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Getting to the Core: Bodywork to Strengthen and Center both Horse and Rider

Open: 10/23/2023
Close: 11/7/2023
Required Docs
Organizer: Abby Gibbon 301-814-5887

Research has shown that isometric exercises can make a HUGE difference in the strength of our horses -- and we know that the core is the gateway to improved balance (and thus, improved soundness). What if incorporating some new techniques into your winter training could improve your and your horses' core, and unlock that next step in your progress? It's time to bring the yoga studio to the barn, for the ultimate core strengthening session for both horse and rider!

Clinician Leigh Bender of Moonsong Touch is a master in helping both humans and horses tune in to our connection and the finer details of equine physiology. This interactive clinic will include anatomic imagery, hands-on techniques and guided practice in awareness, isometric and dynamic exercises. You'll come away with a fresh perspective on equine *and* human function to help fuel your training through the winter months.

Clinic will run from 12~4pm. Demo horses will be provided.

Tentative Schedule:

1. Intro and welcome

2. "What" and "Why" of Bodywork

-horse-human connection
-functionality and behavior
-general comparative anatomy and physiology

3. The physical "core":

-core-specific anatomy and physiology
-interactive exercises (movement-based, humans only, becoming aware of our own core and its effects on posture, comfort, functionality, and dynamic movement)

4. The "core" as our "center":

-body scanning and awareness, including the chakras (particularly the 3rd "solar plexus" chakra)
-guided practice
-debriefing discussion, introduction and explanation of the 3rd chakra as it relates to the "core" of ourselves, in our horses, and as a means of connection

5. Brief interactive demo: Intentional touch at the 3rd chakra/solar plexus/"core"
-discussion: awareness and connection; relaxation and balance as precursors to functionality and engagement

--break, fetch horses (2 people per horse)--

6. Brisk 5-minute walk warm-up in-hand

7. Connection and awareness exercises in practice; intentional touch practice; comparative observations of horses' varying postures, effects of this on their dynamic movement

8. Demo/hands-on practice of isometric core exercises (practice with and without 3rd chakra awareness)

9. Demo/hands-on practice of dynamic core engagement exercises (may include lunging, poles, etc)

10. Open Q&A

Organizer Notes

Schedule will be emailed to participants prior to event. Please email Abby with any questions at

1 Day Clinic Instructor: Leigh Bender


Administrative Information

  • Change Policy: Changes are permitted before registration closes.
  • Refund Policy: Refunds are permitted before registration closes.
  • Entry Option(s) Secure Spot: Pay in full via STRIDER