HHT's Holistic Horse Training clinics are an opportunity for us to share our understanding of holistic equitation and gymnastic riding directly with riders and their own horses.
While our residential teaching in the South-West of France specializes in teaching the building blocks of gymnastic riding on the lunge, lessons during international training clinics give the opportunity for riders to learn how to put these principles into practice with their own horse.
The advantage is that riders may find it easier to know how to continue developing their technique afterwards, and that issues with an individual horse/rider combination can be addressed directly.
A horse training clinic is about bringing like-minded people together to share a multifaceted learning experience, and this gives rise to a great atmosphere of positive energy and motivation, at the same time as promoting encounters between people living in the same area who have similar riding interests.
HHT international clinics are not just about lessons. We offer several different kinds of demonstrations, presentations and holistic services, depending on what is of most interest to the organizer and participants.
Gymnastic lunging is the foundation of our training technique. It is a priceless skill for any horse-person to acquire, as it allows the development of certain essential qualities in the any horse, such as longitudinal stretching, correct bending, and the postural development that goes along with balanced movement.
In this demonstration, we explain the elements of lunging technique that are often missing from the traditional approach, but which are vital to the gymnastic value of the work.
For more info on gymnastic lunging, see Lunging a Horse Well: The Best Foundation for Training
This demonstration gives us the opportunity to show the different aspects of the postural interaction with the horse that is capable of bringing the movement into balance and alignment without constraining it.
We show how a rider can connect to the horse with an adhesive seat in order to balance totally independently of the reins, and how the horse's movement can be channeled into both lateral and longitudinal alignment in order to promote postural engagement.
NB. This demo depends on the availability of a horse who is calm enough working on the lunge to be ridden safely without reins or side-reins in walk, trot and canter.
We show how the techniques of gymnastic rider can be applied to any horse in order to initiate postural engagement.
We illustrate how postural riding is applied during a riding session, through an organic use of the schooling exercises that are appropriate to an individual horse in each moment of the work. This is not a display of training prowess in terms of outer performance, but instead of how it is possible to transform the inner qualities of a horse's way of moving to promote calm, balanced, gymnastically sound work. During the demonstration, the horse's natural crookedness will be analyzed, along with any other physical, behavioral or training issues that arise.
Lessons in our horse training clinics give the opportunity for riders to receive one-on-one high-quality tuition, which addresses the fundamentals of the rider's biomechanics interaction with the horse.
Our first priority is to establish the correct basis of postural connection in the seat, and to show riders how this improves the horse's way of moving. Everything else is built on this foundation, including the lateral influence of the rider's posture, essential for creating alignment and correct bending.
Through this new postural connection, riders will begin to get a feel for creating the wonderful phenomenon of postural engagement in the horse. They will start to feel the power channeling through from the haunches, and the horse stretching and softening into the contact.
Our teaching style is highly communicative and sympathetic. We give a lot of attention to addressing sources of tension in both horse and rider, because the basis of gymnastic riding is calm, relaxation and trust.
The new balance that the rider gives the horse through the postural connection has a remarkably calming effect in itself, and horses who come into the arena tense will invariably become totally relaxed by the end of the session.
This talk explains the relevance of gymnastic riding to all riders and horses, and the biomechanical principles that underlie our techniques. We describe how it is possible for the rider to bring the horse's movement into balance through a postural influence, without the need for the force, constraint and mental conditioning of other training methods.
A description of the concept of holistic horsemanship and how we came to our understanding of the way of keeping horses that brings them all-round well-being, and provides a solid foundation for gymnastic training. We discuss the many different elements of looking after horses in a way that fulfills their needs - in mind, body and spirit - and how ultimately each piece of the puzzle fits together to form a positive circle of health and happiness.
This is a concept that we are especially excited to start bringing to Happy Horse Training clinics, because it brings our holistic philosophy to participants and their horses in a concrete and personalized way.
We offer an all-round evaluation of your horse from a holistic perspective, looking at all aspects of their lifestyle, mental and physical well-being, the biomechanics of their movement, and the interaction between horse and rider. We look at any issues the horse may have, behavioral, physical, or work-related, and set out to find the sources and the solutions that will allows the partnership to move forwards. We draw on our combined intuitive and analytical abilities, including our knowledge of Craniosacral Therapy, hoof care, horse behavior and equine biomechanics, to give a unique an in-depth insight into an individual horse.
A holistic evaluation involves an initial questionnaire filled out by the owner to give the background information on the horse's lifestyle. At the clinic, the assessment will take the form of observation of the horse, a brief lunging session to evaluate the horse in movement, and then an assessment of riding work to identify issues such as crookedness patterns and other imbalances.
We put everything together in a detailed evaluation sheet, pin-pointing any areas where changes could be made to improve the horse's well-being and performance.
If you would like to organize a Happy Horse Training clinic in your own location, don't hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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