It might seem like just another addition to the latest fad of adding animals to a yoga practice.
First came Doga with dogs, then came Goga with goats, and now this.
But there may be more depth and reasoning to horse yoga (equestrian yoga) than meets the eye.
Why horses make good yoga partners
For starters, horses are typically non-judgemental creatures that are particularly good at mirroring a person’s emotional state and behavior.
That makes them particularly good partners if you’re after a transformational experience that can help you shed light on your own patterns, beliefs, and reactions.
Horses are also acutely aware of their surroundings - the sounds, vibrations, and energy.
They can be alert and present, yet calm and settled.
This is a powerful skill we can learn from them.
Horse yoga can deepen your practice in ways you hadn’t thought of before
The overall purpose of yoga is to experience union and connection - within ourselves first and foremost and then with others and the outside world.
With this one key distinction in mind, it’s easy to see how connecting to a horse can help you experience a different facet of this yogic understanding.
It’s also important to note that although we typically think of yoga as a purely physical practice, there are other limbs and practices that encompass the entirety of Classical Yoga.
According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, one of the oldest authoritative texts on Classical Yoga, the Yogic Path is comprised of 8 limbs or stages:
Believe it or not, practicing yoga with a horse can actually help you address many of these yogic points:
Additional horse yoga benefits
Another benefit of horse yoga is that it teaches you how to be more assertive and confident, and that’s something many of us care to master.
Horses, like dogs, crave connection, leadership, and trust.
We must proceed with calm confidence when managing and directing them.
Horse yoga is similar to a therapeutic practice called horse therapy or equine-assisted therapy.
This kind of therapy involves both a therapist and a horse specialist and centers around supervised interactions between a person and the horse.
The goal of horse therapy is to help a person develop certain skills like confidence, assertiveness, self-control, problem-solving capacity, and accountability. (1)
Studies indicate that possible benefits of horse therapy include: (1)
How it benefits the horse, too
And while there are clearly many benefits that horse yoga can offer us, it’s not a one-way street.
Horses are also benefitted too.
Don’t forget that horses are very muscular creatures.
That means they also experience muscle soreness and tension.
Asanas performed correctly on the horse’s back serve as a massage for them.
And who doesn’t like a tension-relieving massage, right?
Enjoy a unique horseback riding adventure
with Certified Instructor Gail B. Veley
Interested riders (from any experience level)* visiting Green Valley Spa can enjoy a private, guided trail ride and unique horse experience in a beautiful postcard setting in Brookside, Utah.
Riders visiting this upscale lesson facility will:
Total Cost (cash please, no credit cards):
$85.00 One Private Session (Two private sessions for $155.00 total)
Expect to spend two hours when you arrive, and please wear long pants and shoes with a heel if you have some. Although next-day appointments can usually be scheduled, it’s best to arrange a session 2 to 3 days in advance. Please let the concierge know you will need transportation to my facility once you have made your appointment.
Gail B. Veley has been a certified riding instructor with The American Riding Instructor’s Association, since 1994. She specializes in dressage and basic solid equitation skills. She hasridden with Olympic as well as grand prix riders, and has been both a trainer and instructor for more than 25 years. Her schooled lesson horses could help boost your equestrian abilities and understanding to a higher level. Please consider indulging yourself and also meet the grandson of the last Triple Crown Winner - “Affirmed” 1978. Call 435/231-0127. Thank you.
* In case of cold, rainy or excessively windy weather, riders can enjoy an enlightening riding lesson in the indoor arena. Riders who have very little to no horse experience will be given a more extensive riding lesson in the riding arena, and a briefer trail riding experience.
WindhorseRelationShip is a unique equestrian experience mirroring balance and harmony in nature. It’s not goal oriented horse training, it’s about building right relationships. It’s a process that creates the experience of kinship: “Where Heart Meets Horse.”
The focus in upon creating a safe environment for communication, understanding the mustang’s language and perspective, changing fear into mutual trust and confidence as you become the leader in a willing partnership. Mary Lee teaches useful training skills acquired over fifty years of professional education and experience. However, “It’s not what you do; it’s how you do it.” That makes the difference.
WindhorseRelationShip is about working with the nature of the horse with balance, timing, and feel. The power of self-awareness and non-verbal communication with the horse allows the human to create willing relationships based on trust, which transforms fear into respect, and respect into response. When the human heart meets the wild horse in love and understanding the teachings circle back to transform and empower the man spirit.
Horsemanship should be horse/human kinship based upon a partnership of mutual respect and understanding for a common purpose. The kind of relationship will determine the enjoyment and level of accomplishment for the horse/human team. The basic skills and disciplines required cannot be mastered without harmony and balance whether trail riding, jumping, executing patterns or working cattle. Equitation is form with function and the most important function is for the human to learn how to get along with the horse and accept him as his/her teacher.
M.E.E.T the mustangs
mustang educational, experiential training
M.E.E.T. is the development of a relationship based on trust, willingness, and respect. Most participants have little or no prior experience with horses. In fact, many participants arrive with fear of horses and learn to overcome their fear. Fear, stress, anxiety, trauma, depression, and anger are replaced with peace, strength and emotional balance. This transformation occurs within the horse as well as the human. In our M.E.E.T. workshops, seminars and trainings, participants, come to understand the horse's perspective toward humans. They learn to observe the horse"s nonverbal language. A critical component of this training is to create a safe space for the horse and the participant. During this process the horse is never restrained and always has the freedom to flee if threatened or frightened. Our technique “working the edge” teaches the participant to bridge the distance between fear and respect. The participant begins to understand the role as predator in a predator vs. prey society and learns that aggression is a result of one"s fears.
Windhorse Relations customizes trainings based on the needs of each group and the unique needs of the participants. Here are some examples and comments from past trainings and programs.
Call 800.237.1068 for times and rates.
M.E.E.T The Mustangs
WHERE HEART MEETS HORSE – WINDHORSE RELATIONS
Mustangs, the American wild horses, are survivors, yet they are peaceful, loving animals. They teach how to empower yourself and become the creative leader of your own life.Wild horses are the "land dolphins" of healing the heart, spirit, and body. A Windhorse Mustang will guide you into a space of unconditional love, insight and renewed vision. As you create a willing relationship with your Windhorse partner, inner wounding will heal and a new perspective and wholeness will emerge.
No equine experience is needed. Mary Lee and her expert staff will guide you through this unique personal experience that provides the opportunity to discover oneself outside of the labels, expectations, or limitations.
Creating a willing relationship with a Windhorse Mustang can teach you to:
Our programs can be particularly important for adolescents. Our mustangs provide safe, wise, and courageous mentoring and mirroring. Let them reflect your wisdom and goodness. They are trustworthy confidants for the private, inner struggles teens face today. Partner with these American legends who embody authenticity, integrity, courage, pride, tenacity, and curiosity. Join us for an amazing adventure in self discovery!
There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it. ~ Anonymous
Riding a horse through the bad lands and red rock canyon areas of souther Utah is a unique way to enjoy true western hospitality. Pick a good steed, have a cantine and let your sure footed friend carry you through history as you experience the desert wilderness the way the cowboys see it. Quiet canyons and desert breezes are your company as you trod through the scenic back areas of this great land.
Green Valley will arrange your tour and pack you a lunch. Afterwards we suggest a full body massage and a soak in our full size jacuzzi tubs available in every room to reflect on the experience.
Meet The Mustangs
Where Heart Meets Horse – Windhorse Relations
Mustangs, the American wild horses, are survivors, yet they are peaceful, loving animals. They teach how to empower yourself and to survive the addictions in our society by becoming the creative leader of your own life.
Wild horses are the "land dolphins" of healing the heart, spirit, and body. A Windhorse Mustang will choose you and guide you into a space of unconditional love, insight and renewed vision. As you create a willing relationship with your Windhorse partner, inner woundings will heal and a new perspective and wholeness will emerge.
No equine experience is needed, only a willingness to join in a powerful, spiritual journey with a Windhorse Mustand, facilitated by Mary Lee Brighton, Marica Thayne, and Pam Russo.
The seminars follow the same patern Mary Lee uses in gentling and teaching American wild horses as they transform into Windhorse teachers. By "Creating a Willing Relationship you will:
Mary Lee transforms these fearful, powerful mustangs into Windhorse teachers through a process guided by the intention to "Create a Willing Relationship" and using a technique she calls "Working the Edge," which shifts fear into curiosity and opens the door to trust, confidence, and self-revelation.
Each session is unique. The chemistry of the person's energy combined with their Windhorse partner creates a special. personal experience that passes all understanding.
Mary Lee has focused over ten years and a life time as a student, horsewoman and teacher to create this experience.
M.E.E.T. the Mustangs programs afford the opportunity to discover oneself outside of the labels, expectations, or limitations imposed by previous membership in primary or secondary groups. Autonomy, individuation, differentiation, separation and self-realization are a part of any transition experience. The journeys from childhood to adolescence, adolescence to adulthood, parenthood to empty nester, employed to retired, single to married, married to single, retired to twilight call all be a joyous adventure rather than a cycle of rebellion, self destruction, or self deprecation.
Our programs can be particularly important for adolescents. They provide the essential component of a safe, outside place without any ego investment in the paths one chooses, that produces resilience. The individual has the opportunity to try on new selves that represent their individuality. Thus, there is no need for rebellion against the status quo that is sometimes the only option teens think the have for the vital and healthy individuation and differentiation needed for successful launching. Our mustangs provide safe, wise and courageous mentoring and mirroring. Let them reflect your wisdom and goodness. They are trustworthy confidants for the private, inner struggles teens face today.
In our programs there are no labels, expectations or preconceived notions of the individual which restrict the adventures that enhace our life experiences and build life lessons that strengthen our characters and feed our souls. Partner with these American legends who demonstate what has made America great. They embody authenticity, work ethic, integrity, courage, pride, tenacity, curiosity, and wonder. Let the adventure begin!
Call now to book your stay! 800-237-1068