Horse Yoga Connection

I was so fortunate to be able to participate in Equine Om’s  Horse Yoga Integration Teacher Training this past weekend. It was such an amazing, once in a lifetime experience!

It was led by Mandy Inabinett from Downdogz Yoga and Dr. Ashley Thompson from Salto de Fe: Equine Therapeutics. We started Friday night in Mandy’s studio as a ‘get to know you’ night. There were five of us attending from all parts of North America: Texas, Wisconsin, two from Florida, and even one woman had flown down from Canada!

Saturday and Sunday we met at the field where the horses are kept: 300 acres with 22 horses living as wild and free as they can without any arenas, pens or stalls to confine them. Four of the horses belonged to Ashley and those were the equine partners we focused our experiences with and on.

Monday we wrapped things up with a morning of yoga then our ‘final exam’ – guiding one of our new friends through breathing exercises, mediation,two postures beside the horse and five mounted postures.

It’s difficult to put into words everything that I learned since I’m still processing so much of it. Each night and morning I worked on the connections with Kobi and Midnight as I was so fortunate to be able to put my practice immediately to use with my own herd. I will say that Kobi was a little more resistant than Midnight, who is such a ‘go with the flow’ kinda guy – but once I almost forced Kobi to allow me to breathe with him, we did finally connect. He relaxed, cocked his back leg and let out such a long sigh, he’d probably been holding his breath since I walked into his stall! Since that connection though, he’s been greeting me every morning for his breakfast at the side of his stall, closest to the house – almost as if he’s looking and waiting for me to join him.

I can’t wait to share this experience with other horse owners and their horses to deepen their horse/owner bond. What an amazing thing if people came to think of their horses as partners instead of vehicles.

To quote Dr. Ashley, “It’s just that easy!”

About Heather Hamel

Growing up with horses is a little girls dream come true. Heather’s dream in life was to be a horse trainer - how dreams change - sort of! She moved to the wonderfully historic town of St. Augustine, Florida and was a historic tour guide and a ghost story teller while putting herself through college to become a special education teacher. After graduating, she felt the pull of horses in her life again. That's when she met Kobi! She learned quickly that when you own horses you become a part time vet, part time nutritionist, and full time equestrian. She wouldn't change a thing! In addition to being completely obsessed with her herd, she still teaches and tutors students with learning disabilities, and more specifically, dyslexia.
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