Creating “Flow State” in Horse and Rider at Cedar Crest Farm in Hiram, Ga.

What if when you rode you could find that super heightened zen state that allows you to feel relaxed and totally connected with your horse? Super athletes achieve what they call “Flow” state in which their performance seems to simply flow out of them with little effort.

What if you could find this in your riding?

Cedar Crest Farm hosted the Balanced Equestrian Series for the farm’s “Boarder Appreciation Day,” Saturday, October 13. Presenters Alexandra Grant, Cerice Berndsen and Catherine Respess of Equestrian Power and Catherine Hunter of Sacred Connections Horsemanship focused on the topic of flow and how riders and their horses can reach this state.

Alexandra started the presentation with the perfect topic of how setting goals for our riding helps us relax and not only enjoy those special moments with our horses, but also helps us track our progress. According to Alexandra, riders can use goals to help them recognize achievements, set a pace and keep track of their horse’s progress.

Alexandra Grant of Equestrian Power leading a goal planning session.

Alexandra said The Equestrian Journal and journal coaching by Catherine Respess of Equestrian Power, are excellent tools to help riders recognize the steps they need in order to reach their goals and help break those steps into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Following a great lunch, Cerice Berndsen of Equestrian Power, gave a wonderful talk about how riders could reach “Flow state.” According to Cerice, “Flow” creates an ideal state of harmony and cooperation between horse and rider. Both are more relaxed, more focused and more connected.

Cerice Berndsen of Equestrian Power wrapping up her presentation.

“Flow allows the horse and rider to make greater connections through a cooperative state not a complaint and submissive state,” she said. “Discord in the rider will cause discord in the horse.”

Cerice added that it is important for the rider to remove other contributors to discord in the horse such as pain, confusion or its needs—good food, shelter, water, etc.—not being adequately met.

Catherine Hunter of Sacred Connections Horsemanship, finished up the day with a demo showing an exercise designed to support the horse in reaching Flow state. “Horses reach Flow state when they are able to move into the energy of the higher chakras—the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh,” she said.

Catherine Hunter of Sacred Connections Horsemanship adjusting a rider's position.

Mounted on their lovely Friesian and Thoroughbred horses, barn owner, Lauren and boarder, Suzanne beautifully demonstrated how the forward balance position supports the horse’s core muscle development, opens the physical and energetic channels, allows for free forward movement and creates space for a shift into Flow state through the higher chakras.

All presenters encouraged attendees to call on them as part of a support system to reach their riding goals. “We’re all here for you,” said Catherine Respess.

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