The Subject of Breathing

The subject of breathing just keeps coming up. Almost as much as “heels down”.  Almost as much “you need to work on your rhythm”.  Almost as much as “you’re putting that on (backwards) (inside out) (upside down)”.

We all know that proper breathing is a key element for an equestrian. I’ve checked out approximately 4,548 horse riding blogs and every single one of them has mentioned the significance of breathing at least once. Most people say that they just plain forget.  And there has never been a riding book written that failed to toss in a few paragraphs about breathing and why you are doing it wrong.

When you don’t breath, you tense up. And when you tense up, the horse tenses up. And then the instructor tenses up. This leads to the Standard You Need to Remember to Breath Joke as a gentle reminder and to relieve the tension. Everyone laughs and this helps us all breath again.  Of course the effect is temporary and I go right back to holding my breath because something in the lizard part of my brain insists that not breathing is the same as focusing.

Some people recommend Zen techniques. I’ve always liked Zen sort of things, even though I’ve never understood a word of it.  It just sounds nice and relaxing.

Other people recommend “Pilates”. I think this is an exercise sort of thing. However, the first time I heard this term, I thought it referred to something ballet related. Why wouldn’t you?  This led to some discussion regarding tutus and not wearing them and from there went completely off topic.

Then there’s Yoga. I think that has something to do with breathing. But whenever I see a picture of someone doing Yoga it reminds of that sadistic floor game “Twister”.  Hell no.

I’m guessing that Yoga and Zen and Pilates take a lot of commitment and work.  I need a more immediate solution to my breathing problem.  Not too long ago, someone suggested singing as a breathing method.  I like that.  I’m an excellent singer and I think it would add a great deal to my lesson.

Now I have to look up the lyrics to all my favorite AC/DC songs.