For a while now, I have been talking with and surveying equestrians and what I found out has been most interesting. The vast majority of equestrians I’ve talked with told me that they use some kind of holistic modality on their horse. Many use massage, others use acupuncture, some use chiropractic, and still others use herbal supplements, salves, or ointments; just to name a few. People rave about the results they have seen in their horses and remark how their attitude and performance have improved as a result of these methods. When I ask, “What type of holistic modalities do you use to optimize your life, health, and performance in the saddle?” I often get a blank stare in return.
Equestrians get it! They understand that for their horse to be their best; to look, feel, and perform their best; all aspects of their health and wellness must be addressed. They need a top quality diet, they need a good exercise program, they need time for rest and time for play, and they need to feel appreciated. For an equine to be their best we must support them holistically; body, mind, and spirit. Well, what’s good for the equine is good for the equestrian!
Eating a healthy diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds is part of the picture but it’s not enough. Going to the gym or riding a lot of horses and cleaning a lot of stalls might help you to look fit on the outside but what do your blood cells look like if you’re eating Doritos on your way home from the gym or barn? And even if you eat a perfect diet and have a great exercise program but you’re stressed out about work, money, relationships, or getting it all done, you will not be healthy. Balance, balance, balance – body, mind, and spirit – this is the key to optimal health and wellness.
Take what you know about helping your horse to be in top mental, physical, and emotional health and apply the same concepts to your own life. Choose healthier foods. Drink water. Exercise. Meditate. Choose healthy relationships and a career that you love. Forgive people. Forgive yourself. Get some sleep. Make time to play. Get a massage. Do SOMETHING to make yourself happier and healthier. Just like your horse, you will look and perform your best, in and out of the show ring if you focus on holistic health.
Your horse is only half of the equation! Be Well… Ride Well!