A Somatic Approach Horsemanship™

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A Somatic Approach to Horsemanship™

ASATH is a modern fusion of the behavioral science of Natural Horsemanship, the Mind-Body Integration of Hanna Somatics for both Horse and Rider, and the Classical Training Principles of Foundation Dressage.

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Smile, and the world smiles with you! A SOMATIC APPROACH TO HORSEMANSHIP™ is the evolving culmination of my experience with life, horses and Hanna Somatic Education®. This training approach is focused on building Safety, Refinement, Self-Carriage, Connection and Soundness into every horse-human team…

ASATH Principles

  • Refinement and Lightness are essential ingredients of the Foundation
  • Awareness of Functional Anatomy leads to prevention of Brace/Tension
  • Somatic Integration becomes a practice for both Horse and Human
  • Self-Carriage is developed as a habit in each unique Herd Culture
  • Feel is developed as a skill and two-way Communication Tool
  • Connection is the highest priority from Foundation through Specialization

ASATH Lesson and Training Philosophy:

A strong foundation is important for every team at every level. Safety is paramount for both the rider/handler and the horse – fun and progress can only be had when all parties are feeling safe and positive from the beginning. All lesson programs begin with groundwork and riding on the longe to facilitate communication and build a team of a good leader and an connected follower. The lessons or training sessions should be as much fun for the horses as they are for the humans!

An individually tailored progressive program will guide each rider to developing a truly independent seat and clear communication while building each horse into a stronger, calmer, and more flexible partner. This foundation training (or refreshing) is beneficial to every horse and rider in any discipline or level, from beginners to Olympians.

Learning Styles

Each individual (horse or human) learns a little bit differently, and at a different speed. Learning can only happen when the students can relax and focus on the task at hand, making SAFETY, RELAXATION, and mutual RESPECT and POLITENESS the first building blocks we will focus on in any session. Many different teaching and communication styles are utilized to get the message across as clearly as possible to the students and to the horses.

Athleticism for the HORSE

Correct Classical Dressage principles encourage lightness and willingness, as well as build strength in hindquarter muscles and also in the “ring” of core muscles that allow a horse to collect and maintain self-carriage. Using A Somatic Approach to Horsemanship will prevent tension or “braciness” and teach the horse strategies of finding relaxation and seeking connection.

Correct classical dressage, with regular cross-training, will save the legs, back, poll and all other joints of the body from early deterioration due to repetitive or incorrect movements. This effectively extends the horse’s useful life. Equine Hanna Somatics® helps the horse become aware of and let go of involuntary muscle patterns that are preventing the body from performing at it’s maximum potential and with the greatest of ease.

24/7 turn-out with a herd is the healthiest environment for a horse to live and play in.

Athleticism for the HUMAN

Training both on and off the horse as an athlete is essential to becoming a good rider and horseman. Only with good body-awareness, fine motor and muscle control, and a strong sense of self and self-control it is possible to give clear aids and communications to a horse with correct timing and the all-important release… Riding in and of itself is a great workout, as is dancing, yoga, martial arts training, walking or running, and Hanna Somatic exercises to help the body release static muscle patterns that get in the way of fluid movement. The best riders stay calm and stay out of the horse’s way, and know when to get off before they fall off!

Learn how to apply A Somatic Approach to Horsemanship to your sport or horse-time by scheduling a lesson with me, and following me on facebook @alissamayer for free tips and tidbits of education online ….

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