Susan Gordon – Co-Author of Compassionate Equestrian

Podcast Show Notes

Equine Business Builder, Laura Kelland-May, horse business, horse podcast
Susan Gordon – Co-Author of Compassionate Equestrian

Could you tell us a bit about what you do?  

I refer to myself as a “retired” trainer, although I am not officially retired from anything! I am heavily involved in everything I love to do, which includes continuing to ride for one client at a private home, pursue photography and art, and run. I race competitively and am currently preparing for two upcoming track meets. As well, I have a show of photography and paintings going up next week for the month of August at our local library.

How did you get started with your product/book/ riding?  

The book came about after several decades in the equine industry. My riding obsession began as a junior with a grade mare in the little town of Williams Lake, B.C., famous for its Stampede. Prior to acquiring my own horse, I was dragging my Mom to the pony rides in Vancouver’s Stanley Park as a youngster. That’s where I really got hooked on horses. I loved to study horse training and got my hands on as many books as I could, as well as reading magazines. “Horse & Rider” was my go-to mag in the early days. I was 14 years old and boarding my Appaloosa filly at a mixed-use, primarily Quarter-horse show barn in Calgary when I was introduced to jumping. I eventually sold my Western tack and switched over to English. In 1977 and 1978, Spruce Meadows started coming to our barn’s schooling shows. I approached Mrs. Southern and was fortunate enough to have her allow me to move my newly-acquired Appaloosa colt to the now-famous facility. I turned professional in 1983, after moving back to B.C. I was running an eventing barn with my ex-husband, whom I had met at Spruce Meadows. Soon afterward, I was hired by the late Michael Patrick to ride for him at Pine Meadows in Aldergrove. The Compassionate Equestrian is the cumulative result of all those experiences, and my personal journey through the joys and disappointments of riding and training as a professional. It is also a statement regarding some of the changes of heart and awareness I would like to see take place in riders that I believe would have a very positive effect on many riders of all ages, and hopefully the industry as a whole.

What do you think is the number one thing holding back people from doing what they want to do? 

Listening to other people, who—for some reason that usually stems from their own experiences and limitations—tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t be doing something. Yes, you must be realistic, but if you operate based solely on the opinions of others, especially if they have made you feel as though you’re doing something wrong when you know you aren’t, or are simply working toward becoming better, then a good practice of self-compassion is highly recommended. Remove the toxic people from your life.

Confidence is so important, and that confidence is conveyed through your product or skill. People appreciate authenticity more so than ever these days too. There is so much “noise” in the average person’s world, it is hard to find the appropriate balance between promoting oneself and skills/products, yet not becoming one of those annoying spammers whose posts and e-mails get deleted before being read.

There are popular clinicians and authors who travel consistently and I think it becomes a very wearying thing for them to carry on with at some point. The costs and cumbersome details of travel, especially internationally, have become prohibitive, and justifying costs against profits can be a challenge. I’ve chosen to promote The Compassionate Equestrian primarily through social networking rather than personal travel. It has been interesting to keep a close eye on trends via the multitude of online groups, individuals, and businesses related to the equine industry, all over the world. The book is meant to have a global reach, and technology allows us to have that reach very quickly.

How did you come up with your idea for your book?  

I had given up on teaching and training after 2 major issues arose while I was in Arizona. One, being climate change, and the other, the economic crash of 2008. Between the ever-increasing strength of the wind and dust storms and unusually high heat (even for Arizona), and the fact that some clients could no longer afford lessons, I eventually gave up. I went to film school in Vancouver with the intention to make a documentary about the plight of off-track thoroughbreds. My instructor encouraged me to look into the “dark side” of racing and the ultimate horrific demise of many ex-racehorses. The process led me to a woman who was very well versed in the industry and gave me a lot of insight into the backstories behind the slaughter issue. I was mortified, and realized I would need a huge legal team to go ahead with the documentary. So I shelved it. Then I made an exploratory trip to Salt Spring Island, just of the coast west of Vancouver, and ended up staying in a house that was owned by a client in the U.S. It was for sale, so it was a fortuitous set of circumstances that allowed me to stay there for the past 3 years, writing The Compassionate Equestrian. The idea flowed out of my desire to make the film, but quickly turned to thoughts of a book after I met Dr. Schoen on the island. We had very similar feelings about the state of horses, showing, and training from our personal perspectives and backgrounds, so our dialogues just worked out in a manner that was conducive to what became a rather lengthy tome.

What do you think is the number 1 reason people succeed when others don’t?  

Focus and willpower. I always told my students that if you want to do well at something, you have to do it a lot. It also helps to have an inspiring and very experienced mentor, which was most certainly the case in the form of my first riding instructor, the late Senior Judge and TD, Margaret Ellard of Calgary. My determination and perseverance with the horses, in spite of not being wealthy, is what got me through every situation I faced during my career. I knew I had been taught well, which got me through down times and criticism from others.

What was one of the major “roadblocks” you experienced when you set out on your journey?

As a trainer, I had only my reputation to work with, and the fact that I was riding for one of the continent’s top equitation stars. My own horses had to be sold due to limited expenses, including a fantastic young Hanoverian that would have been good enough to take to Grand Prix. I knew I was still learning, but appreciated every opportunity to ride Michael’s horses. They had a feel unlike any others I had ridden, and it was due to his talent that instilled an extraordinary jump even in a horse that may not have jumped so well under a different rider.

As for the book, there wasn’t much of a roadblock to the process. The words seemed to emerge without constraint and before I knew it, I had a much larger manuscript than anticipated. Coordinating times to get together for discussions with my busy veterinarian coauthor was probably the biggest challenge due to his active practice in New York and Connecticut. We made all the deadlines however, as once again, that focus and perseverance I was taught early in my career as a rider paid off!

What was the big “a-ha” moment when you knew you overcame one of the major roadblocks?  

I knew my own talent as a rider was confirmed when I won two gold medals in show jumping in the B.C. Summer Games in 1983 on a little b-track Thoroughbred mare who had failed in her second career as a cutting horse. She sold right after the Games, and then Michael approached me to ride at his barn. It was an opportunity I leapt at. Not having a top show jumper of my own did not seem to matter at the time, as I had done enough with a horse that was literally handed to me as a project only a year prior. She was so difficult nobody else enjoyed riding her, so it was a huge breakthrough for me to overcome the feeling that I needed a more extensive background with my own horses before being accepted into a top A-Circuit show barn as a professional.

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 – Where Susan Gordon gives some equitation tips.


Dr. Allen Schoen Co-Author of The Compassionate Equestrian

Podcast Show Notes

1. Could you tell us a bit about what you do?

Dr. Allen Schoen, Equine Business Builder, Laura Kelland May, Horse Jobs
Dr. Allen Schoen Co-Author of the Compassionate Equestrian

I am a pioneer in integrative, holistic veterinary medicine , author, social entrepreneur and am currently developing more compassionate approaches to animal health care.

To read more about Dr. Allen Schoen, please visit his author site.  Or you can visit

2. How did you get started with your product/book/ riding?

Along the journey in my continuing exploration of the question “What is Ultimate Healing?” for all beings, I was beginning to feel that any new approach to animal health care was almost like putting a band-aid on the Titanic, so to speak. Through various personal experiences I felt that the key create a deeper, more permanent healing of animals was to help heal the hearts and minds of human caretakers of our animal companions.

Through various synchronicities, I came to the realization that developing a compassionate heart and mind was the essence of creating a more compassionate, healthier, happier world. I was working on a book for all animal lovers when Susan Gordon, a holistic horse trainer approached me about creating a film and or book on a more compassionate approach to horses. Together, we discussed our different perspectives as a holistic integrative veterinarian and a horse trainer and felt that the combination could be of benefit to horses and their human caretakers.

3. What do you think is the number one thing holding back people from doing what they want to do?

These days, it seems there are endless ways that one can so easily become distracted. I sense that distraction from ones passion keeps everyone so busy. I call it “busy mind traffic”.

If one takes time to create times of quiet focused intention” and quiet themselves inside for a period of time each day, then one can come from a clearer place inside regarding what they would like to do. I would say that quieting the mind and heart is the key thing that holds people back from what they want to do.

For example you have a great product – why do you think people are not “going for it”?

Everyone is so busy and easily distracted by endless social media, endless to do lists, and they go from one distraction to another, ignoring one of the most important things in life, loving kindness and compassion for all beings. One of my favorite sayings when offering workshops is “One fills their life with distractions until they die, unless they wake up”. Every choice we make is an opportunity to create more distraction in our lives or to wake up. The choice is ours in each and every moment.

For example you are travelling and working and riding? What is the biggest set back that people face when trying to do what you do?

The biggest set back seems to be our busy mind traffic and endless to do lists. Becoming clear on what your passion is, what you would most like to do to be of benefit to the world and focusing your attention on that will create a foundation for your passion to manifest.

4. How did you come up with your idea for your book?

the Compassionate Equestrian, Laura kelland may, Equine Business Builders, horse jobs
The Compassionate Equestrian

I was working on a book like “The Compassionate Equestrian”, for all animal lovers based on my experiences and asking myself what the next step on my exploration of what is ultimate healing, and then Susan Gordon introduced herself to me and said she would like to do something like that for horses. Through long discussions, “The Compassionate Equestrian” unfolded.

5. What do you think is the number 1 reason people succeed when others don’t?

I would say one needs to have a vision, a passion for what they want to do and then the persistence to create it despite obstacles along the way.

6. What was one of the major “roadblocks” you experienced when you set out on your journey?

I realized that it could be quite a challenge to help people look at themselves and their lives with a more expansive view of how they might want to be of benefit to all beings. Sometimes, that question is not asked. If one does not ask the right questions, when will not come up with the right answers. Having people explore these deeper questions in the midst of our busy lives and busy minds can be quite challenging. Creating “The Compassionate Equestrian Movement” based on the 25 principles in the book takes time, focus and effort. I am pleased to see how many equestrians are reading the book, recognizing the essence of our message and shifting their perspective and approach to create a more compassionate equestrian community and through that helping to make the world a happier, healthier place for all beings.

7. What was the big “a-ha” moment when you knew you overcame one of the major roadblocks?

When I listened to my deep, silent inner voice and knew deep in my heart, that the approaches we discuss in “The Compassionate Equestrian” were the keys to ultimate healing and to help horses, horse lovers and the world.


Thank you for inviting me on your program and to share the insights we are sharing in “The Compassionate Equestrian”. I invite you all to become part of the compassionate equestrian movement through that my co-author, Susan Gordon facilitates. May your choices and actions be of benefit to all beings!

Joyce Chartier – Part 2 Equitation

Let’s move on to some specific equitation questions.

Why is good equitation and riding well so important?

Laura Kelland-May, Joyce Chartier, Equine Business Builders,
Joyce Chartier, Choyce LLC, Choyce Party Ponies

Well in my business with doing trail rides and and pony parties or anything like that, job one, is it keeps you from falling off! That is important.

That for me, is the most important thing. I find that often I’m  taking out people out in the woods, we may encounter obstacles, we may encounter animals.

Do you encounter one of those large ‘gators you see on Facebook?

Actually that’s really funny. I was taking a training horse out and I had people riding behind me and it was raining at Atlantic Ridge and the water was on all of the trails was really deep.

We were sloshing through a trail that was about two feet deep, and all of a sudden, I just, out of the corner of my eye looked down and I saw this huge out swelling coming out from underneath my horse. And I watched the water continue to swell up and then jumps out on the bank and it was a two foot gator.

The horse I was riding didn’t even budge. He just kept on acting like, I didn’t see a thing, I don’t know what you’re talking about. And I was like, oh my gosh, that was a ‘gator and it came right out from underneath my horse.

Those types of this is why I say equitation is really important because know, keeping your weight down in your heels, trying to predict what your horse is going to do, keeping your upper body back. People teach equitation in a ring and people teach English equitation are like bring that upper body forward, got that lovely two – point position, that’s all fine and wonderful.

I had a clinic with Aidan O’Connell about five or six years ago and Aiden O’Connell just put a video up on the mail about  riding out of the arena, riding outside fencing. That is when equitation becomes more important than anything, because if you’re not balanced and you’re not paying attention to what’s going on, you’re going to be off in a flash.

That is so huge. You know, people spend their lives inside the confines of the rings. I agree with you totally.

So what is the biggest challenge you see people are struggling with with their equitation. You get so many different types of people. People who have ridden a lot. People who have never ever ridden.

I have people that range from, I’ve never been on a horse before to grand prix riders ride my horses. I’ve got a friend of mine that is a retired steer wrestler. He rides. I go from people who don’t know how to ride hardly at all to people that ride way better than I’ll ever ride.

With beginners, here’s what I see, is that it’s easy to “over horse” yourself. People will sell you a horse that is more horse than you need to be on.

That’s what you mean by “over horse-ing”.They should be on fifteen two quiet quarter horse when they’re on or someone’s selling them a 17.2hh off the track thoroughbred that raced 2 weeks ago.

And they do it with their children. They do it as adults. They do it unknowingly. Oh, I want my child to grow up with the same companion. They will go and buy a young horse that the child has no business being on. Or for themselves. They’ll go out and find a disreputable person that may drug the horse. Or may misrepresent the horse, or maybe look at the horse and say, “oh it’s pretty, I want it”, and not even think about what they are going to ride the horse, to have anything to do with it.

There so many ways and mistakes can be made because people don’t know. They don’t know what you’re doing. And people selling horses, that it’s not their business. They just want the horse gone. They don’t pay attention to where the horse is going to go. And you’ll get people to come out and they’ll look at a horse for sale, they’ll be like, just get on it and go. Or friends have horses and their non- instructors themselves, but their horses are fine for them to ride and they will say, “come on over and jump on my horse, let’s go for a ride.

They can’t look at a person ‘s body and say this horse might be too much for them. they don’t know how to real what’s going on with a rider. The next thing you know, somebody’s fallen off, they’re getting hurt.

So they are not knowledgeable.

Not knowledgeable. There are too many horses in this world that are are not well trained. There are too many people who don’t want to spend money to pay for quality training and it is an accident waiting to happen.

So what tips can you give people now to help them, to help people who are listening here today?

Know what’s going on your horse ‘s head, and develop a strategy to avoid a fall. And I say avoiding them because they’ll happen no matter what happens you get on a horse plan on falling off. It’s just going to happen.

They don’t like to hear that.

But that’s what happens. And I I say that because I had one of my students, and it probably took her three or four years before she finally fell off, but it did happen.

You learn to ride better and then you take more risks. If you never take risks, you won’t have an issue. Very rarely will you have anything go wrong. I try extra, extra careful with my beginner riders. We always ride the level of the least rider. Any time I book a trail ride, and I’m like okay what’s your riding skills. And what’s your of friends  riding skills? And they’re like, well you know I’ve ridden, and I’m really good experience and I own my own horse.  And my friend is a beginner.Well you need to understand we will ride to the level of your friend who is a beginner. We are going to keep them safe.

You have to read the horse’s body language. You learn how to read horses body language. You have to feel what they’re feeling and have a plan if they spook.

It’s got to happen or you are going over face yourself. These are all things that most often happen, if you love horses and oh, I’m going to ride every week. Oh, I think this is a fabulous experience. I want to get into owning my own horse. Because a lot of people when they start  riding some people never get past the “oh I ride occasionally”. Most of the time they are pretty safe.

It is when you decide that you’re passionate about this and you want to learn all you can learn in the limited time you have on the planet. That’s  sometimes when accidents can happen.

I think that’s really good advice.

Are there any other things you would like to add to that?

Riding with a helmet. Riding with  an air vest or a safety vest. When I fox hunt, because I am one of those who is going to push my envelope. I  hunt with an air vest. I am attached by a lanyard to my saddle and when I separated from my horse my air vest immediately goes off.

When you were growing up, putting those baler twine,  hay bine, hay twine bridles on those three year olds, did you have a vest and a helmet?

I can picture it, you had a pair of cut off jean shorts and probably a halter top or bathing suit and maybe boots on. Maybe bare feet!

Probably bare foot or in tennis shoes, because you know I didn’t have to worry about falling out of the stirrup because, there was none!

They weren’t going to let us use any of their good equipment.

One challenge that I see people that are struggling with their equitation is that they just don’t ride enough.  And I will say the foxhunting and trail riding. those are all ways to get out in the saddle and spend hours and that’s what really makes a difference in your equitation.

Spending time in the tack!

I think that’s really good advice. I think we are going to wrap it up there Joyce.

I’d like to thank you Joyce Chartier for coming on our podcast today.

If you would like to visit Joyce, you can go to  and

Thank you for visiting us today.

Thank you.


Jess Paveley – Hufeisen Shoeing Company.

Would like to welcome Jess Paveley from Hufeisen Shoeing Company.

Equine Business Builder, Equine Entrepreneurs, Laura Kelland-May, equine podcasts
Corrective, Therapeutic Shoeing and Performance Shoeing

Thanks for having me.

Well, You’re welcome. Is that the correct name of your business Hufeisen Shoeing Company?

Yes Hufeisen Shoeing Company. Hufeisen means horse shoe in German.

So how come you went with a German name?

I spent some time shoeing in Germany and I thought it was appropriate.

Do you have a website you would like to share with us?

Yes I do. It is . If you don’t want to type out that mouthful you can go to and it will redirect you.

 Ottawa Farrier. Ca


Okay, Perfect. So could you tell us a bit about what you do and how you got involved with horses?

I am a farrier and also a blacksmith. So I trim and shoe horses as well as making metal sculptures and art.

Do you have any of your blacksmithing art on display anywhere?

This weekend I had a table on display at the Home and Garden Show.

Was if for sale? Did anyone buy it?

It wasn’t for sale. It was a display peice for Butcher Block Counter Tops.

Did anyone comment on it?or say “hey! I’d like to buy that.”

You know I just popped by to see it, in all its glory and took a couple of pictures. The fellow who had the booth said he was going to have these steel frames available on his website so we will see how that goes.

So can you send us a picture so we can put it up with the interview.

Yes I will.

Do you have any more upcoming events or new projects?

Equine Business Builder, Podcasts for Equestrians, Equine Entrepreneurs, Laura Kelland-May, Jess Paveley
Butcher Block Table Frame, Designed/Made by Jess Paveley

No new shows this summer. Right now I am building a fire pit which I am really excited about. And maybe I will send pictures of that to you as well.

How are you making a firepit?

Well it is made out of a car [tire] rim. A steel rim, that is where the fire will be and a decorative lid. It is going to be “in town” so it does have to have a lid.

By-law compliant.

Alright Jess, tell us how you got started with your riding.

My mom put me in riding lessons at the National Capitol Equestrian Park when I was seven years old. So that was over twenty years ago and I have been riding ever since.

You do English, hunter/jumper type stuff.


With your business what is the driving force to keep you going with your projects?

With my blacksmithing projects, probably just joy. I enjoy making stuff from other stuff. I do a lot with scrap metal.

How about with your farrier stuff, your horse shoeing stuff?

Well I also enjoy that. I enjoy seeing horse walk away happy and sound. And I like paying my bills. Why does anyone work?

You like doing your job and you like paying your bills. That is why we are here. It’s a “horse” job.

There must be a lot of farriers out there. How do you make yourself different?

There are a surprising number of farriers in Ottawa. What makes me different? You’ll have to ask my clients.

What is the number one thing holding people back from doing what they want to do? You are doing what you want to do,  You have gone through some “life changes”, why do you think people are NOT doing what they want to do?

I am doing what I want to do because I had a few people shove me. I knew what I wanted to do but was to afraid to start it. I got a big kick to get it done. I think the reason why most people don’t or aren’t doing what they want to do is because they are afraid of new things or getting out of their comfort zone or afraid of failing at the things they are going to try.

So do you think a mentor is important to have for someone starting out or to give some guidance? It sounds like your mentor pushed you in the right direction. Is that right?

Yes, that is right. A mentor can be anyone. It doesn’t have to be someone in your industry it can be someone with more experience. More life experience.

This may be a difficult question. What do you think your biggest “flop” was? Or maybe something that wasn’t so successful.

I don’t know if you would call it a ‘flop’, but I spent a lot of time moving around. And just having to build your business back up from nothing more than once is extremely hard.

Your a farrier, so moving around is not good for your business. So each time you moved you have to put yourself out there and get new clients and develop your base again. So you are going to be staying put in the Ottawa area for a little bit anyway.

Yes definitely. I am happy here. No plans to move anytime in the future.

What do you think your biggest success it?

I think that ties back into my biggest “flop” and being successful in each new place I lived. Because I had to move around and start over so often I had to constently putting myself out there, networking and talking with everyone I could, which was really, really hard for me. If you know me at all, you know it was really hard. As a result of pushing through, and not giving up, which would have been really easy, my business thrived. how hard it was.  go out

 What is the biggest setback people face when they try to do what you do?

I think people underestimate how hard it is. They think it is a brute strength when really it is a lot of anatomy and finesse.

So why do you think the number one reason people succeed when others don’t in the farrier scheme of things?

I think the main issue is business skills. I think you can be a really good farrier with poor business skills and you will fail. I think you can be a mediocre farrier with reasonably good business skills and you will most likely succeed.

That is a really good piece of advice. Good for when you set out in any business.

With respect to your farrier what was one of the major road block you experienced when you set out on your journey?

I think one of the major roadblocks for me was gender, starting out. I had more than one male farrier who I asked to ride with, say “no”, purely because I was a woman. And “what would people think?” It was really hard for me to find someone that would let me ride along.

Do you mean they were wondering what would people think about them riding with a woman? Or that you are a female farrier?

Of them riding with a woman. I don’t think the issues was my being a  female farrier at all.

That being said, when I was starting out and would show up on farms people were always surprised and they would say, “oh! A female farrier, I haven’t seen one of those”. I found it reasonably difficult to be taken seriously.

Has that changed at all, for you these days?

Yes it has. I don’t have to fight as hard to be taken seriously as a farrier. Some people will walk out to the barn to and go, “oh wow, female”, but people don’t stand over me looking at my work.

Making sure you are doing it right?

Exactly! Making sure I do it like a man would do it.

What was an Ah-ha moment when you knew you had overcome one of those roadblocks?

I’m not sure it was one moment necessarily but more of a progression of my business. When people started calling me and say, “my horse has this problem, can you help him”.

I knew people were more aware of my ability and less of my gender. Another thing that ties into that is that when I moved back to Ottawa people thought I was fresh out of school. Secretly I think that had to do with my being a young woman. I think I have been able to push past it and be successful the short time I’ve been here.

Excellent. Good to hear you were able to overcome that. That is a key thing when people start calling you in your business. You’ve gone past what you need to get past for the type of work you do.

Okay Jess that is the business end of things completed. Now we are going on to the equitation questions. I know you are looking forward to this.

Why is equitation and riding well so important?

I think riding well is so important because if you don’t you will never get to where you want to go. On the one hand if you want to ride a Grand Prix course you will never get around it if you are riding down hill but on the other hand if you want to hack your horse out and you don’t have good basics, where are you going to end up? On the ground.

So riding well is important for everybody, for safety as well.

What’s the biggest challenge you see people are struggling with their equitation?

I see a lot of people that don’t have a good base of support. Their legs are flopping around, their stirrups are too short, they are riding with a chair seat. It affects everything from the legs up. It affects your seat, your shoulders, your posture, your hands.

So the basic riding skills. Lunge lessons that type of thing.

Yes. I hate to say it yes, but basic riding skills.

What are some tips you could give right now to help prevent, stop or correct the problem that you are seeing?

People are going to hate me for this one. I am going to say, no stirrups.

That is a favorite with everybody, riding without stirrups. Any specific exercises without stirrups?

I don’t know there are so many.

Just pick one and go with it right?

Okay Jess. I would like to thank you so much for coming into the studio today. Is there any other thing you’d like to say about your business or anything we didn’t cover  that you would like to say?

No, I think that is everything.

Thanks for having me Laura.


 Thank you. That was Jess Paveley.  and


Episode 0004-B Emily Wolff – Equine Massage Therapist

Part 2 of interview with Emily Wolff of Heart to Hand Equine Massage.

EmilyWolff - RMT 1Would like to welcome you to Equine Business Builders

Part B –

Introduction –

Now we are going to move on to some equitation questions. Are you ready for some equitation questions?

 Yes I think so.

This will be very applicable for you. We did talk a bit about how the rider influences the horse You see that quite often right?

Why is good equitation and riding well so important?

Good question. Good equitation is so important because our balance can throw the horse off balance. If we are not riding well, the horse is always going to mirror us. It is important to give them a sense of confidence in themselves. A good horse you will be able to give them confidence. The better stronger position you have the better you can help the horse.


What is the number one thing you see. What is the biggest mistake you see in riders, I guess.

Whooo, that is a bit of a loaded question.

Not mentioning any names!

A lot of us, myself included, don’t always have that smooth following arm. I think this is from a tightness in our pecs and a weakness in our core and we are not able to hold ourselves in a position where our arms can move freely. This is a huge component, I see it time and time again, bracing the hands and breaking the wrists. Tight elbows that aren’t moving and not following, rounded shoulders. I think it is related to a weakness in the core, to the muscles in the core.

I think it is not as common at the upper levels or even mid summer when we are showing and riding a bit more. In general not having a following rein.

Do you think some riders should be fitter. To do some exercises to help strengthen their core? Do you think that would help?

Yes one-hundred percent.I think core strength is vital for us not only for us as riders but as humans.

I am sitting here as if I am sitting on a horse and I am holding myself up. I have to say I do a lot of core exercises.

And I think I have pretty soft hands…

Anyway – moving along.

What are some tips you could give right now to either prevent, stop or correct  the problem. I think we kind of mentioned it, core exercises.

Core, core strength definitely.

My equine massage therapist heart is such a big fan of grooming and currying and [taking care of the horse by] flushing the blood after we ride and stimulating the skin before we ride. And stretching exercises.

I am going to give you my favorite exercises. Is to just back the horse up in hand. Nice and slowly. You stretch the whole body basically.  Nice and slowly and quietly back up the horse in hand between 10 and 20 steps. It does a great job for the pelvisand legs and for all those muscles that are classically tight.

That is my one major tip, more grooming and whole body stretch.

Excellent – those are really good tips.

Thank you Emily. That is it for my questions here. Is there anything that you would like to add?

I would like to thank you again one more time for having me here today and this whole community you are building. The more we collaborate together the more massage therapists vets, chiropractors and riders and trainers, the more we all work together, the better it is for the horses at the end of the day.

That is my big why, so I so appreciate you having this podcast having me here and everything you are doing.

Thank you so much Emily. I really appreciate it.

It’s bringing people together for a common purpose. We all have this common theme of working and helping with horses. If we can all get together and mentor people coming up, I think it is going to be fantastic.

I appreciate saying what you said so thank you so much.

Absolutely, thanks Laura.

If you would like to contact Emily please visit Heart to Hand Equine Massage