The Most Breathtaking
Athletes in the World
Deserve The Best Support

A list of 6 reasons why you and your horse work better together with bodywork.

"You cannot train a horse with shouts and expect it to obey a whisper."

– Dagobert D. Runes

Horses That Feel Appreciated Become
Better Performers
Horses need movement to relax and space to
process how you teach them to move, for
"Movement is life!" ~Moshe Feldenkrais


Helping Horses & Humans Partner Up Pain Free Since 1997 by mobilizing entire musculoskeletal awareness.

Self Carriage
If you want your horse to carry himself,
you have to demonstrate self carriage in your own body.
Agility is a function of mobilizing awareness of movement potential in all the joints, not just some. This is very different than exercise. Somatic learning augments exponential ability.

Touch that sparks awareness, sparks intelligence for a safer ride on a horse with expansive presence.

ABOUT feldenkrais®​ for horses

In any athletic endeavor, timing is everything; it’s even a part of learning. In conventional models of improving mobility, the emphasis is on strength training. This is a very yang approach. It completely excludes the elements of agility, coordination and timing. Without this more yin aspect of function, strength lacks subtlety and can impair agility. Strength without fine motor control leads to an imbalance in the resting length of the muscles, so that posture is out of equilibrium. An extreme example is a Clydesdale, who has trained to pull a heavy tractor blade, but is unable to dance with the lightness and sophistication of a Lipizzaner trained to do a capriole. Additionally, without attention to balance in the resting length of your muscles, you stand a good chance of throwing off your horse’s balance through the asymmetry of your own body. Feldenkrais addresses this and helps you and your horse move with equilibrium, finer motor control and the best possible timing. Strength without this approach leaves you set up for injury. It leaves horses in a state of being susceptible to breaking down long before their career is complete. Feldenkrais refines your ability to feel what you are doing and where you are in space, so that you develop the kinesthetic awareness of the natural born athlete.

It is taught one-on-one through non-verbal touch which is very similar to how you communicate when you ride. The class format, which only works for humans who take years to learn the basic things horses can do within hours of birth, is called Awareness Through Movement® (or ATM for short). The classes are like a verbally guided treasure hunt through a sensory motor process that will continue to activate your movement potential until the last breath. Consciousness is only activated when accompanied by the kind of mindfulness or sensitivity that horses excel in from birth.
Gabrielle Pullen, MFA, GCFP, LMT
Master of Fine Arts, Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner, Licensed Massage Therapist License #25754
The preferred therapy for acute pain is perhaps massage. The preferred approach to more permanent change is the pattern interrupt that you get when you let the feldenkrais method® of awareness through movement® rock you world!
The focus is on injury prevention, because it's just common sense to prevent injury before it happens. To that end, feldenkrais is a natural progression. It's perfect for rehabilitation as well as injury prevention. The next iteration of my obsessive interest in mobility is the Equine Lameness Prevention Project
which aims to train riders and owners to see lameness before it's too late.

Most vets confirm that by the time they see a horse for a lameness evaluation, it's already so obviously lame that expensive surgical interventions or injections are the only option.  

A lifelong, avid rider, I currently live with my Dutch Warmblood, ‘Wisconsin,’ in Jacksonville, Oregon. When I first started working with him, he had just had a surgery that it was not certain he would recover from. He had hyper-extended his hock. His previous owner had the vets at UC Davis remove cartilage out of the joint capsule and inject stem cells from his breastbone into the joint. Now, some seven years later, he is still doing well. After all, he has access to many modalities: acupressure, sports massage, myofascial release, laser therapy, far infrared heat, homeopathy, the the learning process that is feldenkrais, which I began to take seriously in 2000. I have since done two years of Advanced Training with Jeff Haller in Seattle in addition to the amazing 4-year Training with Yvan Joly, Frank Wildman and Movement Educators in Santa Barbara, CA which ended in 2004.

To keep Wisconsin fast on his feet, I have since also adopted a five year old
Mustang named, 'Cortez,' who is also a fantastic mover and a handful for both of us!

Find Out More  About Wisconsin & Gabrielle - Life After Loss & The Bond Between Horse & Rider

Try A Rider Fitness Lesson Now

Rider Fitness is not just about strength. Flexibility is what allows your reflexes to fire faster than thought. The older you are, the more this is an issue because people tend to unconsciously avoid certain moves as they age. These short lessons restore that range of motion making for a safe, coordinated Rider and are excellent as Rider Warm Ups as well.

Rider Warm Up - Hamstrings
This lesson is one you can do in less than five minutes at the barn, before you tack up your horse. If your hamstrings are tight, your back will be hard and unforgiving, causing you to get more sore after riding. It also interferes with the suspension you need in your body to move with the horse or sit the trot with ease.
Rider Warm Up - Alignment
This brief lesson is better done before you go to the barn in a quiet room, lying down on a mat. What most people are unconscious of is how much effort they exert constantly without realizing it. Yet, winning athletes have the body awareness to use only as much energy as necessary. This allows for the availability of more energy when you really need it. When you are aligned, your balance is effortless for you AND your horse.
Rider Warm Up - Free Up the Neck
Soft Eyes and the ability to scan where you are going is essential when you are on a horse. Just as you have the sensitivity to feel a fly landing on your skin, your horse senses every change in weight. When your neck is tight, stiff or painful, you can't move freely enough to communicate with your body. Cultivate a calm, presence as you learn to use mindful range of motion to extend flexibility and improve balance.
Embody Athleticism
Rider Fitness is about having the body awareness to use hands and legs independently. It means knowing where your limbs are in space, even at a gallop. It means having that innate knowing spontaneously because that's how injuries are prevented and skillful adaptations made when the unexpected happens. If your horse veers out from that jump at the last minute, you need to be able to respond faster than thought.

Once you do these lessons a few times, you no longer need the audio. Once you remember them, you have begun to embody a return to a more athletic version of yourself...
Find Out More About Rider Fitness with Feldenkrais
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