The many benefits of yoga aid in the process of deepening one's connection to their horse; as do the mindful practices of Buddhism.
Yoga on horseback is for anyone who wishes to deepen their connection to their equine partner. It is also for those who wish to keep their body strong, supple and healthy. It is for all disciplines in riding, whether it is trail riding or for those who compete at higher levels of stadium jumping and upper levels of dressage. It is not acrobatics on horseback. It provides riders with another tool to be aware in their own body and mind, to help strengthen and add flexibility to the body, as well as being aware of the responsibility we bring to our horses. The powerful benefits of Yoga help decrease anxiety and calm the immune system. This may be especially beneficially if you have ever been nervous by a new ride, or by an upcoming event or show. By practicing beathing and grounding techniques, this helps to increase relaxation and aids in one's concentration to notice the subtle cues from your horse and be more present to the moment. In the present moment, is where the 'magic' often happens, where horse and rider begin to move as one. Often times the lines begin to cross as to whether it was the rider or the horse who instigated the move. This happens when we are present, 'feeling', not thinking and are relaxed.
Yoga and mindfulness offer the student the opportunity to deepen your seat and connection with your horse. This includes increasing flexibility to help keep the spine and body supple and healthy for the long run. This is especially important to the Equestrian, as the seat, lower back and hips are where we are able help influence suppleness in the horse. Increasing strength of the spine and the supporting muscles in the torso and abdomen. By being responsible for the awareness in our own body, we are that much more aware of how we effect our horse. Our horse is what we are. Time in the saddle is given to suppling the spine, connecting and 'grounding' and 'plugging in' to your horse. Through these postures, and continuing to connect with one's breath and movement deepens the language that happens between the horse and rider. Time is given at the end of class to 'practice' riding in this new way. Often times riders are able to ride 'hands free' by utilizing their newly found communication with their horse. This form of non-verbal, deep seated, mindful connect can allow the horse to 'go' where the rider would like to go without the use of their reins.
Monica offer's private and group sessions for Yoga on Horseback and will come to your barn facility.
Combination Clinic: On the MAT/ HORSEBACK-Combine a yoga practice on the MAT with a mounted practice on HORSEBACK-Do you have space at your barn to hold a practice on the mat pre-ride? There is nothing like riding post yoga.
"Monica is a fantastic instructor her joy and love for what she does creates a perfect environment for learning & growth . "Horses are a mirror to your soul" is a favorite quote of mine and the horses love Monica's calm and positive approach. Over the course of my lifetime I have ridden many horses and it took me a long time to understand that if I allow them to connect with me on a deeper level every ride can feel as though we are in perfect synchronization. "
Helen A Peparo, Equestrian
"I need to be reminded to be present when I'm riding. Horsepeople are multi taskers by nature and its so easy to be writing your grocery list in your head while expecting our horses to pay attention to us. I'm really trying hard to remember to take those breaths before I get on and be there with my horse. I also really enjoy the stretching work. I seem to always be either too rigid or too slumpy, I think the yoga puts me in the middle so I can ride effectively but softly." Tracy Rakin, Equestrian