Equitherapy is all about healing with and through horses.
I became interested in working with horses for healing when my sister came to visit a few years back. She was suffering from fibro myalgia, had lost 30 pounds, was in constant pain, and very weak. I began giving her very gentle riding lessons every day, and over the course of 2 weeks she gained in strength, endurance, balance, & health. Later, I suffered a crippling bout of sciatic spasms, which put me on a course of physical therapy and movement education. Additionally, I realized that my 4 knee surgeries and 40 years of knee trauma, not only affected my position in the saddle and my effectiveness in communication with the horse, but was contributing to my growing stiffness and pain in my back and other body parts. I began taking classes and putting together a therapeutic regimen to heal and balance myself. Currently, I use somatic stretching, Feldenkrais techniques, Tai Chi, pilates, and balance exercises in my unmounted work. I am a lifelong student of classical riding, focusing on balance, lightness, and correct biomechanics; it is not discipline-specific. Riding in synchronicity with the horse teaches the body to move in balance without tension, thereby facilitating healing. Riding in sympatico with the horse creates harmony and beauty, a lifelong, illusive, yet satisfying quest.I found that I could help others by sharing my therapeutic, unmounted exercises, with equitation lessons. I began accepting students in 2011. With regular workouts and lessons, my students were getting stronger, more flexible, and more confident. They were communicating better with their horses and becoming better riders. I have worked with children and adults with back injuries, fibro myalgia, C-section trauma, and psychological trauma. In this blog, I will share stories of our challenges and progress, techniques you may explore to improve your health, your riding, or both.