You want your horse to be relaxed and responsive. But do you know if your horse TRULY is relaxed? Some horses appear relaxed, but they’re NOT.
You’ll learn why “relaxed readiness” is so important for your horse’s athletic ability – and your own. You’ll learn why relaxed muscles have more potential strength than muscles that are chronically tight.
And you’ll find out that there are some easy things you can do with your horse that will help you BOTH get into a state of “relaxed readiness.”
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Easier Movement, Happier Horses. I'm Mary Debono. And I'm so glad you're here today. I'm going to share with you how you can use a sense of relaxation to improve not only your horses performance, but also your horses overall health, and very importantly to deepen the connection between you two, between you and your horse.
Okay. So let me give you an example to start...
Slow, rhythmic movements can help an injured, stressed horse recover.
With my hands resting lightly on the bay mare’s rib cage, we simply breathed together for several minutes. Her breathing was shallow. And faster than normal. It was obvious that the horse was stressed. Very stressed.
The mare, whose name was Grace, had recently returned from a camping trip in the mountains. Three days of riding in rocky, mountainous terrain had taken their toll on the horse. She hadn’t been conditioned to handle that type of grueling work.
Her person, a well-meaning woman named Estelle, was distraught when she realized what she had “done” to her horse. Until they were out on the trail, Estelle didn’t realize that her fellow campers would be riding for several hours a day. For three days. On steep, rocky trails.
While riding with her fellow campers, Estelle had been caught up in the moment and probably wasn’t thinking clearly. The bay mare, wanting to stay...
Welcome to Easier Movement, Happier Horses. I'm Mary Debono, your movement and mindset coach. If you'd like to have flexible, balanced movement or relaxed, confident mindset, and a joyful connection with your horse, you're in the right place. I can't wait to share what I've learned over the past 30 years of helping improve the performance and partnership of horses and their humans.
Thank you so much for being here. Now. Let's dive in Hello and welcome to easier movement, happier horses. I'm Mary Debono and I'm so glad you're here. My goal in this podcast is to help you discover how you and your horse could have balanced fluid movement or relaxed mind, and a joyful connection with each other. And one of the ways that I do that I help people get there is to take every day routine things that they do,
like leading their horse, grooming their horse, tacking up their horse, and do them in such a way that it actually stimulates...
Do you know who's been busy during the pandemic?
An international clinician and creator of the SURE FOOT® equine stability program, Wendy has been using her stay-at-home time to interview DOZENS of equine experts.
And I'm honored to be one of them!
In the webinar, we discuss how the Feldenkrais Method® can improve equine athletic performance.
And to deepen your connection and partnership with your horse.
And so much more.
Some webinar nuggets:
00:06:00 - Learn the simple game that helped train my eye and predict how a horse would behave.
00:15:14 - I was so much older in my 20's! I had lots of aches and pains (including a hip problem and severe carpal tunnel syndrome). Then the Feldenkrais Method® changed my life.
00:28:50 - Does your horse struggle with one of these common issues?
00:43:09 - Why I help people upgrade their mindset habits. ...
The chestnut horse stood before me, her long mane gracing her arched neck.
I watched as the veterinarian and the horse’s person looked at a radiograph of the mare’s left front lower leg, which showed a clearly defined suspensory ligament.
The vet explained to the woman that the horse would not be able to recover from her suspensory ligament injury and would be permanently lame.
The woman was distraught by the news.
Confidently, I strode forward and announced that I could help the horse return to full soundness. I did my signature Debono Moves* work with the horse for five minutes and, magically, the horse healed.
Magically, indeed! Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I recounted my dream.
I laughed at the arrogance of my dream self, but I didn’t dismiss the dream. It felt important. And there had to be a reason why the suspensory ligament was shown in such detail. I wondered what it all meant.
And just who WAS that beautiful horse?...
Resting heart rate: 53. This healthy metric is due, in large part, to my personal trainer. But why did I, a female in my 50’s, hire a buff, 22-year-old dude to help me reach my fitness goals?
Well, there are the obvious reasons. For one, he’s easy on the eyes. As we run shoulder-to-shoulder, I can’t help but sneak the occasional glance at his muscular physique. If he notices, he never says anything.
Besides the superficial reasons, there are other benefits to working out with my guy, who I’ll call “BD,” since I didn’t get his written permission to include his name here.
First off, I don’t enjoy going to a gym. Never have. But put me out in nature, and I’m in heaven. BD is more than happy to exercise in the fresh air. That’s a big plus. We meet three miles from my home and we run and hike through the local hills and trails. Living in Southern California, the weather is...
Help me! Help me!
The man called out as he came lurching down the path, a rifle clutched against his chest.
I was hand walking my leopard Appaloosa, Spotzy, with a friend when we noticed the armed man coming towards us.
Quickly realizing that the man’s “rifle” was a realistic-looking pellet gun, we ran to help him.
The man had been bitten on his right hand by a large rattlesnake.
With the snake’s venom racing through his body, the man, who I’ll call John, told us that his lips had already turned numb.
And now he felt the numbness spreading. John was really scared.
And he started to freak out.
I knew that the quieter John was, the better his chances of recovering from the rattlesnake bite.
Since I seemed more adept at calming down the panicked man, my non-horsey friend ran back to the ranch to call 911.
(Yes, this happened years ago - before we all carried phones with us!)
Don’t forget, I had my horse...
Does your horse pin his ears when you tighten the girth? Does he get grumpy, swish his tail or threaten to bite or kick when you cinch him up? Does your horse seem to hold her breath (“blowing up” or “bloating”) when you’re tacking her up?1
Any of those reactions would fit the definition of a “girthy” or “cinchy” horse. Cinchy horses are so common that many equestrians think nothing of it. But resistance during tacking up can set the tone for your whole ride, and lead to diminished equine performance too.
Tying your horse up short may prevent you from being bitten, and disciplining your horse may discourage the biting, kicking, or tail swishing, but neither method will improve how your horse feels about saddling. In fact, punitive measures usually increase tension in your horse’s mind and muscles.
That’s no way to build a trusting relationship with your horse! Plus, it can lead to diminished performance and a...