay. So let me give you a quick story.
Many years ago, I was at a horse show. It was a hunter jumper show and my dad and I were at the ringside and we were watching this beautiful little cute, like really solidly built strawberry Roan. And he was going around the course, right? Is his rider was very calm and confident. They were having a great ride, great ride.
And as they were coming around the corner and they were heading to an Oxford, my dad just leaned over and he whispered to me and he said, he's going to run out at the next fence. And I thought, what? Like, they just looked so perfect. Everything was great. And sure enough, right before that officer, the horse suddenly veer to the right.
And unfortunately the rider came off and, you know, she was not at all prepared for it. And luckily she wasn't hurt or anything. But I asked my dad, I said, how did you know that? And he said, I listened to the horse. And at first I thought, oh, he's like talking to the horse, like, like telepathy,
you know, that type of thing, which, you know, maybe there was some of that. But I soon learned that it was much different than that. It's it was an ability to pay attention, to details, Hey, tension, to details that most of us miss, we gloss over. We don't notice. And apparently the writer didn't even notice because she didn't seem at all prepared for that sudden change of direction.
Okay. So, you know, again, I don't ever rule out mystical gifts cause you can say, well, your dad just had this intuition, you know, this, this, this telepathy with horses. And again, while I don't rule that out entirely, I do think it's, it was something different, something that everyone can develop if they have the interest in doing so right.
You can pay attention to things. So, you know, and I'll give you another example real quick. So I used to drive a lot with my dad. So I was talking about when I was way younger than the ability to have a driver's license and I'd be in the front seat. I was like the navigator with the map and all that. And my dad would always be giving me driving tips,
like helping me be a better driver when I got to be that age that I could do it. And he would talk about always observing the other cars. Now we all know that, right? Defensive driving, being aware of how the other cars are, you know, being driven around us. But it was a little bit more than that because my dad would say things like notice like even small changes and how the car is in front of you or even the other ones in the other lanes.
Because he said, you'll be able to tell when that car is going to change direction even before its driver knows. And I thought that was interesting. Cause it's like we have like unconscious little shifts of movement of, you know, we do something that predict a change of direction. We, we subconsciously sort of like we make our body knows we're going to make a decision before our mind gets there.
And so the car because of the, driver's doing something is already starting to do the changing lanes or, or going to the off-ramp or whatever it is before the driver's mind even knows about it. And again, this is like, we're talking about small degrees, like little, tiny nanoseconds and small degrees of change, but it's this ability to pay attention to this is what gives a rider and equestrian the ability to have great feel,
to notice things, right? To be able to sort of predict what our horses are thinking, feeling, how they're, you know, how they're going to be moving in the next nanosecond. Okay. It's refining your communication. And again, anyone can learn how to do this. It's a matter of attention to detail. So to give you another example,
my dad was trained as a mechanical engineer and many years ago, he was a chief engineer in the British merchant Marine. And he was responsible for large, really large ships to travel safely and efficiently around the world. So he had to be very aware of noticing differences in all the different, you know, things happening in the machine room, in the engine room,
excuse me, engine room, and then to make quick calculations in his head and adjust accordingly. So it's the same thing we do with our horses. We're constantly taking an input from all our senses and then it's an, and a lot of this is unconscious. We don't even realize all the input we're getting, but if we make a decision that we want to take that in,
we want to combine that with our knowledge, right? And then we can make decisions based on that. We can, we can be aware of things right before they're happening even. Okay. So, you know, I call this process informed intuition and I CA I didn't make up this phrase. I actually heard this phrase attributed to Moshe Feldenkrais. Dr.
Moshe Feldenkrais was the creator, the founder of the Feldenkrais Method. And he mentioned about informed intuition. And he said, you know, it's, it's not like it comes out of thin air. It comes out of a deep knowledge of a subject. And so it seems like you're intuitive about it, but it's not, again, it's not out of thin air it's comes out of this deep knowledge,
paying attention, studying something, and then being able to take in all the information and to combine that with your knowledge. Okay. And you really learn to listen to yourself because the, the input comes in again, through all our senses, our visual field, right? Our, our sense of smell, taste hearing, obviously definitely touch all those things.
All those different senses, play a role. It's our ability then to not block that, not to say, oh, that can't mean anything it's to say, I'm going to take that in. And I'm going to combine it with what I know. And I'm going to listen to myself because when you have this deep knowing, right, and then things line up,
it feels good to you. And this is how I work with horses. And this is how I teach my students in the move with your horse program. I teach them to listen to themselves. They know why they're doing things. They know all the theory, they understand all of it. And then they really listen to themselves. They listen to the feeling of ease,
the feeling of comfort, the feeling of congruency, okay, this is big. This is important. So you allow all this data, all this input and met much of it is going to be subconscious. You allow it to be, to come in to you to be, to come in through your senses, to be processed a long with your knowledge of the subject of horses.
Okay. And then to make quick calculations, quick decisions to, to understand. So again, I call it informed intuition and it, to me is a deep knowing an embodied knowledge embodied, meaning you're combining information from your body and your mind, and the body tends to be a little bit ahead of the mind. Okay. So you're, you're combining that.
Right. And then moving forward, making decisions based on that. So it's embodied knowledge very, very different than just having like book smarts or just following intuition where you don't understand it. You're just something, some you're getting kind of feelings about things, but you don't know why. Right. I prefer both. I prefer a marriage of both of them.
And that's how I found that my, you know, my work has been most effective with horses and I've been doing this for more than 30 years professionally. And it's how I can help my students the most. And they can help their own horses or their, some of them are professionals. They help their clients' horses so much as well. And they help themselves because we can apply this to ourselves as well as to our horses.
Okay. So let me give you an example about this. Just the other day, I was doing a zoom class with my current members of move with your horse. We were doing a hands-on class. They had, their horses were actually, they were actually doing a lesson about tacking up while doing these hands-on moves. So that tacking up saddling could not only feel good to the horse,
but could benefit the horse, like even athletically that they could move more easily from this process of tacking up, just making small tweaks to it. Anyway, it was a really fun class. And suddenly in the class, I'm looking at this one woman in the horse she's working with, and I just had this overwhelming feeling. I had to share with her that,
oh, if you just put your right arm over your horse and you, you help the horse move his rib cage towards the left shoulder, and then you do this. And anyway, I gave her these instructions, which she was gracious enough to follow and right away the horse relaxed, he really got into it. And it was just like, oh,
it felt good to me to see her do it. Because I knew I had this inner knowing that it was helping the horse and he, and he showed us that it was helping him. But here's the key, here's the key. And this is why I say this is like intuition on steroids. I could explain it. I could explain the reasoning.
Okay. The biomechanics, like all the reasoning, why that was a helpful thing to do with that horse. So yes. First came the feeling in me first came the feeling very clearly like, oh, that would, that would really benefit this horse. Then I could explain it. Okay. And this is important. So, because what I do is when I'm working,
I often seek to, to disconfirm what I'm thinking, right. To disconfirm these feelings, because I want to make sure that I am accurate. So it's like a scientist or an investigator you want to disconfirm. So you get these, like, you can call them hunches if you will. And then you have to really think, okay, why am I feeling that?
Okay. Like I think it through, I think it through all the time and I, I feel it in myself, like how that would be, if I were the horse, right. Then I gently explored, or in the case of most of my students, I ask them to gently explore it. And let's see, let's see if that works out and much of the time it does.
If it doesn't, that's fine. We, we changed direction. We try something else. But again, it's this marriage of body and mind, and the body often comes first. So, but you know, real quick. Right. But we want to bring in both. So very, very important. It's something that to me is a big focus.
And you know, I talk about this a lot in my move with your horse program. My students hear me talk about this informed intuition. Again, it's sort of led to me. It's like, it's like intuition on steroids. Okay. So if you think about what you'd want to have embodied knowledge about what do you want to have, right. Probably if you're listening to this podcast has something to do with horses,
right? You probably want to have this ability to take in all the information about your horse that you possibly can, whether you're riding your horse, leading your horse, just grooming, tacking up, just playing, just hanging with your horse, whatever it is, right. You want to be able to take that in process it, along with your knowledge,
this has all happened very quickly, like subconsciously and then act accordingly. So it's really kind of like that idea of feel of being able to just react appropriately in the moment with your horse, right? Whether it's changing a, an age you're giving your horse, you know, just doing something so that you're more aligned with your horse and your communication is much,
much clearer. So this is part, a big part of what we do in our program. And by the way, we are opening enrollment, the doors are opening again in well, they're open very soon, but we start the new cohort in mid April of 2022, April 18th to be exact, but we closed the doors a few days before that. So if you want to know more about my program,
you can go to MaryDebono.com/joinhorse. marydebono.com/joinhorse, all one word, all lower case, super simple. And that'll get you on the wait list. And then I will, I will send you something so that you know all about the program and feel free to ask me any other questions you may have and see if it's a right fit for you.
If you want to really have this idea of embodied knowledge with your horse, if you want to feel also better for yourself, we do a lot of work in the program about improving your movement, your ability to ride your horse better, to work on the ground, better to help your horse. Hands-on all these wonderful things. It's the only program I know that has this idea of combining your improvement along with your horses improvement and combining this whole body mind connection.
Okay. Super, super fun. We just love it. We keep the class size, small and intimate. I'm in there all the time offering tons of live coaching live feedback. And we really have a great time. And I'd love to talk to you about whether you want to join or not, or you know, or any questions you may have.
So you can also check out the show notes because there'll be a link in there as well. So wherever you listen to the podcast, there should be a link there to find the show notes. This is episode 21, and I would love to hear from you and I'd love to have you consider joining us. So thank you again. And remember, this is better than intuition.
It's like intuition on steroids. So thank you so much for being here. Can't wait to talk to you again and bye for now.