Postural Development, Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Ground work Therapy Program – Arcadia, NSW – Nov. 13-15

Information

Postural Development, Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Ground work Therapy Program

As well as postural development this is also a great course for relationship building and the perfect continuation after the “Connecting & Fundamental Feel in ground skills course” to keep developing your ground skills. 

Who is this course for ?

Everyone that owns a horse and wants to ride or who wants to have fun on the ground with their horse. This program can help horses with hollow backs, weak backs, poor top lines, poor posture, down hill horses, horses that pull themselves along with their forehand,  horses that don’t travel straight, have trouble turning, bending, picking up a certain canter lead or have difficulty with you on one trot diagonal. It will give you the tools to prepare your horse to be balanced and develop strength in preparation for riding either because your horse has been on a spell, has never learned to use his body well or  is about to be started under saddle. It can help any horse that does not have correct and healthy biomechanics, which is probably 99.9999% of horses.

It can help with horses who are spooky, shy, oversensitive and reactive, impulsive or who lack impulsion and are shut down and lack energy and motivation. When horses become more physically aligned and balanced it helps them to become more mentally and emotionally balanced. This process will also strengthen the bond, friendship and connection between you and your horse because of the compassionate and harmonious way that we work with the horses to achieve these physical changes.

Just like everything else in the horse world there is a lot of confusing and conflicting information out there about hindquarter engagement, biomechanics and collection etc. So how do we know what is truth ? Primarily listen to the horses – when we know how to listen to them, which includes reading their body language -they will show us the truth. It is the only way to decipher the truth amidst all the information out there. When the horses look prouder, taller, have more presence, are more relaxed, more willing and offer things with a happy expression on their face, then you will know you or who you are learning from are on the right track.

My foundation of learning on this particular subject came from the BALANCE organisation (the developers of the BALANCE saddle) which I combined with my own learning in Feldenkrais and Aikido and of course hands on experience with many, many horses. There is a book that I can recommend to support this learning – The Horse’s Voice  by Keren Morris – you can purchase it on Amazon or through me. This book has the most correct information on biomechanics  that I have seen published. I highly recommend that people learn and do this ground work therapy program before coming to my riding courses so the horses will be more prepared mentally, emotionally and physically before being ridden.

In this course you will learn :-

The difference between posture and conformation. What correct biomechanics are. What a healthy horse’s back and healthy movement look like. Why so many horses have poor posture, balance and biomechanics. How to start changing horses posture, balance and lead them back into a better biomechanical way of moving. Healthy posture and biomechanics leads to happy horses and happy riders. Horses are more comfortable, more relaxed and things feel effortless and easy when they are using their body with correct biomechanics. They will stay sound, be calm and be athletic. Basically this means you could have everything that you could ever want in a horse – a calm, safe, sound, healthy, athletic, responsive, balanced horse that is willing, enthusiastic, has good energy and impulsion and has a proud majestic presence.  What more could you want ? I think that I just described the perfect horse for any discipline !!!! For the biomechanics to be right, the whole process must be based on horses being deeply relaxed. A relaxed horse means a safe horse. Most people misunderstand relaxation. Most people think of relaxation as being slouched on the couch with no energy. But there is a different form of relaxation  – where the body is totally relaxed but equally, the body is poised – alive with energy and ready to go – this is the form of relaxation that we are talking about. This is the state that elite human athletes operate at. The foundations are in learning to operate in a “centered state” for horse and human – a concept I learned through martial arts. The introductory “Connecting & Fundamental Feel in Ground Skills” course teaches this vital foundation.

Why are the initial stages for developing better biomechanics better done on the ground than under saddle ?

Without the weight of the rider or the saddle, the back muscles in particular, are not restricted and are much more easily able to recover. The less skilled the rider and the heavier the rider is, the more inhibitive they will be to the correct biomechanical movement of the horse. An unskilled rider (unskilled in knowing how to lead a horse into correct biomechanical movement) makes it impossible for the horse to develop correct biomechanical movement. If the horse can find and develop this correctness on his or her own first and become established in it enough that it becomes their new default pattern of moving, then the inexperienced rider can experience  what correct movement should feel like. It is very difficult to lead a horse into correctness when the rider doesn’t know what it should feel like. Sadly most riders are riding horses with very poor posture so their experience of what riding feels like is quite incorrect in terms of biomechanics. Without a rider, the horses can develop the strength to carry the weight of their own forehands with their hindquarters, before adding the additional weight of a rider and saddle. Even when we are light weight and highly skilled in helping horses use their bodies well whilst riding, it is often quicker in the long run and easier for the horse, if we do the initial stages on the ground. If riders are overweight, unfit and unbalanced the groundwork program will also assist them to get into a better state of fitness, lose weight, increase body awareness and develop their own posture and healthy biomechanics, all of which is essential to riding horses well.

How long does the program take?

I would allow a minimum of 4 weeks to do this ground work therapy program WITHOUT riding. Please note that this is very specific ground work that supports correct quality movement. Groundwork without this quality and understanding will not produce the same results and in fact may be detrimental to your horse. Some horses with very poor postures may need longer, 6-8 weeks. Traditionally in Europe it was not uncommon to do a preparatory ground work program of 3 months before a horse was ever ridden. Sometimes we need to “slow down to hurry up” and “go backwards to go forwards”. As in any endeavor, when we take the time to set a solid foundation we end up with a good and long lasting result. At first the prospect of not riding for 4 weeks might seem daunting but you will most likely be surprised by how quickly the time passes and how interested you become in the process as you observe your horse changing and learn more about him or her. This process can be  supported  (and it  is highly recommended to do so) by video coaching to make sure that you stay on track. This is how students have maximized results.

It is a simple process.

The process is simple and anyone can learn to work with their horse on the ground in this way. Sometimes the power of “simple” is overlooked. Patience, focus and awareness are what is required and you will develop these three qualities much more during the process. Also in the process, by connecting in, being fully present and doing something great FOR your horse, you will build an incredible bond between yourself and the horse. The qualities of feel, timing and balance learned on the ground through this process will also help develop the skills you need to be a great rider.

CASE STUDIES

Following are some before and after pictures of a few of the horses that I have worked with showing the changes in their postures. Most of these changes took place over a 6-12 week period. The process involved groundwork, riding and energetic healing and bodywork.

 

  Come along with or without your horse.

Of course if you can bring your horse along your learning will be maximized as nothing beats hands on experience and having direct feedback from a supportive instructor to accelerate your learning. However the other option for attending these courses is to come and participate without a horse, in which case you would actively participate in all of the theory sessions, Q & A sessions, most of the body awareness / balance sessions and simulations (this may depend on numbers – some of these sessions might need to be restricted to those bringing horses), as well as watch the demonstrations and observe those with horses practice the techniques.  All of these “non-hands on” with horses sessions actually make up a big percentage of the course which is why the pricing for those  wishing to come without their horse is approx. 50% of the full course fee. People coming without their horses are not just fence sitters. They get equal value to those bringing horses for at least 50% of the course.

PLEASE NOTE:  The preceding course “Connecting & Fundamental Feel in Ground Skills” is a pre-requisite for  bringing a horse along to this course except in special circumstances. If you come along without a horse, although recommended, it is not essential to have first done the pre-requisite course. 

If you are a raw beginner and/or feel very unconfident or unsafe in handling your horse please contact me before registering and booking into this course with your horse. No stallions without prior permission. For questions regarding the course content, horsemanship or eligibility for the course contact Mel mel@melfleming.com.au

Investment

The cost to come with your horse is $595 for the 3 days Early Bird Price (if you pay 50% before  Nov. 1st). After that the price is $695. The cost to come without your horse is $80/day or $240 for 3 days Early Bird Price (if you pay 50% before Sept 1st) after that the price is $90/day or $270 for 3 days.

Start & Finish Times 9:00-5:00  

 

Private Sessions – Lessons, Saddle fitting & BALANCE saddle test rides.

Private lessons  ($120/hr), Saddle fittings and opportunities to test ride the BALANCE saddles are available on request. Saddle fittings with the BALANCE saddles take 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. cost $190. 
Energetic Bodywork/ PEMF  (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field)  $110 Equissage treatments  $88 upon request. 
 
These sessions are available before or after the course. 

 

Please email to get more details or to book a session. Please let me know as soon as you can if you are interested in one of these sessions so we can plan and make sure we can fit you in.

For questions regarding the course content, horsemanship or eligibility for the course contact Mel  mel@melfleming.com.au

Course Venue

Barbara Anderson’s place
55 Cobah Road
ARCADIA, NSW  2159

Contact Barb for information regarding the venue and accommodation for horse and human. b_anderson5@bigpond.com    0421 055 098

Register on line

You can make your payment by direct deposit, cheque, credit card ( 2.5% surcharge) or by PayPal (2.6% surcharge – send me an email and I can send you a PayPal invoice ). The details of how to  pay by dd, cheque or cc can all be found on the registration form below.

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.Indemnity Form

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If you wish to pay via PayPal send me an email and I will send you a PayPal invoice.    

 

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