The last couple weeks I feel like I have been even more tense in my shoulders and upper back than normal. I suspect most of it is from being hunched over in front of a computer at work. Some of it in the saddle is probably also from being unnerved during my first ride in the clinic a few weeks ago.
I've been making a conscious effort to bring my shoulders back and down, but it's been a struggle. On my way out to the barn the other night though a catchy Spanish dance song was playing on the radio. While I was driving down the highway I started to move my shoulders to the music, and I could finally feel the tension start to leave them. The song repeated in my head as I caught and tacked up Kachina and it kept me moving and smiling. It has made me seriously consider making a pre-ride dance music playlist.
I came home later and had to look up what the song was and what the translation was (mi espanol es no bueno). The song was Despacito by Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee. The line that was most stuck in my head was "pasito a pasito" which apparently means "step by step". I think that is appropriate because step by step I am rebuilding the trust that was damaged a few weeks ago. I'm a big believer in the trust bank concept. When we rode in the clinic, there was a big withdrawal from Kachina's trust bank with me because she was uncomfortable and I put her in that position. There was also a withdrawal from my trust bank with Kachina because she freaked out and it scared me. The bank accounts aren't empty and we can get past this, but we need some positive rides for both of us to build our trust balance back up to a healthy level. My ride after listening to the song was one of these rides. We just did walk and trot and rode patterns around a 20m x 40m area, but we got some really good work. She started to curl behind the vertical at one point (which she hasn't done recently), but I was actually able to add leg to push her forward to my hand and it worked (using leg is a huge win for me!). Also, there was one point where a cat leapt out from the bushes and through the arena fence. Kachina spooked but we both only tensed up for a couple strides and then we were able to to get it together quickly and go back to a good quality trot.
Do you listen to music before or during your rides? Any songs that help you get in the right state of mind or body?