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#21 Being a Student of the Horse with Celeste-Leilani Lazaris

Celeste-Leilani Lazaris is the founder of the Balance through Movement Method, a revolutionary equine development method focused on improving performance and preventing lameness. Celeste herself is a biomechanical lameness specialist and an expert in equine movement and muscle development. But more than anything, she says she is a student of the horse.

Over the last decade, Celeste has carefully reverse-engineered her bodywork and performance training knowledge to dissect the core reasons of why horses struggle so much in the first place, and from there she has developed a unique lens and ability to body map the condition of the horse to find its strengths and weaknesses from a balance point of view.

Her primary specialties include nerve impingements, thoracic sling development, spinal integrity, and balanced equine movement.

If some of those terms sound foreign to you, don’t worry, we discuss it all, and so much more, in this podcast episode.

Podcast Transcript

This transcript was created by an AI and has not been proofread.

This transcript was created by AI and has not been proofread

[SPEAKER 2]Welcome to the Equestrian Connection podcast from wehorse, the online riding academy. My name’s Danielle Kroll, and I’m your host. On this week’s episode, we’re talking with Celeste Leilani Lazarus, founder of the Balance Through Movement Method, a revolutionary equine development method focused on improving performance and preventing lameness. Celeste herself is a biomechanical lameness specialist and an expert in equine movement and muscle development. But more than that, she says she’s a student of the horse. Over the last decade, Celeste has carefully reverse-engineered her bodywork and performance training knowledge to dissect the core reasons of why horses struggle so much in the first place. And from there, she’s developed a unique lens and ability to body map the condition of the horse to find its strengths and weaknesses from a balanced point of view. Her primary specialties include nerve impingements, thoracic sling development, spinal integrity, and balanced equine movement. And if any of those terms sound foreign to you, don’t worry, we discuss it all and so much more in this podcast episode. Now, I personally practice her method with my two horses, first being introduced to it last spring, and I’m blown away from the knowledge and of course the results. I’m really excited to introduce you to Celeste and her method, so get ready to take notes and let’s dive in. Just a heads up before we begin this episode, there is some adult language used during this interview. So if you have any young ones nearby who may be listening, this is your chance to go grab some headphones before the episode starts. Celeste, I am beyond excited to introduce you to the We Horse podcast and our audience here. And just speaking to you briefly before we had started recording, I’m so grateful for your work. I’m so grateful for everything that you share. And I’m so excited to introduce you to everyone here in We Horse land. So welcome.

[SPEAKER 1]Thank you. I’m so happy to be here.

[SPEAKER 2]I want to start at the very beginning. How did you get into horses and what were your first few years like as an equestrian?

[SPEAKER 1]Yeah, my mom was a horseman in her own right. She was always horse crazy and I was that typical little girl who had an array of horse collections versus Barbies and I only wanted to play with horses and I only had horse posters and I was just your typical horse crazy little girl. We were super poor, like crazy, like every amount of state assistance you can be on type of poor when I was growing up. And so I really don’t know how to be honest, that my mom figured out how to afford writing lessons and that we didn’t have horses she had had horses growing up or not growing up even she also didn’t grow up but she made it happen for herself and had them kind of on her own but anyway so she she figured out how to get me into writing lessons and yeah it was like It was just insane. I was hooked. And then she she battled some alcohol and drug addiction. And so in between being with her, I was also in the foster care system. And so I kind of go back and forth. But when I was with her, she always did try to make sure that I was getting lessons and being around horses. Um, and the last I had a pretty rough few years of several different homes. But the last time that I landed in was actually somebody that had been giving me writing lessons, they had offered to just take over guardianship for me. And they did a lot of partnering up with, um, problem, problem teams, problem children, and also abuse courses. And so they would team us up together. And my mom ended up signing over my guardianship to them so that they could just kind of finish out so they didn’t have to see me paying back and forth. So it was it was a super amazing gift to have them as my foster parents. And so that was really rad. My foster dad was a bridal horseman. old school, what I would say, I would say correct for a horseman. I know that that’s kind of, it’s almost like dressage, where like, people hear it and they kind of flinch like, oh, like rough cowboys and spade bits. But it’s really a beautiful art. So it’s an art of horsemanship and how he rode was incredible. And so he a lot of the foundation that I came from, came from learning from him. And then my foster mom, um, did everything really, but she was really like a classical dressage writer. She liked to teach her dressage lessons. And those two had a lot of differing opinions, which I always found amusing because I would learn from both. And I was like, you guys are actually saying the same thing, but you just got like two, like two different, two different worlds, but it was always really fun. Um, I always cited a little bit more on the Vaquero side for sure. And, um, But yeah, so I did that. And then I’m an adrenaline junkie by nature. And so I got into the opportunity to clinic with somebody with jumping, and I thought that was amazing. And so for competition wise, I just kind of dove down like jumping, I got into barrel racing a little bit, I dabbled in mounted shooting, I mean, like you name it, I’ve done it. So, yeah, I mean, that was just kind of like the start of it all. And I think what’s cool with that, one of the things I appreciate about both how I was raised, and all of the different disciplines that I’ve played with is that a lot of it I did on the same horses. And so I’ve never actually had, I’ve never owned a horse that only did one discipline, all of my horses, like I would compete in jumpers one weekend, and we go to a barrel race next weekend. And then the next month, we would go to a dressage show. And like, we, you know, it was just you know, and then the next month, we’d go to go be in a parade, you know, and it was I’ve never or sort cows like I would do cattle sorting. And so I’ve always had this belief that I am working with this one body and this one type of mind. And so I do believe that if you really want to be upper level competitive at something, obviously, there’s certain focus points. But if you’re really focused on the development and your relationship, it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing. So that, that really set the tone, I think for my whole, my whole life.

[SPEAKER 2]And just, it creates such a well-rounded athlete for the horse as well. Like both body and mind.

[SPEAKER 1]Oh yeah. Yeah. If a cow, if a horse knows that it can push a cow, it’s not really afraid of things in the dressage arena. I mean, it’s just, it’s like, it’s little things like that. Um, or taking him out, we’d go, all of my competition horses also would go out and we could go camping out in the mountains with him on the weekends and we’re out, you know, there’s bears and mountain lions and. cliffs that you have to be mindful about your feet and rocks. And it’s, um, yeah, it’s not things that your average what I like, I go to competitions now, and I watched some of these horses, I’m like, you would get me killed if we went outside of the arena. And, um, and I think that’s really detrimental to their minds, too. But yeah. Mm hmm.

[SPEAKER 2]That’s my biggest fear riding cliffside. I watch it in movies. And I’m like, ah, like, it just makes me cringe.

[SPEAKER 1]It’s a couple really gnarly ones. Um, And I have had one, actually the mare that I own, she slipped when she was she was kind of having I don’t want to say she was having an attitude, but she, and she was, she’s just like this. And it, one of our dynamics is she doesn’t like in any way being told what to do.

[SPEAKER 2]Oh, I have one of those. I have one of those.

[SPEAKER 1]Yeah. And I totally honor and I respect that. And she’s, she has, oh my God, like had me really focused into like, um, really understanding and respecting a horse’s autonomy in a way that like, I’ve always been really mindful about it, but like, there is no room for error with asking. And we’re out riding and there is a cliff and I put my leg on her and she like she’s receptive, like you can write her and do stuff. But I was like, I put my leg on her in a way of like, hey, like we need to like get over here. Like we need to go like, over there a little bit more like too close to the ledge to make me happy. So I can put it on and she was like, don’t tell me what to do. And I’m like, I really feel like maybe we would be better off if we were like six inches to the left. She’s just not because I had the tone of I’m telling you what to do. That was the only thing that changed my energetics were I had a little bit more urgency than normal. There was a little bit more of like, I’m not really caring about your opinion at this point, like over six inches. And she was like, I’m not doing it and stomped her foot. And then we went sliding down the ravine and I’m like, this is not gonna make it back to see my kids. This is it. This is, this is, this is it. And, um, and she’s, she’s just a beast. She’s a war horse, but she figured it out. And it’s those moments of like, do I bail? Do I stay on? Like, I don’t really know what to do. And she just, pulled all of her body together and she muscled up and I mean she like she must have looked like a pit bull but she just went boom boom boom and she crawled she climbed us up and got back onto the ravine or onto the path and I was like so Do you remember when I mentioned that maybe we should be six, like six inches over there? And she was like, I put my leg on her a little bit. She’s like, yep. Nope. Sorry, boss. Got it. I was like, I wasn’t trying to be mean. I just didn’t want to die. You’re right. Yes.

[SPEAKER 2]No, I have one of those mares and she has taught me more, like you said, about like autonomy.

[SPEAKER 1]Oh man.

[SPEAKER 2]She has taught me so many lessons. I respect the heck out of her for having her own opinion. The same as like we hear all the time you need to set boundaries with your horse. My horse sets boundaries with humans and you respect like it’s it’s one of those things where it is so beautiful in the in the weirdest way that some people listening might think like what? But it is so interesting to truly see this beautiful horse say, here I am, this is me, I have just as much right as you do to an opinion. And I just I just love her for it.

[SPEAKER 1]I will tell you, one of the things that I have learned the most from her specifically, is so she’s never. And I know horses are horses, like you’re not supposed to be like she would never kick or bite or whatever. But like she’s she’s never violent, or dangerous. And her. I mean, she appears like she’s going to be violent, but she but she’s not she’s she’s so grounded when she says no. One of the things that I’ve learned the most from her over the couple of years that I’ve had her now is she’s taught me how to establish boundaries without really raising my energy levels. I think as a woman, it’s really hard for us to say, like somebody presents something like, hey, like, I really want you to sing or you should I get I get a lot of the like, well, you should do this or I’ll be you know, I’m disappointed because you didn’t do that. You should do this next time kind of a thing. And so the people pleaser in me are the person that really struggles with having boundaries and be like, Oh, yes, yes, yes, you know, like, let me bend myself and have to make this happen. And because the alternative is that is that I would get really, really, really mad. because that’s the only way that I could possibly be safe enough to say no, right? It’s for me to be like, really upset or really mad. And then I’ll be like, No, I’m not. And then I have this like, unnecessary, fiery energy that’s coming at this person that really wasn’t even like, none of that was even necessary. I could have just said, Thank you for your feedback. I’m not willing to do that at this time. No big deal, right? Like, it wasn’t even in the realm of possibility for me to communicate like that up until like, the last couple years, which is sad to say is a 35 year old woman, but it’s true. And watching her be so calm and grounded and concise and unapologetic. And like, she’d like she doesn’t need there’s, I don’t know, it’s just really cool watching her set boundaries about stuff. And so I, as I’m sure people are gonna just think I’m a whack job, but I try to channel my horse when I get you. When I’m responding to something like there was somebody the other day that was like, Oh, like, I would like for you to do blah, blah, blah, blah. And I sat there and I read it. And I like process through, you know, emotions a little bit. And I like, I was like, How would Mazikeen handle this? And I was like, so this is what I’m willing to do. This is what I’m not willing to do. And it was just, and it was super well received, because my energy wasn’t shitty behind it. I wasn’t angry. There was no like weird, you know, whatever happens in that dynamic. It was just a this is what I will give you. And this is what I won’t give you. You know, and it was so beautiful, and so clean, and so well received. And I didn’t feel like energetically drained afterwards. And it’s like those little interactions. And that’s exactly how my horse communicates. And as I’ve gotten to not that she would give me a choice, but as I’ve gotten to be better about not not so much even just respecting it, but really appreciating how she sets boundaries. It’s allowed me to be able to do the same. I think people that don’t like that horses set boundaries, struggle either respecting them or giving them. And so it’s one of those things where like, it’s just yet another notch that we can give the horse on things that they teach us about life.

[SPEAKER 2]Absolutely. And that leads absolutely beautiful, beautifully into my next question, which is in the bio on your website, you say more than anything, you are a student of the horse. Can you explain what that means to you?

[SPEAKER 1]for as long as I can remember. I mean, I will be the first person to admit that I completely did like the terrible shitty training tactics. I’ve done everything that people have, you know, done. Um, but I’ve never, I can, I can genuinely say that like in my entire life, I’ve never really genuinely held any belief around like, um, dominance with horses and I’ve never believed that they didn’t have a say. Um, And so everything that I’ve tried to do, I’ve always listened to them for feedback. That doesn’t mean that I, you know, I mean, like, I designed and sold my own bungee rigging system, right? Like, I mean, I was definitely doing things that I would not do now knowing what I know. But at the time, I, I was trying to watch them and be like, Okay, but is this getting better? And for the knowledge that I had in my, at my disposal at that time, which is limited at best, there were certain things that were getting better. And you know, now I know that they were getting better by way of compensatory patterns that were building within the forest. But when you’re trying to do stuff through the industry, it’s really hard, because there’s so many opinions. And there’s so many conflicting opinions, which is like, really kind of quite bananas, if you think about it, because it’s the same being that we’re talking about, like the same body. People will say a lot that like, my work has so many overlaps and all these different things. And I’m like, Well, yeah, I would hope so. Like, we’re all talking about a horse, like, there can’t be that much room for error, but there is. And the problem that you run into, this is a very long way to answer your question. But the problem that you run into when you have all these different opinions is that, you know, they’re pulling from textbook, they’re pulling from their interpretations of what they saw somebody did, they’re pulling from, you know, this person who won these medals said this thing. And so that’s why it has to be true. And there’s all these different things. But it’s like, at the end of the day, if we’re talking about the horse, and we’re talking about the horse’s body, and we’re talking about the horse’s mind, it should be completely dependent on what they say is feedback. And so, you know, it’s kind of like, and again, like, I feel like this podcast is turning into like, of horses and women, but like, how many times like, especially in like, the medical system, do women get completely gaslit on stuff like here, I’m going to have this male, my favorite is a male doctors come in and try to tell me what’s going on within my own body. And I’m like, sweetheart, you do not have a uterus or vagina, you can kindly like, you cannot tell me that, like your textbook says one thing, and this is another. So you have to trust the person that has the body that’s having the experiences feedback. And if you’re not doing that, it’s flawed science, like it just it just is. And so my my science and my just complete inherent belief all the time always to this day is to take everything back to the horse and be like, does this feel good? Is this right? Is this helping? And I take that And even even with the work that I teach, even with the colors and like, and I’m so I’m so confident about it. There is not a single time and this is my feedback of every clinic, especially with some of my trainers that work with me, they’re like, you’re always so surprised that it works. And I was like, it’s not surprised, really, but it’s like, I never go into a single session, assuming that what I’m going to do is going to fix it. I don’t at all ever. It’s I go into it with a question to the horse and being like, Hey, I see that you have this thing. I think I have some ideas on how this can help. Let me know as we go. And I watched their interaction the whole time. if at any point in time, we need to stop, we stop if it if it’s getting better, we keep going, like, and then I follow the threads of like, what’s getting better? How is it getting better? What about that change that and like, every single moment of every day with a horse is a case study to me, not just to like, prove my science in my work, but to like, make sure that I’m showing up by them. And so when I say being a student of the horse, what I that’s what I mean is it’s, I am completely there. I feel like I go to them on like on my knees all the time. And I’m like, Is this right? Is this good enough for you? Is it? What else can I learn? How else can I be better? You know, is it my own body? Do I need to work out? Do I need to strengthen better so I can show up as a better writer? Do I need to work on Do I need to get my own body worked on because I’m in balance so I can show up and be a more balanced writing partner for you? Do I need to go to therapy to work out whatever emotional shit I’m dealing with right now? So when I show up in the ring with you, it’s not about me. It’s just purely, you know, so I can be present, like, so many different things. But yeah, I really don’t care what textbook says what or what professional says what or anything. I don’t care. Even a little. And I think that that both really pisses people off. And it’s what has gotten this work to where it is, is because it is purely dependent on on what the horses say. And that’s it. Like that is that is my only guiding light.

[SPEAKER 2]And what inspires you to start down the path of biomechanics?

[SPEAKER 1]When I started down it, I didn’t even know that it was called biomechanics. I’ve always been searching for, so going back to like the bridal horse stuff, um, I had the luxury as a kid to ride finished bridal horses. And what I mean by that are just as a short history of snippets. So bridal horses is a horse that goes through many, many, many, many years. Usually by the time they’re well, they’re never, my foster dad would argue that there’s never such thing as a finished horse because it’s always like a work in progress, which I appreciate. But, um, They’re usually like around by the time, like they start as a baby, they’re about like 15 when people start saying, okay, like they’re more of a finished horse. That’s a long time, right? That is, that is a long time of working with a horse. And so you start them in a hackamore, you start them by helping them find neutral, um, And really, it’s all about teaching them true and correct self carriage, so that by the time you can put the spade bit on them, which is this incredible bit that the horse actually has the ability to clamp down on and take off with, like you actually have no control on a spade bit. It’s one of the biggest misconceptions. There’s a lot of fake spades that people will talk about, but in a true spade, you have no control. And so the purpose of it really being that you have this big bit that’s weighted, that has the same signals, the same, um, the horse responds the same way to the reins that it did in the hackamore to the spade. So it understands the rain pressure, but if it needs backup, but that because it’s weighted, you need such a quieter signal. So the more bit you carry, the quieter, the signal for the horse. So that when you’re out and you’re working cattle and you’re doing things, should you ever even need to pick up on the reins, which most of the time you don’t, because it’s all through your seat and your legs and your relationship. But by the time you go to pick up your reins, that’s only meant for a very slight redirection or a reminder, like, Hey, babe, like, let’s do this instead. That’s it. So that’s really not how most writing people are taught. Most people are taught very, very reins. Everything’s with their reins are very handsy. And even as you go through the levels of dressage, which should be going into a double bridal should mean a quieter signal. it doesn’t, it just means more control for the horse so that you can control them at these higher energy and upper level movements. And so because I grew up as a kid, with that feeling, and I got to ride these finished horses, meaning I got to ride horses that never required for me to really pick up on their reins, or if I did, it was very slight. And I will tell you that he did not put me on a single horse where there were not, there was not like dental floss tied from the ends of one ring to the bit. Like that was it. Like if, if that dental floss broke, dude, I was not allowed to ride for a very long time, completely like scared within inches of my life. Um, so I grew up with a lot of very deep reverence for the horse, um, for how the gear works for how your body works with it. And what I learned back then. what, what I was actually learning back then is I was actually learning what it feels like to ride a very balanced, well-developed horse, because the amount of muscle development that takes for the horse to get to that point to be balanced is a lot. And it’s very tricky and it’s very hard to, um, I shouldn’t say tricky, but it’s very precise. And this is a lost art that has been kind of, and I, and I do believe that that was what actual classical dressage used to be. I have not, found many examples anymore, which is hard. But I do think that that’s the core of what a lot of the classical dressage was also meant for, right? One was meant for war, right? We’re developing horses to go to war and to be our sound partners. And then the vaquero stuff, we were developing horses that could were so well rounded, they could pack the kids to school, they could go and take the cattle, they could go to war to if they needed to, like they did everything. And so when I you know, and as a kid, like, you don’t understand any of this, like, it’s one of those things where, like, you hear something 30 years ago, and then you finally experience it. And you’re like, Oh, that’s why my teacher said that, like, I get it now. So flash forward 20 years, 1520 years, and I’m playing around with constantly finding these horses that have like undiagnosed lameness is or I think that they’re unsound, but the vets are saying that they’re not. And other trainers are saying that they’re not, or I’m at a show and I’m looking at these horses that are placing really, really well, but I’m like, God, they look lame though. Like what’s going on with it. Or, you know, there’s just all these little questions that I had and I didn’t understand. And then I would get on them and I would feel. So my metric where that was, were those horses that I wrote as a kid, which I, totally understand is a really big, it’s a discrepancy that I had to kind of manage within my own mind, because I didn’t, it took me a really long time to understand that most people don’t have that as a metric. So that’s, that is what sets me apart from most people is I just have a different lens. But I would get on these horses that were struggling with this. And I could feel that their bodies were not sound, I could feel that they didn’t have good range of motion within their limbs, I could feel that they couldn’t respond with their bodies the way that I wanted them to, or was asking them to. And it wasn’t ever a training problem. It was a they physically couldn’t give it to me. And I knew what imbalance felt like enough to know that that’s what it was. And so I started really diving down then. Um, trying to reverse engineer like, okay, so I didn’t know anything about muscles. Like I didn’t know anything about bodies, but I understood enough theory. And I’d worked out enough within my own body that I was like, okay, so if I want to be able to do a plank, like what muscles are going to activate for that? If I need to do squats, what muscles am I targeting for that to do it correctly? So, you know, if I want my horse to be able to do a collected trot, what muscles need to be, you know, developed. And so I started trying to play within that. Um, and then I dove down the body work thing and I got into massage therapy. I recognized that, um, a lot of the horses that were coming in for behavior issues were actually coming in for, because of pain. And so they get worked on and all of their behavior quote unquote would go away, which then further solidified my ideas around like, the balance and the development and things like that. And I’m like, okay, so not only is this stuff coming, because they’re not balanced and developed, but it’s also coming because they’re in pain. And so they can’t either because you know, the same way, I can’t give you 50 push ups right now. Or they can’t because they’re actually having physical discomfort. Both of those are very, very valid things. And both of those are things that are not talked about in the competitive industry. And so yeah, man, I just went on like a, I had kind of I had a mental breakdown. And I just shut my whole training business down. I had a very successful training business with students that were out competing all the time. doing really well, lots of followers on the social medias. And I just couldn’t do it anymore. And I think because I had been well established as a competition trainer and a performance trainer. So my students loved competing. They loved going out and showing they loved going out and doing that. when I would start bringing up like, Hey, so I think we should just like walk for three months, you know, it wasn’t really well received. Or when they, they wanted to hurry up and meet their goals. So that’s like, okay, well, I’m just gonna put a bigger bet on for this, this race, or I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that. And I was like, yeah, and we’re not gonna do that. Also wasn’t well received. And then they went and found trainers that it was well received with. And, and that was good for them. And, and, um, Yeah, I burned my whole business to the ground. And I went back and I got a grown up job for a little while to pay the bills. And while I kind of went on this whole crusade that here I am.

[SPEAKER 2]I totally get the the pain behavior relationship. And I’m sure a lot of people listening have at some point experienced this or know somebody who has experienced it as well.

[SPEAKER 1]You know, where

[SPEAKER 2]using my mare as an example, and we briefly discussed this earlier, is she was borderline dangerous. I was having people at the boarding stable that I had her at that weren’t handling her um they would basically use like a chute to get her from the stall to the paddock um and she was rearing up constantly like you could you could barely I would wear a helmet into a stall with her like she really scared me and she scared a lot of people um and this wasn’t the horse that I knew, you know, and I, and I feel like I denied it for a very long time because I kept saying, well, she’s not normally like this. She’s not normally like this, you know, and I, I, I held on to this feeling of, well, she’ll, you know, quote unquote, snap out of it. Um, and after getting into this work and working with an osteopath and most importantly, letting her have a say. everything’s shifted. And I have people say, like, geez, you know, what do you do? And this is a different horse. And it’s like, well, I’m, I’ve given her a voice, you know, and I’ve addressed that it’s not behavioral. It was pain.

[SPEAKER 1]Right.

[SPEAKER 2]And if you were in pain long enough, you would get angry, too.

[SPEAKER 1]Mm hmm. Yeah, the cool thing, I see a big shift happening. More so lately, I think with horses, and it seems like their tolerance for discomfort is becoming less and less. which I think is really cool. And we’re also seeing that in human society. And people can call it being snowflakes or whatever you want to call it. But there is a change in culture all around where things are having just less tolerance for discomfort. And so it’s really interesting to watch that play out. But when horses, I find have a good relationship with somebody, which is probably what happened within you and your mare, she was fine, right? When you bought her, she was in pain, and then something happened. That’s a big one for me is like, that’s the other question that I always have. And I’m like, does anybody else is anybody else hearing the whole like, the horse became aggressive, the horse became over at the knee, the horse became does it like, does that not that means the horse isn’t dangerous or mean or hasn’t that means something happened. And now we are here, right? Like, let’s, let’s, let’s go back to that a little bit. Um, but so I, I would suspect that what happened is that your mare had a really good relationship with you. And this thing happened, and it put her in pain. And she had a relationship with you already where you allowed her a voice. And so she could become aggressive, because that’s how she was telling you. A lot of horses won’t a lot of horses don’t have that. You know, and even even if it’s unintentional, a lot of horses still live within that learned helplessness state, right? Like they come out, you go to work, you come out, you go to work, you’re not going to hear about this, we’re not going to ask you about that. And so it takes them a lot longer, most of the time, obviously, there’s some horses that are more sensitive than others. But for the most part, it takes those horses a long time to even tell you that there’s something uncomfortable. And by the time they do, it’s like catastrophic, but it had been going on for a while. They just didn’t feel safe enough in their relationship that they could actually open up and talk to you. And that’s, that’s another thing. Um, you’ve probably seen the masterclass, there’s a lot of one of the, the side effects, quote, unquote, from this work is, horses will start, sometimes they, the owners will think that the horses are fine. And then they’ll start spending some time doing like pillar one work with them. And all of a sudden, these behaviors come up, and they’re like, my horse has never been nippy, or my horse has never acted like this. And they’ve never done that before. And I’m like, well,

[SPEAKER 2]So I have a gelding, and when I had gotten him, he was the quietest horse in the world. So quiet. He would just stand there. Like, you could leave him for hours on the cross ties, wherever. He would just stand there. He wouldn’t do a single thing, and he would just have this blank stare. And I was just always like, oh my gosh, he’s just so quiet.

[SPEAKER 1]What a good horse.

[SPEAKER 2]And so I have since moved both of my horses home, my mare and my gelding. And we’ve just been doing everything together, you know, spending a lot of time together, hanging out all the time, not expecting anything of them, doing the pillar work, all of that stuff. And I’ll look over and my quiet little gelding has stuff in his mouth and he’s swinging around and he’s grabbing my mare’s blanket and he’s pulling it and he’s ripping it and you know and like all this stuff and I’m thinking what happened and it’s it’s like he was so shut down and now he’s finally saying here I am this is me here’s my personality um and it’s it’s so interesting to see you know just he’s such a silly goofy guy now that he never was before and um and I love it you know, oh, yeah.

[SPEAKER 1]Yeah, no, I mean, and it, and it’s a blast. But there are that, you know, there’s a lot of people, there’s a lot of like, really type A people that will come in, and they’ll do this work. And one of the I was gonna, I was gonna write a post about this anyway. So I’ll just go ahead and say it on for all the people to hear. The hardest client that I get with doing my work are people that have spent extensive amounts of time in training within handwork, and their Kavasan and their whip. And these are people that they do like, I mean, they do like upper level stuff in the Kavasan, right? Like the horses can do levades, and they can do shoulder ends, they can do all these fancy movements in the hand. And so they have this like preconceived notion that because they can do all of these things, the pillar work is like, it’s nothing right, like it’s rudimentary at best in comparison to this work. And what’s the reason why I have such a hard time with them and why they have a hard time with my work is that the very essence of this work is to get and I know this we’re probably gonna get into this a little bit deeper later but um is kind of playing within the horse’s nervous system right so like on one on one hand you’ve got the check in with pillar one of you know let’s can your horse check into its own body That’s a big deal for some of these horses, which is why we get horses that all of a sudden get really busy and they start showing like disassociative behaviors. And they’re like, yep, I really want to eat that rock on the ground. Or like, what’s over there? You know, horses that were totally, you know, they would stand there like an old army guard. But when you actually get them into pillar one, truly, all of a sudden, they start dissociating because something’s going on in their body or in their environment, they don’t actually feel safe to check it. And so that’s one. So first, we make sure that they can check in. And then once that’s good, and you kind of have that dialed in, then you start playing in with like the energy levels and kind of upping it up while still being in pillar one. So the horse should be able to be in like a play drive while they’re working, right? They should be fishy fishy and having a good time and swinging their shoulders and their booty and like you want to get this whole full body activation But it only comes from within. So it has to be the horse like bringing that energy up and having a good time. And these people that do this really intense enhanced stuff. When I look at the horses, and I watched them, they’re all operating like robots. They’re very, I don’t know if you know what I’m talking about, I can send you some YouTube links, but they’re very specific. And they’re like every little micro movement is, is work with and they’re responding to the whip and they’re responding to the voice and like everything is like a responding to Um, and like on one hand, you’re, you’re looking at it and this is, you know, it’s really incredible and it’s incredible discipline and they’ve spent a lot of time doing it and it’s really awesome, like watching them go through the levels, but something happens and it’s like the horse itself. Very rarely does the essence of the horse carry through to that. And so it’s really tricky to be like, Hey, like, it’s actually good for your horse to, to play. And when when we’re doing this stuff, like the horse should accidentally get too big for you. Like, like there should be there’s that’s why there’s wings and my logo is like, there’s always a point in this work where the horse goes, BAM, and everybody’s like, Oh, my God, what just happened? I was like, Oh, they found their wings. And that’s, that’s what you want. But you know, I mean, I think a lot of people are also they tend to be a little bit afraid of the horse too. And so there’s this certain weird power dynamic that some of these humans get into with training horses where they’re like, I got this 1200 pound animal to perform and how cool that is and how controlled it is. When really the essence of horsemanship is like, you were able to figure out how to have such a beautiful mutually, um, beneficial relationship, that you were also able to handle that amount of power that came out of this being like, that’s so cool. So yeah, it’s tricky. And I get that.

[SPEAKER 2]And I get that some people’s response would be a little fear-based in the beginning. If you’re used to your horse being very quiet, and suddenly they’re very playful. And it’s like they grew two hands. Suddenly you’re like, whoa, you’re giant now. And I get that that can be very overwhelming and a little scary for people. I think it is just one of those things where it’s just trusting the process rather than thinking, I’m doing something wrong, now they’re bad, you know, now I got to, you know, whatever, and jump into all these conclusions. It is just kind of trusting the process and letting them explore the process as well. Do you want to learn how to stretch and soothe your horse anytime, anywhere? We Horse has a variety of equine bodywork courses for you to help your horse relax and release, whether it’s between appointments with your professional bodyworker, after a hard ride, or if you’d simply like to learn how to help your horse ease any tension on your own, anytime. Check out to access over 175 online courses with top trainers and horse people from around the world. We have courses on everything from dressage to groundwork to show jumping to bodywork, including specific courses on equine massage, acupressure, the Masterson Method with Jim Masterson, T-Touch with Linda Tellington-Jones, equine biomechanics, and so much more. And as a member, you get access to everything in our WeHorse library to watch whenever you want. And we also have an app, which means you can download a course or video to watch without Wi-Fi. Perfect for those days at the barn when you want a quick dose of training inspiration before your ride or a reminder on how to do specific bodywork exercises with your horse. I know for me, I get out to the barn and I think, how do I do that again? So it’s a great tool to literally have in your pocket. So what are you waiting for? Go to and check out our free seven day trial to access our WeHorse library and see if it’s a good fit for you. We can’t wait to see you in there. And now back to the episode.

<p>[SPEAKER 1]Yeah. And also, I mean, I say this a lot too when I’m coaching people, but never feel bad about also hiring out to other people to do something like I had a jumper mare that came into rehab with me and she was rehabbing with me shortly after I suffered a miscarriage and my body was like not, not strong. I was not strong. I was not strong in any capacity. We kind of rehabbed each other. Um, but I got her to the point where she was able to go back to going over fences and she was super balanced and developed and strong and like and I could ride all of her like her big trots and I could gallop her out on the track and like she was doing really good but I knew and I’m a jumper rider like I like big stuff but I knew that the thing that was going to come out of her the first time she felt this new body of hers go over a fence was going to be way bigger than what I could ride and even if I could stick it which I probably could have. What I was more so worried about is that what was going to come out of her was going to require me to stick it by means of like my psoas was going to tighten up and my diaphragm was going to restrict and she was going to mirror off of that and I was going to unintentionally shut down this thing in her that really needed to come out. So I hired one of my best friends as an adventure rider. They’re all batshit crazy. And she’s, she’s, you know, completely unoffended by anything that the horse does. And so I was just like, Hey, Brittany, can you come out and can you like ride this mare versus fences for me? And I told her, I was like, this is most likely what’s going to happen. is you guys are gonna go around and she’s gonna go over a little jump and she’s gonna be like, this is me and then you’re gonna send her over that meter 20. And when she lands that she is going to continue to jump imaginary fences all the way around the ring and I need you to drop the reins to the buckle and pet her and just tell her she’s a good girl and just hang out and she was like, okay, and she did it. And that’s exactly what happened. And it was so cool because it was like the mare like, got to feel everything come together. And then she just exploded. And she was never she didn’t ever buck she wasn’t saying get off, but she was just like, exploding in this big, vibrant, incredible movement. Brittany’s pet nurse was like, Yeah, good job, baby. Good job, baby. And she got done. And it was like from from that moment out. And it’s always just one time to by the way, like that the horses really show this stuff. And from that moment on, the mayor never lost that, like, just, I don’t know, like, confidence isn’t even the right word. But like, just this deep knowing of how capable she was, that her movement was like, completely restored. And she was so it was just so rad to see. But that that’s like, I live for those moments. But I totally hired out for that. And that’s me, right? Like, higher out if you think if you get your horse to a place where you’re like, Hey, like, I just need somebody that can hold space. Maybe, you know, I there’s stories that I’ve told 1000 times of me got into a really bad fight with my ex husband and I went in to try to work with a stallion and I shouldn’t have right I got picked up and shaken like a ragdoll got scars on my side. And that wasn’t the stallions fault. That was I was not in a mental state to show up for that horse in the way that he needed to and I said for the consequences and I should have hired out I should have told the owner Hey, can’t do it today, you know, and so being accountable, that’s the other cool thing with this work. So there’s a lot of people that are like, Oh, my God, like, I thought it was about my horse, but it’s really just about me. And I’m like, Well, yeah, you know, it’s, horses are about you, horses are about mirroring. And you’ve got to be able to know your limits and know your own boundaries and know, you know, whether or not you can show up for your horse in those moments. And it’s totally fine if you can’t. Absolutely.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]I want to read something in your bio on your website. It really resonated with me, and I feel like it truly encompasses your work. It says, I am constantly researching, learning, and training new tools, and I have a saying that you’ll hear often. I have a lot of firm beliefs that are very loosely held. If you’ve been working with horses for long enough, I’m sure you’ve established something similar in this ever-evolving dimension. One thing I do know for certain, however, is this. The body wants to heal, and it has every capacity to do so if we just give it the support and space that it needs. Can you explain this, what this means and how it applies to our horses?</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]Totally. The last part specifically where I said that the body wants to heal is I know this within my own body and I know this within horses that I’ve worked with. So I’ve had a lot of undiagnosed lameness is my own self. Um, it took them like years and years and years to diagnose me with lupus. And I remember when they finally did the way that my body was responding to it, it was kind of like a, I couldn’t ride. I was having a really hard time functioning. I had significant pain flares, and I was suffering from acute panic attack disorder all at the same time. And nobody could fix it. Nobody could figure out what was going on. They tried putting me on different steroids for lupus. My body reacted to that. I tried being on different antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications. My body revolted to that. Apparently, having native blood sometimes doesn’t work well with prescription meds. We found out. I was really, um, kind of at like an all time low point. And I remember I, one of my good friends is, well, he he’s, he’s one of my good friends as well, but he was also a client and I hadn’t been out to write a source for a while. And he was like, you need to come out and you need to ride. And I was like, I can’t ride. Like, I’m so weak. I’m so tired. I’m so weak. Like, I don’t think that I can ride. And he’s like, just come on, right. Just give it a shot. So I went out and I rode the horse. And this is like one of the lightest horses that I ride, like super, you know, barely requires any effort. And I mean, I tried to like two or three laps and the horse stopped and I was like shaking and he had to physically pick me up and carry me off. And I just sat there and I was sobbing and I was like, I like my career is over. Like I, my body is failing. You know, I was like 27 I was a baby and and my life was in my opinion over because the doctors had finally figured out quote unquote, they figure out what was wrong with me and like, this is just your life, like you have enough, I had enough energy to basically go to my group job where I sat at a desk, and then to come home and try to show up for my kids. But I was like, risking losing them as well, because I was in the middle of a custody battle. And my ex was like, she’s not fit, because she’s like, physically, you know, all these things are going on. And I was like, Yeah, my life’s over. I’m just I would be better off just not being here at all. And it was just completely suicidal darkness. And he has no room for this in his in his mind. And he’s like, well, he’s like, you’re weak, because you’re dealing with these big pain flares, and these panic attacks, and these things are taking so much out of you. He’s like, so the way I see it is we just need to start working on your cardio. And I was like, you’re literally an asshole. Like, I’m like, these are not things that you want to hear, right? Well, you’re, you know, he’s like, no, like, you just need more cardio. I’m like, I do not need more cardio. I’m like, I have this lifelong disability and these things that are going to affect me for the rest of my life. Like cardio is the last thing that I need. He’s like, no, he’s like, you’re right. He’s like, you need strength training and cardio. And I was like, okay, I’m done. Like I’m not having this conversation with you.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]It’s like when people, it’s like when you’re like, I’m just really anxious and people are like, just don’t worry about it.</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]Yes. And I’m like, you’re actually stupid. So anyway, I had my big temper tantrum with him. And then, you know, about once a week, he’d be like, So you ready to come to the gym? So you ready to come to the gym? And I’m like, I hate you go away. Like, this can’t be fixed, blah, blah, blah, my doctor said, blah, blah, blah, I can’t be fixed. It’s just I am. I am this way for the rest of my life. And I will just, you know, die a lonely office person. I don’t know, something was like, I’ll just go. And so I ended up meeting him at the gym. And it was awful. And it was terrible. And it was mostly awful and terrible, because I used to be so fit and so strong, and I was all gone. And it was a very humbling experience to show up and actually test that out. And like, I knew that I was weak, but like, then I really knew that I was weak. And he was like, I want you to commit to coming here. every day, and we’re just gonna do a little bit. And I just just commit for like a month and see, and it was one of the hardest months of my entire life. And one month turned into two, which turned into three turned into six, and I started doing stuff at home again. And I also went on an anti inflammatory diet during this time, which was also really hard, because I really, really, really love Oreos and cheese. And so that was tough. But what happened was, I dismissed everything that my medical professionals had been saying, not that I think people should do that. But that was just what was right for me at the time. And what I mean by that is my as my diagnosis, right? Like I was told these things, this is your life. Sorry. I changed my diet.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]I</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]got out of a toxic relationship, I was trying to make good choices within my life. And I showed up and I showed up for my body. And what I ended up doing was I strength trained, and cardio trained my body to support me in my pain flares and to support me in my panic attacks. It’s like those didn’t go away. Like I was still struggling horrifically. But what changed was I wasn’t super fatigued afterwards, which meant my mental health was better, which meant I was able to show up more for life. And so that was that was the goal that he was trying to get is he’s like, you’re okay, cool. So you have this disability, but like, we’re gonna train you to support your disability. And that’s like, a sentence that has stayed in my head for ever with and I think that and I’ll say that to people unsolicited all the time, and I’m sure it drives them nuts. But it’s this idea about, despite what your horse is diagnosed with, despite what you’re diagnosed with, like, despite all these things, I’m not saying that it doesn’t exist, right? Like I have lupus, I have to be careful, I have gotten to a place where I don’t have the acute panic attack disorder anymore that was alleviated actually through bodywork, which is rad, but um, but I know that I have a, I am prone to it. And so I have to be very mindful in my life of my disability. And I think that that’s a really valuable thing. I’ve said several times that, um, oddly enough that my lupus is probably the best thing that could ever happen to me because it caused me to be so mindful. Um, and it’s the same thing for horses. So like horses that get diagnosed with kissing spines or, you know, ECVM is a big one that sometimes you can’t do anything for it. And sometimes you can, and there’s, you know, arthritis, and there’s, you name the diagnosis, and I’ve probably worked with it. PSSM is a big thing that’s coming out now. We’re like, you know, every horse under the sun might potentially be diagnosed with PSSM. And I think that it’s, I think getting diagnoses is incredibly valuable, and everybody should do it. And I’m like, super rad happy. Like, I think if everybody had the money, I’d be like, get pictures of everything, all of the blood work, all the exploits, right? We should totally know. And I don’t think that that writes off the body. I think that if we set the body up for success, to support that disability to support that ailment, the body wants to heal bodies want to heal like by design, you know, you die if you’re not and so the body if you set it up like it wants to get better and better always. And so I’ve seen God countless studies at this point, like I can’t even keep track in every different diagnosis that you can think of. and horses and humans both having radical, radical recoveries. And maybe, you know, that underlying thing doesn’t ever go away. But that doesn’t mean that they have to be written off as a pasture ornament anymore. Like horses are upper level getting ready to go to the Rolex with really chronic kissing spine because the horse’s body is supported for it, right. And so that that’s what I mean about the body wants to heal. And my a lot of firm beliefs that are very loosely held. I mean, that kind of just goes back to what we were talking about with the horse being the teacher. And, you know, and also, like, I, I don’t, I’m never not studying something, which I’m sure my husband would appreciate if I could take a break, but my mind just doesn’t shut up. Like, I’ll be like, okay, cool, like that threads done for a little while, but then like, I’m gonna go and like, look about this, but it’s always about the horses, which I think is funny, but it’s, I’ve been proven wrong so many times. So many times that, and you know, from stuff that like I used to believe in, like, I used to really believe that bungees were the best thing ever for horses. And I, you know, they were better than side reins to draw reins, because they had more give, but like they did blah, blah, blah, blah. But now I’m like, Oh, my God, I was so wrong. Because now I understand like, this is this and that does that. And, you know, I Here’s a really good example. When I first started talking about, like the muscles and the nerves and development, I was I understood, I very much firmly believe that there was something going on within like the brachial plexus and thoracic outlet syndrome in the horse’s neck and shoulder, because I worked on it with humans so much. And I was like, it’s the same feeling. And all I can tell you is that it is energetically the same feeling. And that obviously is not science based. I cannot, you know, like I can say it, but like, that’s not good enough. So like, I needed to find out why. And I got asked to go to Colorado to go and do a seminar with Dr. Barbara Page, if anybody ever knows her, she’s like, freaking incredible. She’s like, just an absolute amazing human being. And so it was a huge honor. So I got to go and I got to give a seminar on my work with her. And I stayed with her. And I remember we were up one night the night before the seminar. And I was like, you know, one of the things that I’m really bothered by is like, I know that my work works, but I don’t know why it works. And I have a theory as to why it works. But I’m not an anatomist. I don’t I’m still not like, I mean, it’s I always think it’s cute. And people are like, Oh, she’s an expert on anatomy. And I was like, Oh, my God, I am so absolutely not. I know. No, no, no, no, no. But I know what I’ve learned. But so anyway, Dr. Page pulls out this book. And it’s this book on all these beautiful cross sections. And she was like, I think your answer is here. And so we’re, you know, we’re drinking wine, we’re going over this thing. And I was like, Oh, my God. And it’s this beautiful illustration of a cross section. And it shows the horse’s supraspinatus muscle wrapping up and around the scapula and providing space between that. And she was like, so when you’re working on your work, you’re targeting these muscles, she’s like, which is providing that cushion and space from the brachial plexus and the scapula. And I was like, holy shit, like, oh my god, freaked out. Because I finally had an answer. And I was like, that’s so cool. So I taught that for like, all of you know, even like all throughout last year, and I actually had a cyber bully moment where somebody who has a lot way more skill in anatomy than I am, by the way, can totally run circles around me. basically did this like a campaign against what an idiot I am, because I’m saying this, and that that muscle doesn’t have a split muscle belly. And like, I’m just an idiot. And I’m spreading this another thing. And I was like, that’s so weird, because it like, very clearly shows that in this book. And I was like, well, but she knows, like, she probably knows more than I do. And I wish you would have just had a conversation with me about it. And like, tell me what was actually going on. But like, I mean, I’ll start looking. And so I started diving into like, all these kinds of dissections and different books. And I’m trying, I was trying like mad to find it. And the only thing that I could find was what I have figured out anyway. And I took this back to Barbara. It’s like, you think that this is what he was trying to get out from this? And she was like, I think so. Is the subclavius, those deep pectoral muscles, the subclavius comes up and it ties in fascially to the same attachment that the supraspinatus does. And so it looks like it’s one muscle that comes up and then over and then back down again. And that muscle was not listed in his cross section. And I was like, I wonder if it’s just old enough, because they’ve changed the names of muscles quite a bit, too. I was like, I wonder if that’s what it was, that must have been what it was, because it all works together the same way. So that’s why, even if it was the wrong muscle, the work still works. I’m like, okay, but like, and this is we’re going back to the horse, right? So like, but it works. And it’s developing the same thing. And it’s giving me the same thing. So there’s got to be something else in there. And so I dug and dug and dug. And that is my new current belief that it’s that instead. And it’s like things like that. And it’s like, it’s so yeah, I have a lot of beliefs that are loosely held, meaning, if I think that it’s working, this is what I really think that it is. And so I’m going to really try to, to teach that and to focus on that. And if it gets proven wrong, I’m actually quite excited about it. Because I’m like, awesome. So what is it, you know? Um, because that’s, that’s science. And that’s just how, however, if you’re not excited about being proven wrong, then you’re not really in it for the learning, I think. Um, and I’m just a, I’m just a nerd. I’m a super nerd at heart.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]I love the learning process.</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]I do. I totally love the learning process. And I think the other cool thing is because I’m not a vet. I’m not an anatomist. I’m not any of you know, anybody really a consequence. I’m just I have no I don’t have 1000s of dollars in like, schooling education around these things. So it doesn’t offend me when I’m wrong. I just kind of assume that I’m wrong. Anyway. And so for me, there’s nothing like I have no ego tied up into that. I’m like, Okay, cool. Awesome. Um, which simultaneously makes it really hard to teach too, because the things that I teach, like, there are some things that the horse says are correct, that are completely against the textbooks. And I will like, take that to my grave that the textbook is wrong, because the horse says. And so the, you know, there’s those beliefs to where it’s like, well, as long as the horse is saying that this is true, or this is fundamentally flawed, I’m not going to do this, despite what your book says, the horse says no. So those are, it’s, it’s hard, it’s hard to try to be a leader in teaching education, and in trying to like, get this information to people. And also, because it’s like, obviously, it’s so cool to like, watch how many horses get changed by it. And I so deeply believe in it, you believe in it, people that do it are like, Oh, my God, this is so cool. And coming from somebody who’s not a vet, or a PhD, or, you know, and I don’t know, That’s what I’m trying to say.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]I think it’s important to look at things relating to horses the same way that people that do yoga look at their yoga practice. It’s never called like a yoga finish or a yoga complete or anything like that. It’s a yoga practice and there’s the understanding that when you unroll your mat, whether you’ve been doing it for three months or 30 years, you’re a student of the practice. And I think it’s important to go to not only horses, but so many other things in our life with the same sort of mindset that I’m a student of this. I will forever be learning. And when I think I’m done learning, I still have so much more to learn.</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]Totally. So that’s beautiful.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]You say the balance through movement method helps horses achieve optimum balance and strength through specific development of the body and the mind. And we’ve talked on this a little bit already about the mind and how like pain behavior can come up. But when you say it can help achieve optimum balance of the mind, what would you say you mean by that? And how does that translate to the horse?</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]So when we were talking about earlier about like kind of the nervous system and how that the checking in goes. So with color one, for instance, like we’re talking about turning off the brachial cephalic muscle, um, loosely, that’s kind of how we’re engaging it. But it also goes into just like the whole relationship to connection as a whole. And so what pillar one is about, and the reason why like everything that has to be built on top of it, and how it’s correlated in everything that we’re doing is that it is your check into the nervous system. So when you’re doing the actual exercise within the body, what you’re looking for is can the horse safely go into a posture that allows for them to be in their parasympathetic state? Um, horses and humans, we have muscle sets that, um, want us to go more into the sympathetic state. And we have muscles that kind of help a lot that, or that our parasympathetic state comes on more when these muscles are activated versus these ones that are activated that do sympathetic. Um, Jane Pike, by the way, knows way more about the nervous system than I do. If anybody wants to listen to her stuff, I binge on her all the time. Um, but so one of the things in my observations of horses are, and how I kind of came to figuring out all the stuff with the movements is watching them. And I would watch them play. And I would watch them at rest. And I would watch them while they were scared. And I would watch them when they were under tension. And depending upon on their on their own, not not with a human interaction, or like watching them within the hoods, depending upon what nervous system they were kind of at play at was complete would completely alter the different muscles that they were using. And so that’s really what makes this work so profound is that the muscles that we’re specifically targeting and how we’re achieving it is through I’m really targeting that parasympathetic state. And so it starts out by kind of getting them almost into like, you’ll see like the horses that get into pillar one, the first couple times they do that really deep processing where they’re like, almost like in a meditation state. So that’s where they’re like, Oh, like, I can go here. I’m safe to go here. My person is going to be the herd leader while I go here. So I can fully just release and go into this space. So they’re really like toning their nervous system at that point. And they’re, they’re getting internal, they’re checking into their bodies. Am I safe to be in my body? Am I safe to be in my environment? Is are things in my body? Okay. And like, you watch them go through this whole thing. And then once they get through that layer of pillar one, then you start playing it within the layer of color one that we talked about where we’re really activating their body. And so it’s still a parasympathetic state, it’s just more of like, So sexual energy is a parasympathetic state technically, which is, so you have sleep or you have that. Those are two very different energies, but it falls within the same realm. And that’s what we’re talking about with the horses. Not that we want them necessarily in that sexual energy, but it’s that same, like that play drive that like, oh, this is really fun. I’m very engaged. I want to do this. That engagement is also parasympathetic state. When the horses are playing and they’re engaged and they’re doing things, the same muscles that we’re targeting are also going on there. And so it’s and the most beautiful thing about it is that you can’t force any of it, right? Because it’s a nervous system thing. You can’t force it. You can’t force somebody to relax. You can’t yell at them and be like, Hey, relax, relax. Like, it doesn’t work. You can’t be like, we’ll play harder. We’ll play. Well, what’s wrong with you? Like, like, do this play hard. Like they’re not gonna actually have more fun. those things don’t work. And so you cannot force a horse to call up into their play drive, and you cannot force a horse to get into a place of processing, like, your horsemanship has to be that good. And that’s what makes this work so different than just going through and doing this, quote, unquote, fancy and handwork is I’m like, neat, but your horses look like robots, and my horses are actually having fun. And you’ll see, like their bodies will change shape so quickly. And it’s it, to me, it’s more like energetic than anything, but they’re able, it’s that I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s like when your nervous system really allows for that deep rest, or it, you know, calls up the energy in your body where it’s like, all systems go, let’s play. That connectivity that happens within the mind and the body is so powerful and so beautifully healing. So that’s one aspect of it that makes for a really sound mind. The second thing that makes for a really sound mind is the balance itself. So, you know, again, most humans should be able to relate to this, especially if they’ve ever been an athlete or done any sport, but If you are used to having full range of motion in your arms and your legs, and you have a solid core, not necessarily abs like show off at the beach, but like you’re solid within your core, you can stand, sit, squat, whatever you’re, you’re capable, you have a good, capable, strong body. And something happens and that goes away and you are now imbalanced and you have a, and you struggle standing upright or you lose range of motion in a limb or in one particular direction. Your mental health will absolutely go to hell. And it is the first thing that goes because you were immediately dropped into your more in your prey, right? Like I am limited, you know that you’re limited. And then that starts taking over different things. There’s a very famous motivational speaker who pisses people off on the daily, because he doesn’t believe in mental health. Obviously, I believe in mental health. But so he’s a little he’s a little edgier than than what most people like. But one of the things that he does is he’ll tell people when they call him and they’re depressed, he’s like, I want you to go to the gym every day for 90 days, and then call me. And I want to genuinely talk to you at the end of 90 days. And so far, nobody has been able to prove him wrong. And it’s that and these are like capable people, right? Like people that are able, they just don’t want to get off the couch kind of situation. And it’s that, that idea that when our body is a when we’re not in tune to our bodies is a big thing, just like the horses, and be when we’re not physically capable, it drastically affects our mental health. So we have these horses, who, in my opinion, do not have very good range of motion and all four cardinal directions anymore. That’s been taken away. Um, they might have a little bit and they might even be able to do upper level fancy stuff, but when you actually go in and isolate, I cannot tell you how many FBI fourth level Grand Prix dressage horses that I have written. These horses should be the epitome of balance, cannot balance are almost neurologic at the walk and do not have independent AB duction in their limbs at all. None. Everything is off of their pole or their neck or their bilateral hinds. Like, their bodies are not independently mobile. And then also where the horse’s center of balance is. So pillar two is all about developing the muscles of their center of balance, which is the muscles of a half halt as well. When the horses don’t have that, and they’re teeter tottering, and they’re feeling like they have to balance like up in front, they’re energetically out in front of them, they’re not able to be in their bodies. when they’re like really behind the leg and they’re sucked back, they’re also not in their center of gravity. So when a horse’s center of gravity is not developed, they’re more spooky. Um, they’re more codependent. They have different behavior issues that come up within that. When we see horses graduate from pillar one and then into pillar two, and they’ve really developed that set and you can see that they’re in their stance, right? So like their resting posture, the horses will, you know, in the beginning, they’ll be like tipped up forward, and their center of gravity is kind of like up in their pole. And then by the end of it, like they’re shifted back, their legs are centered underneath them, they’re balanced on their hooves, right? Their entire mental state is completely different, because they have that center of balance. It’s huge. So you know, everything has to do to me, it’s like, it’s balancing both. So you want to develop the body so that the body is capable. And then while we’re doing that, we’re also simultaneously working with that nervous system. And it has to be so consensual. And it’s the number one thing that people will screw it up. Because like you said, you can’t force play, you can’t force rest. And when you’re constantly signing that contract of if you’re really honoring pillar one, you have to be able to honor how this shows up in the horse and If they can’t find it, what’s going on in their environment that’s making it so they can’t? Is it you? Is it, you know, can they just not let down with the tractor going? Is it, you know, there’s so many different things. So it really is the epitome of horsemanship to me.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]So I want to talk about two of the main topics within your work. One is thoracic sling and the other one’s nerve impingements. And I know a lot of people listening might think, what the heck are we talking about? I know before I was introduced to your work, I didn’t know what thoracic sling was or, you know, nerve impingement. I was like, okay, like I get that, but I didn’t understand, um, totally how common or you know in in depth it can be so let’s talk about that a little bit um let’s start with the thoracic sling um explaining what it is why it’s such a common area of tension um and how it ultimately can affect all the other areas of the horse’s body okay i was like how do i make this as short and sweet as possible um okay</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]So your basic rules here are horses have no collarbones. Okay, I’m gonna try to paint a very good picture of people here. Horses have no collarbones, meaning everything that’s in the front end of their body, like their front limbs and their chest and all of that, none of that is actually held up by a skeletal structure. So It’s all held together by muscle and fascia, which is mind boggling when you think about it. Like for us, if we go on all fours, we have a clavicle, it’s connected, everything’s connected up into our joints and our spine, we are fully skeletally supported, this is what we can do. Horses don’t have that in their front end. And so the main reason for it is evolutionary. So you know, I don’t know if anybody knows this, but horses aren’t like, you know, made to be ridden. They’re supposed to be out in the wild and grazing. And what they’re supposed to do is meander around with their heads down and grazing here and doing that. And then having the ability to pull their head up and take off for short spurts to run from prey. That’s it. Like meandering with her head down, running short spurts. That’s that is all a horse’s body is designed to do. Now, that’s not to say that we can’t take these animals and develop them and that they don’t make great writing animals like they absolutely do. They’ve carried us through war history was written on because of we were able to write them. We can write them. The reason why this is really important for people to understand is that because they’re not necessarily designed, like when God made them, he didn’t be like, Oh, here, I’m just gonna make something that’s perfectly capable of being written. They naturally are posturally built downhill. So that sling, there’s no skeletal there for their clavicle so that they can go around with their neck down and nobody can see me on the camera, but I’m like with my head down. And so they should have that really good freedom of shoulders and all that when we when they’re like that, they’re kind of deflated in their front end. And so their, their spine instead of their spine being straight across and neutral and strong, it’s a little bit down. So they’re kind of in the negative in the front end. Um, when they’re negative in the front end, the cervical spine also comes back more underneath the scapula. So instead of it being like out in front, like we’ve seen a lot of the actual confirmation thing is it’s actually behind it. And so there’s really not a lot of room for circles, right? So if a horse goes to turn, it’s going to like jam their scapula into their cervical spine. And if we put weight on their back when it’s already in the negative in the front end, it makes it that much harder for the horse to be neutral. So everything’s just kind of dumped out. So there’s a lot of compression at C6, C7, um, as well as up in the horse’s pole. So what ends up happening with these horses is that they’re. primarily than having to hold themselves up and you by by you writing them from their pole. So they use their neck, they use their under neck to really pull themselves up. And they have a lot of their center of gravity up in their pole. And then they use excess amounts of wear and tear on their hind end. Now the hind end, the way that it’s structured with the muscles that come up into the spine is, it is developed to be able to lift the front end. And so that like a big argument with a lot of people is everything’s from the hind end, you have to do the hind end. And it’s like, I don’t, I don’t disagree with you that the horses are developed to support their spine from the hind end, but it should be able to lift up more to carry the rider into upper level movements from a neutral spine. the problem and the disconnect that we’re seeing with people not understanding playing with the thoracic sling is that the horses isn’t a negative. So you need to build the thoracic sling up and develop those muscles so that the spine can be neutral. So that when you ride them, the horse then has the capability to drive from behind with the hind end and lift. Does that make sense? Absolutely. Yeah. So that’s, that’s like the basis of why it’s so important. And then when you think about like with the nerve stuff, so Horses have two main nerve bundles. One sits underneath there from, it’s technically between their ribs and their scapula, but it also goes up into the lower base of the neck. And so we have the brachial plexus that is roughly, you know, C6, C7, T1, a little bit of T2 underneath the scapula. If they don’t have a thoracic sling, there is no cushion there between the scapula and that base. And so what we end up seeing then is nerve compression. And so there’s not adequate cushion. So nerve compression is any time that nerves are getting irritated because the forces around them are too tense, or if it’s compressed by bone. So it’s usually done by soft tissue or bone. Um, compression is a little bit more correct than impingement. But I think everybody knows impingement. And so that’s just kind of like the word that gets the layman to understand but all that’s really it’s not nerve damage. It’s not you know, nervous been severed. It’s just that there’s too much compression going on. Any of the listeners are more than welcome to Google thoracic outlet syndrome for humans. It’s the same thing we deal with it as well. I dealt with it as a human therapist all the time. It’s like 80 90% of my clientele. Um, and, and the end game here is to just create space around the nerves. And once you create space and there’s not so much compression there, then the pain goes down and then the undiagnosed languages go down. And so. all of these undiagnosed lamenesses that I was finding or horses that were tripping, or they had head shaking syndrome, or they were all of a sudden really violent and rearing, or they couldn’t put their foot forward on the hoof stand, like, all these different crazy symptoms, all started going away when we started building up the thoracic sling. And it was, it came down to the only other thing that was changing structurally for them is that we were creating space around the base of the neck and around that nerve fire. And I’ve had chronic nerve pain and I’ve suffered from thoracic outlet syndrome. So I, you know, and again, I can’t necessarily like campaign on energetics, but I could tell you that the horses were feeling the same things that I was feeling. I could feel that in their body. I knew what it was. And so being able to find the name for it and see like actually finding the science behind it was really rad. Um, the second nerve bundle is the lumbosacral plexus. So that’s down in their lower back, So what happens when the horses don’t have a developed thoracic sling is they also lose mobility, abduction, and extension in their front limbs because they don’t have as much as they could. When that happens, they’re not able to open through their shoulders to track their spine appropriately around events. So then they start kind of jackknifing into their lower lumbar. And so the, you get horses that almost fishtail or they have chronic loading in their iliopsoas. And when they have a lot of chronic loading there, what happens is in that lumbosacral plexus gets compressed. And the biggest nerve out of that is your sciatica. And so most horses then would suffer from sciatica. So again, I’m diagnosing this in the hind end. random fits of catastrophic explosion and people are like it comes out of nowhere but you’ll I’ve gotten I can watch it and I’m like no like that one foot stepped x amount too far out and that’s what would fire there’s certain movements so fire it but it does seem random to the to the layperson so you’ll have these horses that you know, God, they’re, they’ve been competing, like, fourth level, they’re doing great, they go to shows, they’re amazing, they’ve never had an issue. But man, every once in a while, they just absolutely catastrophically explode, they look like they have eight legs, like everything’s going all over, and I can’t figure it out. And I’m like, that’s because a lightning bolt came down through their body, and they didn’t understand it. And that was the only thing that they knew, you know, so Shivers and strength halt are two things that I’ve worked with a few of those cases. And I gave them the same treatment for sciatica and for spinal integrity and all of the symptoms went away. So I think that, I mean, I think nerve compression and nerve disorders, however, however you want to call it, I think that it is massively overlooked even in humans. I mean, in humans for thoracic outlet syndrome, like I can, I’ll alleviate it depending on the severity, usually between one to three sessions of me working on you on a table. and you being diligent about doing your homework. If you went to a doctor, they would tell you to, they would refer you to an orthopedic surgeon, and then they would want to shave down part of your clavicle to make room for it. So it’s like, even in the human world, there’s a disconnect around how we treat neuropathy. And then so of course, it’s going to be way worse than horses. I mean, that’s, that’s normal. So, yeah.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]So when we say about the nerve impingement, Would you say that creating more space in the horse’s body by going through the pillars and by, you know, opening up will alleviate the tension and the space so it all works together. It’s not like, well, you have to do this or you can do this. It’s it will all work.</p>

<p>[SPEAKER 1]It all works together. Yeah, it all works together. Yeah. And it’s. I had my I had some hate, I’m some hate mail. I had somebody sign up for the masterclass and they were going through it. They’re like, I’m listening to all this stuff about your in hand work. And I’m, you know, classically trained. And so this is rudimentary at best. And also, I only signed up for it because I wanted information on nerve release. And that’s not what this is. And I was like, Hmm, it is though. Like, that is exactly what it is. Pillar one actually releases the nerves, like, I, as a body worker, and what’s really fun about this is, so I teach nerve release courses. So I have big clinics where people come in and they’ll do the nerve release clinics with me. So I teach them my manual therapy. And at the last day, cause I, there isn’t, there are manual techniques that you can do to alleviate it. Absolutely. I agree with that. But the last day of the courses and through it throughout the clinic, we’re doing the in-hand pillars too. But on the last day of the clinic, I make them palpate the horses before and after, now that they’ve kind of understood the nerve stuff. I make them palpate the horses before and after they do the pillars and they’re like, Oh my God, this just released these nerves. And I was like, uh huh, you’re welcome. Like, so, and the, and the purpose for understanding this is twofold. So is it nice to have a cheat sheet and go in and manually work on the horses? Absolutely. I will put hands on every horse. that I can all the time, always, because I think that it does make it easier for them to do it. But the beautiful part of being able to set the horse up into a posture and into places that allows for them either through the relaxation that you’re giving them with the postural cues or the overall, you know, as time goes on, as the horses develop the bodies and then it changes the posture that then alleviates the nerve, however you’re doing it. Allowing the horse to experience going through it versus you manually doing it is really beautiful and profound in its own right, because it also is a tell for if there’s undiagnosed lamenesses, if there’s other underlying compensatory patterns, right? Like there’s some times where people will do pillar run with their horses and all of a sudden the horse will come up to a first landing. that’s a clue in that something’s wrong, right? Like, get x rays of your feet, get x rays of your neck, if you’re taking away a brace, and you’re doing if you’re, you know, having them set up in these postural patterns, if the horse starts getting a little bit worse, that’s awesome, like, full stop red light. Now we know where to go and get some pictures, right. And so it’s always really important to kind of have that in the forefront of your mind. But it is to serve the body for nerve release. And yeah, it’s just really cool. And the other the reason why a lot of exercises came into play is that I have always been known for working with dangerous cases like ever since I was young. Um, I’m very good at toning my nervous system. So like I’m the person, unfortunately that gets sent out when the horses are like tied up in a trailer and, you know, there was like, okay, well, you’re going to go in there and you could die. I’m like, it’ll be good. Um, so I’m really gifted at that. And what I learned through the movement pieces is a lot of these dangerous horses that I would go out and see. Um, they were just really in a lot of nerve pain, right? Like they’d be moving around and, you know, the fear of the nerve pain, would really be kind of taking over them. And what I learned to do through the movement is I could get them, I’m really good with, um, in handwork and I’m really good with using whips to kind of like, not on the horse, obviously, but like to kind of direct their movement. And what I learned, especially like with pillar three, um, so playing around with opening the shoulder and that spinal integrity, depending on which nerve was getting fired, if I wanted to focus on the front end or the hind end. But if I was in a ring with a horse, it was explosive and dangerous. And coming at me, I can play with the timing enough to get them to open up those spaces. And all of a sudden they would stop and just look and chew. And they were like, Oh, my God. And I don’t mean like, I move their feet, and I ran for 60 minutes, I can chew. I mean, like they, they actually independently abducted that right shoulder, decompress that nerve and stood there and went, holy shit, it all stopped. And then these horses would come up, and they’re like, I’m so thankful, right. And then I could get in to actually manually work on them. And then all their behaviors would go away. And it’s so different than like, Because I was raised in the era of like, we rampant our horses until you know, they behave like move their feet, do this, get their respect, change direction on stuff. I was totally raised in that era. Or, you know, when you go to a show, you have to lend your horse for 30 minutes to get him to warm up. And now, like, I don’t do any of that. Like I the minute I’m on a horse that’s being around a horse that’s being explosive, I play around with a few signals to get them to manually not manually to get them to through movement, open up those spaces around the nerves. And the changes are immediately like every time that’s never not been the case. And it’s so. It’s a really humbling kind of shitty experience, you know, to like look back on my life and be like, God, how many horses that I just like run in circles until they behaved when really, you know, they just needed to take two of the correct steps to get that nerve to back off. That’s so cool. Mm hmm.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]Yeah, I think a lot of us throughout our horsemanship journey have things that we can look back on and think, if I knew now what I knew then, or if I knew then what I knew now, I guess is what I’m trying to say. And the last thing that I want to talk to you about is the idea of stopping riding your horse. It can be a really challenging topic for a lot of equestrians because at the end of the day our ego is involved and we want to keep riding, keep competing, keep being within our own human habits. You know, we chase the next goal, the next show, the next ribbon. I personally came up to a little bit of a wall with that thinking, you know, but he’s going so well. But now his body isn’t looking good and he’s being hard to catch suddenly, but he’s going so well when I get on him and needing to take a step back and look at, okay, well, he’s a little behind at the knee. and he’s really tight through the neck. And he’s got a little bit of a U shape going on in his body. You know, all of those things that you think, let’s just look, take a step back and look at this.</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]Like, why does my horse look like you’re before focus?</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]So you need to just take a breath, stop what you’re doing. And that is extremely challenging. Um, what are some of the, I mean, obviously we can just say, well, it’s got to be done. It’s for the good of the horse. Um, but what are some maybe confrontations that you’ve come up with personally or from other people that needed to get out of the comfort zone to trust the process and, and explore these pillars?</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]I mean, I think at the end of the day, it’s, you know, as you kind of said, like the pillars are definitely designed for the horses, but it ends up being more about the human. Um, I think that everybody will come to and they do everybody comes to a different understanding or a deeper understanding of the work as they’re ready to, and that’s totally okay. Right? Like I have people that will not take a break and they will lightly do some of the enhanced stuff when they’re leading the horses to and from their paddock. And they’ll warm up and have like a little bit of like during their warmups, they’ll start doing some of it. And then they’ll just ride their horses like normal and they’ll go out and they’re, and they’re still competing every weekend. And they’re just doing that little bit. And I am equally as supportive of those people as I am the people that decide to be complete purists and not ride their horses for like three years. Um, And that actually pisses off a lot of people. I have. I went through there was like a phase of like, I got a lot of kickback from people because I was being publicly supportive of somebody’s journey on that. And I was like, Look, here’s the deal. Would I do that with my horse? No. Do I think that they’re hurting their horses? No, do I think that they’re showing up for the best optimal, like everything that they could do right from the horse? No. But I also think that they’re showing up for their horse as they are mentally and emotionally and spiritually ready to. And I think that it’s absolutely beautiful that they’re at least doing some of the work. And it’s those little bit of seeds that are planted. And it’s the people that come in that are absolute purist that, you know, well, she’s okay with this. And that’s just cognitive dissonance. And that’s a trauma bond. And that’s blah, blah, blah. And it’s just like, you know, or how about we just support everybody on their journey the way that they can be supported, like, seriously, back off. And so I’m kind of I’m a very, I try to just be generally supportive of people. And What I have found happens with that is that those people that are kind of tinkering around with it, at some point they hit a wall and they’re just like, this is not working enough. And then they on their own kind of come back and come back and come back and then they’ll figure it out. And you know, to be perfectly honest, not everybody needs to stop riding their horse and just do stuff in hand. I mean, there are some horses that I’ve done this work with that I am safer on their back than I am on the ground. And I’ll do it when I’m riding them. And that’s just the only time that we get it done. And I think that you can be, if you are skilled enough with your seat and your hand, I think you can totally pull a lot of this off, um, from their backs as well, but it’s hard. And it, you know, it’s, it’s just really learning to change the lens on what you’re expecting from your horse and what energy the horse is giving you. And, um, and also if you can come to the place of just understanding how to work with them without writing them, I think that there’s a lot of really, really, really deep beauty in that. Um, so like the general rule of them, when people asked her, like, well, you know, how do you go about it? I’m like, okay, well, so here are these like, four foundational exercise that we’ll talk about within the masterclass that you can do in hand a couple different variations of them, but there’s really just like a few. So Start here. If your horses in hand, meaning not weight bearing from you, right, they don’t have to balance you, they don’t have to carry your weight. Can they in their own body on their own perform these maneuvers in a structurally integrative way? If they cannot, the likelihood of them being able to do that with you on their back is very limited. And so is it more fair to them to take the time to develop them up so that they have the self courage without having to carry you? Absolutely. Should you do that? 100%? If you choose not to, horses are doing it every day at the Olympic level. So it’s not you know, I mean, it’s not like you don’t have to. But if you make that decision to go all the way down and do that, the other thing that it invites, because when you’re doing this as a development program, you’re only spending like what 1015 minutes at best like doing actual exercises. Is that it’s giving you time to actually spend with your horse. If you’re doing it correctly, the way that I teach it and it, you know, and again, like the kickback that I’ll get from the masterclasses, I don’t have like a lot of how to videos and exercises and I’m like, well, we just want to step by step. And I’m like, no, what you need is you need to listen to your horse. So I’ve given you the background and the lecture, the methodology, and here’s some videos of what it should look like. whatever happens in between those two things is kind of between you and your horse. Now, if you would like some feedback, you can totally post, we’ll give you feedback. If you want a lesson, if you feel like you need a lesson and totally do that. But what I really, really, really, really want for people is to take the time with them on the ground, face to face with their horses, where they’re watching their muscles and they’re watching their breath and they’re watching their nervous system. And, you know, my heart is really for like the adult amateur owner so that they can really learn to listen to their horse and they can learn what they’re mirroring within themselves. Like, are you tense? Do you need breath? Do you need to meditate? You know? And I think that all of that is so deeply profound and powerful. And if people want to take the invitation to take this work as deep as they want to take it, super awesome. They have my whole support. If they just want to dabble in it and play around with it a little bit while they’re out competing in their do it and stuff, they still have my full support. You know, I mean, it’s I don’t know. I’m just very gray that way.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]What is your hope for your work’s future?</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]That’s kind of a loaded question. I wrote this down. My hope is a few things. Number one would be to getting kind of a solid understanding on what correct development looks like in the horse so that we can really start shifting the eye of people in the competition world. So like, Can you imagine if somebody showed up at like the Olympics or like, or we won’t even go to the Olympics. Like we’ll just start like rated shows. Like they’re showing up, it’s like their fourth level dressage test, but the horse has, you know, no sling, no trapezius, no adequate glutes. They can perform the maneuvers. Totally. They’re hyper mobile and there’s a lot of crank and spank involved, but they don’t have actual muscle development that says they can do the job. structurally correct, right? Can you imagine what would happen in the horse world if we had that as a lens and judges went, or the people that are doing the soundness checks before these big shows, they looked at that, and they’re like, you know what, your horse actually doesn’t even have the muscle to support this movement, go home. Like, that’s how we change the game. So That’s kind of my like, my end all like, by the time I’m an old lady in a rocking chair, I would really love to see that as an industry standard, because it’s not biased, it has nothing to do with I don’t like you, I don’t like your horse, I own your horses, baby daddy, like, none of that politics comes into play. It’s just very simply is the horse physically developed to do the job that you’re asking? Yes, go ahead. No, go home. Very simple. Um, Yeah, I mean, and then, you know, kind of how I touched on in the last little riff, but really giving the power back to the adult me meaning like, knowledge, right? Like, like, you guys, like, Everybody should know these kind of basic foundational truths about the horse’s body and how it works as mechanism in space and how you can show up for the horse. And then I think that the more accessible and easy to digest that this knowledge gets for the adult amateur owners, the less they’ll feel like they’re gaslit by their professionals. And so that’s really, that’s a big thing for me too.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]Before we go into our rapid fire questions, I just personally want to say thank you, because through your work, I have met my horses for the first time, truly. And we have a whole different relationship than we’ve ever had. But I also have a very different relationship with myself. So I think that’s important to say, because this work goes far beyond maybe what you set out to for it to intend to. So let’s jump into our rapid fire questions. The first one is, do you have a motto or a favorite saying?</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]Yes, and I have actually kind of two, I couldn’t pick between one. So one is from Catherine Lowery, who is like my best friend and sister in this work. And she says consistently, to which I have stolen, um, to never hold your horse to a higher standard than you’re holding yourself or that you’re willing to be held to. That’s good. Yeah. And that one is, it’s a really, and you know, by, by all means, whether it’s their emotional regulation, um, their physical abilities, like here we are working so hard to get our horses to be so correct and wonderful while we’re riding them. But like, when’s the last time you went to the gym? When’s the last time you went to yoga? When’s the last time that you had a lunge line lesson? And we did this without your hands, you know? She’s very, she’s a very big advocate for that. And I wildly appreciate it. And then the other one was my foster dad used to say, to redirect them and then leave them alone. They need to know that you’re like a dancing partner, not someone that they have to pack or someone who’s going to drag them around. You’re just there. And if they need guidance, they know that they can check in with you and you will help them find their own way. And then you’ll just leave them the hell alone.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]I like that.</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]I’d written that down in my journal as a kid and I’ve carried that. And I was like, it’s true. It’s that real, just like you’re only there to redirect and then you get out and there’s none of this. I’m going to sit on top of you and micromanage. Um, Yeah, and that’s that’s how you develop a horse, actually.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]That’s a good lesson as a child to receive.</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]Yeah. Again, I didn’t really get it until later.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]The second question, who has been the most influential person in your equestrian journey?</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]Oh, God, there’s so many. There’s so many people that I just wildly look up to and respect. And I want to list off all of them. And then really, not to be hallmarky, but to be actually correct in this is that it would have to have been my mom. She worked so hard to make sure that there was always a horse in front of me at some point. And even when we were so poor, and we were going through all of the things that she went through, as a single mom, um, I remember my grandfather, I remember vividly my grandfather railing into her when I was like, eight or nine. And he was like, you cannot keep spending your money on this kid for writing lessons. Like, you need to be spending in other places. Like you cannot be investing this, this is just completely ludicrous. And she’s going to turn 16. And all she’s going to care about are boys and cars. And she’s never going to do anything with this. And I remember the very first time I made a paycheck from horses, I was like 15. And I was working the same with my foster parents. But they at that point, I was also working on training horses. That was my start. And under her under their guidance, and I had got my very first check. And I took a picture of it. And I sent it to my grandpa. And I sent my mom my first check. And I just said, Thank you for investing in me in this and that. it never would have happened without her consistently being like, no, like, this is like, she always knew that this was going to be what I did with my life, even as a little kid. And she also is really what instilled my mom, my mom is Native. And so she was raised a lot with the mindset of Native American horsemanship. And that has been that voice has just always been in my head the whole time. So it’s just really that, like that deep connection, there’s a very deep spiritual connection there. And so it’s really guided everything. So I kind of, I owe all of it to her.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]If you could give equestrians one piece of advice, what would it be?</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]To take everything that you learn, myself included, back to your horse and ask them if it’s okay. That’s good.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]The last one is please complete the sentence for me, or sorry, please complete the sentence for me.</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]Horses are everything. That was the first word that came to mind. Horses are everything. Horses are the most perfect mirrors and in that teachers of life and love that we could ever ask for.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]Is there anything else you’d like to add for our listeners?</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]No, not anything. I think we’ve covered a lot. This is got it. But this is probably my most favorite, like, Rob podcast I’ve done. I really appreciate you.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]Oh, I’m so glad.</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]Thank you.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]So let’s keep spreading this. Where can people find you? And how can they connect with you? And we’ll link all of them.</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]Totally. Our website is bounce movement Um, that is in the middle of a huge rebrand. I’m super excited that my girl’s doing it. So she’s going to make a lot of things way more accessible and more organized because I did my own website. And let me tell you, I am not tech savvy, but it was there. So we tried it.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]You got it up and running and that’s what I got it up and running.</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]And the domain name will remain the same throughout it all. So balancing movement Um, on that you have access to. Um, asking questions, there’s the option for the masterclass group, which is, I think, the best place for people to get started in the work and self study. It’s a, it’s on Facebook, it’s a group, there’s a guide section under the guide section, there’s got at this point, probably more than 16 hours or so of different lectures from myself and other professionals on everything that we covered in this podcast, and more like diving into the all the deep stuff. And it just gives you a really</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]saddle fit and hooves. And there’s a lot there’s a lot in there.</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]There’s a lot and I’m always consistently anybody anytime anybody wants to hop on and add more to it. But when you I mean, you know, because you did it. So it’s like, I don’t know how you would explain it. But it’s it’s really geared more to be I’m going to give you as much information as possible for you to then take this information back to your horse and to try this methodology out. And I will tell you that the people that. Honestly, that I’ve seen probably the most success out of that group are the people that have never had a one-on-one. They’ve never had a lesson. They just like really, really, really wanted it. And, um, and they were people that, um, I let in like on a scholarship to you, like some of the people, like they couldn’t afford it. And I was like, totally fine. Like you really want it. I’ll just let you in, check it out, see what you can do with it. And just wild success from them. And so that’s been really, really fun to watch. And then there’s also a place on the website to get distance session. So I have myself and other trainers, my calendars booked for a little while while I finish up some back end stuff. But I have a lot of awesome trainers that all teach this methodology that you can get lessons with. Um, and the distance stuff is cool, right? Cause we get to give lessons, people all over the world. Um, and then yeah, my personal Facebook, there is a, there is a business Facebook. I’m terrible about being on it. Following my personal Facebook is probably the best bet. So it’s my name. Um, and then on Instagram, I am the traveling horse, which it was my favorite nickname. And I am leaving that on my Instagram because I think it’s funny. Yeah. Awesome.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]I’m going to link all of that in the show notes so that people can find you. And again, Celeste, I can’t thank you enough for A, coming on this podcast and B, creating this work and sharing it with all of us. So thank you.</p><p>[SPEAKER 1]Thank you so much.</p><p>[SPEAKER 2]Thank you for listening to this episode of the Equestrian Connection podcast by wehorse. If you enjoyed this episode, it would mean the world to us if you could leave us a rating and review, as well as share us on social media. You can find us on Instagram at wehorse underscore USA, and check out our free seven-day trial on, where you can access over 175 courses with top trainers from around the world in a variety of topics and disciplines. Until next time, be kind to yourself, your horses, and others.</p>

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