About Me

I have been the mind-body instructor, interspecies relationship advisor, go-to equine "bodyworker" and Hanna Somatic Educator to dressage trainers, international clinicians, Olympians, dancers, fitness instructors, business owners, horsemanship gurus, recreational riders & thousands of clients around the world. 



Unleashing the potential of horses and humans to become happy, athletic, connected and free in their bodies, minds, and spirits.

I do this by educating the public and global horse industry about chronic tension & learned helplessness in horses and how to address them with A Somatic Approach to Horsemanship, Equine Hanna Somatics & Somatics for Riders.

Photo by @urbanexodus

I believe equine professionals and owners alike must learn to recognize the symptoms of chronic tension and learned helplessness, and learn how to return our beloved horses to wholeness and horseness, without sacrificing the sporting, fun and recreational activities that we love to do with them.


Addressing Chronic Tension & Learned Helplessness

In ASATHorsemanship™ we respectfully invite Interspecies Dialogues to Awaken the Actualized Horse.

With Equine Hanna Somatics®, we help horses let go of the physical patterns of chronic stress and tension, moving them toward homeostasis, health and happiness.

Using Hanna Somatics for Riders, we help the human become a more balanced and supple partner for the horse.

Once freed from the postures and mental state of learned helplessness, chronic tension and its associated pain, trauma and/or asymmetry, horses can find Self-Carriage, exercise Choice, regain their Dignity and achieve their Performance Potential.

Alissa Mayer’s study of the nervous system, motor control, and resetting resting muscle tone to return the body to balanced posture, aka homeostasis, reveals that we can change our ability to perform physically and with ease while remaining pain-free — based on pure physiology — simply by practicing Hanna Somatics, and learning to use basic Equine Hanna Somatics to teach our horses to be relaxed and connected in body, mind, and spirit...



International Instructor, Somatic Educator, Advocate for the Horse, Author, Teacher, Trainer, Dancer, Clinician, Facility Designer

Creator of A Somatic Approach to Horsemanship™

A unique program based in classical horsemanship and Hanna Somatic Education, offering a pathway to developing Feel, Interspecies Dialogues, and Presence.

Certified Equine Hanna Somatics® Educator

EHS creates lasting change in a horse by causing the horse to make changes from within his or her own central nervous system by using the brain to reset muscles to neutral.

Coach – Somatics for the Rider/Athlete

Somatic Education in the tradition of Thomas Hanna is a proven and safe method for enhancing athletic performance, range of motion, endurance & comfort for all athletes.

Co-Creator – Equine Hanna Somatics Session 1 - Video

An Official Selection of The Equus Film Festival, this instructional video is changing the lives of horses and the human who love them all over the world, from Japan to Canada!

Co-Owner – Criswell and Mayer Productions LLC

In partnership with Eleanor Criswell Hanna, the Creator of Equine Hanna Somatics, we produce educational videos and other mediums and materials to spread the message and valuable information of Equine Hanna Somatics® Education.

“I have developed A Somatic Approach to Horsemanship™, a step-by-step layered program designed to help students apply what I have learned without having to give up their current training method or sport or discipline.

Applying A Somatic Approach to Horsemanship™ - inviting a dialogue with each horse based on The Five Agreements - and Equine Hanna Somatics - mind-body integration work to disperse chronic tension - will immediately improve posture and relieve pain without causing bracing and tension while training or playing...

Alissa's Education, Certifications, & Continuing Education


2004 BS Equine Business Management from Johnson & Wales University

2005 Eventing Groom/Rider/Trainer at Il Quadrifoglio, Sciolse, Italy

2006-2012 Founded/Directed/Managed Equiloha Farm, Natural Boarding Facility and Horsemanship Program on Kaua’I, HI

2007-present Student of Classical Dressage trainer Saskia Martin, Belgium

2012 Certified as an Equine Hanna Somatics® Educator by Eleanor Criswell Hanna Ed.D at the Novato Institute for Somatic Research & Training

2013-present Student of Aimee Brimhall McCord, Inspirational Horsemanship

2014-present Co-Instructor of the Equine Hanna Somatics Professional Training Program at the Novato Institute for Somatic Research & Training

2015-present Clinical Hanna Somatics® 3-year Professional Training Program at the Novato Institute for Somatic Research & Training

Lifetime Student of the Horse I am endlessly grateful to my most esteemed colleagues and furry professors – the horses in my life – from Marco the Mini, to Toby the (formerly) “evil" pony… to the large equines in my daily life: Jedi my appendix thoroughbred and Master of Sensitivity, and of course Doc A’Nalu, my warmblood/quarter horse cross who waited so patiently for me to learn to offer him a more sophisticated conversation. And all the rest! Keep ’em coming. Much Love!

By building lightness, self-carriage and the foundation for collection sooner rather than later, we can prevent the wear and tear of improper biomechanics, therefore keeping teams progressing instead of plateu-ing.

My students gain an understanding of learning theory  and physiology as well as relationship building strategies to increase bonding and safety while decreasing frustration and misunderstandings."

– Alissa Mayer