Half Halts & The Holidays

It’s snowing here in Santa Fe as I write this—heavy, wet flakes accumulating on the ground and in the majestic pine tree that lives outside my front door. What a beautiful morning! I’m contemplating the holidays and how much I needed this unscheduled day of rest to catch up with myself.

There is something called a “half halt” in the horse world, where the rider asks the horse to recycle their energy—typically from the forehand—and activate the hindquarters for more thrust, power, engagement. I also affectionately use the term re-balance when teaching or training.

We use this re-balancing tool when the horse is going faster than desired, is balanced more on their forehand instead of their center of power, to prepare them for a change of gait, i.e. transition, or change of some sort, or to simply help get their attention. And how does this translate to riders, and even non-riders, during the holidays?

Often the holidays elicit a frenzied rush of consumerism, events, phone calls, emails and trying to get those gifts wrapped and cards addressed. We are rushing around “on our forehand,” “out of balance” and not as connected with ourselves and what we need as we might otherwise. Just as horses are built on the forehand, with more mass forward, we humans tend to live very linear, hurried lives.

So, my message is simple, this week I invite you to…

Claim the Pause

Half Halt Yourself

Tune in with what you really want and need.

How might we do that? Here are some of my favorites:

Take a Breath. Then Another. Repeat.

Be Still. Even if for a Moment.

Feel Your Feet on the Ground

Feeing Your Feelings. Let them Inform You.

Honor the Darkness & The Light

Nourish Your Senses, including touch (yes, your animals count!), texture and scent.

Plan Ahead, for meals (including sweets, alcohol, allergies, etc.) and energy levels!

S-L-O-W it Down. Do Less. Then, even less.

Drink Water & Take Baths: Water Heals

I wish you a gentle, flowing week as we approach the Winter Solstice on Wednesday here in the Northern Hemisphere. Often we “do” the holidays the same way every year—and often riders forget to rebalance their horses—but recycling and channeling our energy and our horse’s energy leads to beautiful, empowering action! I invite you to try it out.



P.S. If you would like support through the holidays and into the new year, please contact me for more information about Life Mentoring or VIP Gallop to Freedom sessions, available live in Santa Fe (combine with optional hot springs!),  or by phone or Skype.

P.S.S. And remember, Gift Certificates available in any amount $20 or more for any service. Purchase by 1/3/71 and a portion will be donated to a wonderful non-profit.