Deciding to De-stress: Horsing Around

Deadlines are fast approaching. I mean, they are fast approaching and I have been stupid enough to change my essay question a week before the hand-in. Silly, I know. Feel free to roll your eyes – I already am. So as my workload increases as the time I have to do it all decreases, this weekend I looked for ways to help me destress, recuperate, and re-energise myself for the final push.

Yesterday, Saturday 25th, I found myself really struggling to form words into sentences or even my thoughts into anything less than a never-ending noise. I needed to get out, to get away from my work and my computer. I needed to de-stress. As a writer, I spend a good-amount of my time creating new worlds and stories instead of going out and living in the world around me. So with that in my mind, I went to hang out with a good friend of mine: Devlin, a friend of the four-legged and neighing variety.

With everything that has been going on recently, It’s been a long time since I have been to the stables. The effect that place has on me is instant. I step out of the car, breathe in a deep breath of crisp Winter air, sweet apple, and of course… tangy manure. My shoulders (which are always tense from sitting at a desk all day) relax instantly.

As for Devlin, he was definitely in a bit of a grump – with the weather in Bath and Bristol how it has been for the last couple of days, he’s been kept in his stable. As a result this eager horse was even more eager to be going out for a ride. Before any riding actually takes place though, I first had to give Devlin a well-needed groom. I won’t lie… grooming is often the best part of going for a horse ride. Even if the excited horse is just prancing around the stable, refusing to give you his back-left hoof to pick out (thanks, Dev). Grooming is calming, repetitive, and easy. Often, when we’re stressed, that’s what we need. Something easy to do so that when we succeed in it, we feel confident in our own ability.

As for the ride itself… Did it help to relieve some stress? Well, Devlin was raring to go and go we did. It was great to get out, to feel Winter sting my cheeks and to canter across fields with views over Bath and Bristol. I needed it.

For me, horses are brilliant creatures that are great at helping you destress. Although I know they’re not for everybody – my bestfriend Beth, over at Quills & Coffee, refuses to come and meet Dev or get anywhere near him. In her own words…

Horses scare me. Their faces are just too long.

So, if like Beth horses aren’t really your thing, don’t panic – feel free to come back here, to my Deciding to De-stress Series where I’ll run through a few ideas, tips, and tricks to help you overcome those tense shoulders and pounding headaches.

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