Stories & Inspiration

What Flying A Plane And Riding A Horse Have In Common

by | Nov 29, 2023

One of my clients is a pilot. When I introduced the concept of Soft Eyes for riding, she said: “As pilots, we do that all the time!”

Soft eyes means using your peripheral vision as opposed to tunnel vision/staring. We often find ourselves in tunnel vision without even noticing. It makes you tense and not aware of your body.

You can try it out right now. When you stare at your screen with “hard eyes”, you will find yourself tense and not breathing. When you soften your gaze and use your peripheral vision, you will find yourself softening, breathing, and connecting with your body.

Peripheral vision also helps you perceive what’s underneath and behind you. That’s why this is so important for pilots. They need to have a good feel for the entire plane and how it is moving in space.

In riding, it’s the same: you need to feel what’s underneath and behind you (your horse). Staring and focusing on what’s in front of you will disconnect you from your horse.

So, be more like a pilot. 🙂