Equine Yoga

Emerson and I have begun doing some self-care related yoga and exercises. It's been helping our sore muscles from all the barn labor and the cold winter days. As we did a session we both looked at each other and said, we gotta do this with the horses! So we filmed our starting sessions with each horse. Everyone is at a very different place in their training and physical well-being, but they all have begun their yoga regimens! We'll do regular posts to update as we progress. In the meantime enjoy these videos! Emerson narrated her work, so you can learn alot of what we are doing from her videos, I'll try to write about what we're doing in my sessions - I'm not so coordinated to narrate while I go!

Our goal with our equine yoga is the same as with human yoga. To connect the mind to the body, bringing our horses' awareness inside themselves, learning about their bodies in a variety of fun and engaging ways. The goal is to gain flexibility, strength, and balance through a wide variety of exercises. All done with positive reinforcement to help them actually learn about their body (not just have themselves be physically manipulated).

Taina is brand new to clicker training - she's new to the concepts of paying attention to her behavior to earn a click. She's picked up targeting and knows how to line up on the mat, that's about it. So with this we have been able to do many light neck stretches with the target. Our focus is still much more on Taina's emotional state than her compliance with cues. So you'll see we're very loose and keep things easy for her. Wispy however is very fluent in clicker training. Her yoga includes a lot of body targeting, moving sections of her body away, neck stretches, and we're just beginning leg movements. While Wisp is good about picking up her feet she's new to the concept of having her legs manipulated so we'll work on that more in the future. Also planning on adding more dramatic stretching and bending, with body weight shifts, balance practice, and bending exercises. Tank is more savvy with clicker training than any horse, though hasn't done much lately so she's a little frantic. The session videoed here is with her friend Brenna, who has some learning troubles, so the mechanics may not be perfect, but they worked together well as a team and had a lot of fun together! Blitz is with his friend Ryley, who is a quiet, timid trainer, but very happy. This old man has worked a tough life in the city (you'll see his hip troubles in the video) but despite seeing busy cities, he was so shut down for so long, that now that he's aware, he's very afraid. So Ryley and Blitz approached the mat for the first time with the goal of desensitizing and counter conditioning this new object.