Yoga for Equestrians both in and out of the Saddle!
This past fall in September and October I was invited to conduct two different clinics in the USA. The first was a Yoga Whispering Clinic in Guthrie, Oklahoma at the Horse Feathers Equine Center. The second was a Yoga and Dressage Clinic at the Tribute to America Farms in Suffolk, Virginia.
First Stop: Oklahoma!
I met Cheri Whiteowl-Nguyen under sad circumstances back in 2009 when I was 18 years old and living in Oklahoma. Although I was from California, I lived in OK briefly during my Senior Year of High School to attend an Equestrian Program at a Vocational School. I bonded with Cheri immediately and we continued to keep in touch over the years. In 2010, when I graduated from Meredith Manor Equestrian College, I donated every piece of horse tack I owned to Horse Feathers before moving abroad that very year permanently. I also conducted a clinic at Horse Feathers in 2012, and it was a great success with a lot of progress made both at adopting out horses from the rescue as well as training the students!
The clinic was on Saturday and Sunday and welcomed a nice group of students from various ages, and levels of yoga and riding experience! There were some who had spent years volunteering at the Rescue but this was to be their first time on horseback! Others were avid riders, both Western and English and were looking to help their body aches and pains find some relief through yoga as well as use the techniques to become more centered riders.
We spent two hours in the classroom where I introduced myself and my experiences both as a yoga teacher and as a professional FEI II riding coach. We had a great discussion about the benefits of yoga and how it relates to horses and our discussions even led us to the topics of “reiki healing” and followed well on our theme for the weekend: ENERGY!
After our discussion we spread out in the classroom to begin our yoga exercises and movement class. This session was gentle, and included Eye Yoga exercises, hip openers, lower back stretches and other poses which greatly benefit riders.
We then took our newfound knowledge out to the arena where I gave a riding demonstration followed up with short yoga in the saddle exercises for some of the students! It was a great group of women and I look forward to returning to Horse Feathers for future Yoga Whispering Clinics!
To Book me for a Yoga Whispering clinic, Contact Me!
On to Virginia for Four Days of Dressage Lessons and a Yoga Whispering Clinic
I first met Rachelle during my time at Meredith Manor Equestrian College. She was a fellow student and we kept in touch after I graduated in 2010 and continued to travel working with horses in various countries. This year in 2018, we finally got our long awaited reunion when she invited me out for a Dressage and Yoga Clinic at the stables she was based.
I arrived and met the gang at Tribute to America Farms. We did a group lesson to assess everyone’s specific riding abilities, and discussed various problem horses that would need special private lesson sessions with me afterwards. After our group lesson we put the horses away for an afternoon nap while everyone gathered outside the arena in the warm sunshine for a Yoga out of the Saddle session. We began the class, everyone had different levels of flexibilty, strength, and body aches but the as the session continued everyone relaxed and began having fun! We worked on strengthening and healing our body aches and injuries from many years of riding and by the end of the session (during the savasana) everyone was relaxed, loosened up and eager to try out their new skills on horseback!
They saddled up the horses and everyone took turns participating in the yoga on horseback exercises which I designed specifically to help get the rider deeper in the seat, using their riding muscles correctly and to feel their horse better, have a better connection and communication with their body (and no reins!) And use their energy to allow their horses to relax! It was a great success and everyone enjoyed the class immensely.
The following days were spent conducting the private lessons both Dressage Lessons, such as the Extended Trot, to Pole Work and spotting distances and having adjustability between fences. I also set up small “obstacle courses” with poles and cones and worked on correct rider position and balance through turns and more complex moves.
As for the “problem horses” they weren’t any problem at all and also enjoyed their time in the sunshine working on their relaxation and transitions work from breathing. (Practiced during our meditation part of the program!)
It was a lot of fun coming to Virginia and I am thankful to all the student’s that participated in the clinic! I can’t wait until the next one and look forward to receiving updates from the students on their progress with their fabulous ponies!
To find out about the various Clinics I offer please check out my Services page!