Horse Yoga is a yoga class completed in the saddle, but riders can also participate from the ground! Horse yoga creates body awareness and increases flexibility, extensibility, balance, and strength. We focus on breathing deeply to create relaxation as we move through different exercises. Horse yoga benefits both horse and rider for several reasons. For the rider, it requires them to trust their horse as we move through the different positions, as most require dropping reins and stirrups. It also allows the rider to focus on themselves instead of picking at their horses. Most horses love the yoga; it gives them a chance to relax, lick, and chew with their rider on their back. It creates a stronger bond between the two and builds trust.
I teach both individual and group horse yoga. During an individual session, I evaluate the rider to see if they have body compensations, lack strength or balance, need flexibility, etc. Then, we discuss appropriate exercises for the rider to complete both in the saddle and on the ground to help correct anything I saw while watching them ride. During group horse yoga, I go through different fun and engaging group activities based on my audience. For example, if I have a group of youth kids, I focus more on exercises that make the kids laugh. We ride around while doing funky things on the horse and having fun with the group. For adults, I usually focus more on explaining different body compensations, why they happen, what to do about them, etc. I teach a much more technical class with less goofing off- but we still have a great time!!