I do everything I can to make sure the horse is happy and relaxed. I wait for the horse to welcome me into their space. I do not do anything the horse is uncomfortable with, and always put their needs first. Horses are highly sensitive and are often quick to engage in the work with me, communicating their needs and helping to release tension. I typically work in a smaller enclosed area separate from other horses. I keep a halter and lead attached for safety and communication, but allow the horse to move about as they choose. All of this is not only helpful, but essential for the horse to relax the long-held patterns of tension in his or her body. In order to let go, first, they have to trust… In order to do that, I have to create a safe space where they can breathe and know that I am only here to help.
Average sessions last 1-1.5 hours to allow for time for all of the good stuff. Standard sessions are $100.
Covid Precautions and Risk Management
Despite being outside, I expect myself and clients to wear masks during the entirety of the bodywork session and discussions around horses. I will not be making visits to busy boarding barns where social distancing from others is not possible.
Creating Quiet and Healing Spaces
Often times I am unsure of what the environment I am stepping into will be like when I have new equine sessions.
While I understand there are limitations depending upon where your horse lives, creating a quiet and calm environment is ideal (for the horse and also for me to focus and be quiet while working). It is important for us to be somewhere where your horse is comfortable. I do not recommend scheduling bodywork sessions during feeding times or when horses are being taken in and out of the barn or rotated frequently.
Creating a quiet and healing space is also something we can work on together in our dynamic. Talking may need to be minimal or kept around calm and warm topics, or the work at hand. I will often be quiet for long periods while listening to and interacting with your horse, and I appreciate being able to slip into a quiet and peaceful space with them.
Creating quiet spaces also depends upon how calm your horse is in the environment. Every environment and horse is different. Some prefer to be outside, some prefer to be inside, and some prefer to be in stalls. I generally do not work where other horses can easily access and touch us due to safety issues.
Horses and riders often mirror each other. When we ride, our movement affects their movement directly, and vice versa. At the same time, horses tend to copy our postures and our movements in ground work. It makes sense that as one of us develops body tensions, imbalances, or stress, usually, the other follows suit.
This is why I believe it is so important to work with the horse and the rider–one is not more important than the other.
While working together, I will help you learn to use relaxation techniques, balance and mobilization exercises, and muscular relaxation exercises for yourself and with your horse.
We will also discuss positive changes you can make in your life, your horse’s life, and how you think about training and riding–just bringing in simple changes to help improve how you move, how much you move, and to reduce stress for both of you.
This holistic approach helps support overall wellness, long-term soundness, and healthy biomechanics. If the mind is stressed the body will be in a reflexive stress posture, and healthy biomechanics and correct riding will not be possible. Force or pressure or compensatory patterns will have to be used to overcome this; instead, we can use simple techniques to relax the mind and body so that using training techniques to teach healthy biomechanics can be easier–you are no longer fighting against tension in the body systems.