Horse Riding is one of the only sports that we do not warm up for, why is this? We expect the best out of our horses despite us not being able to give them the best of ourselves. Yoga on its own is amazing for the rider, it helps with your balance, coordination, core strength, hips, flexibility and much more so why not give Yorse a try!
Yorse (Horse Yoga) is an animal assisted activity which works holistically connecting mind, body, soul and horse. Animal assisted activities have been scientifically proven to the lower amount of stress hormone cortisol which is produced and increase the amount of oxytocin and serotonin the feel good hormones! Yorse is an extremely beneficial aid for stressed animals and humans and can help with stereotypies in horses, mental health with humans and overall well being. You do not need to be stressed though to benefit from Yorse. Yorse is a fun and mindful way to increase your fitness, strength and flexibility. It gives you and your horse a new activity to do which does not put pressure on your horse to perform, instead it allows them to relax and gives them a massage at the same time.
Yorse is a combination of yoga positions (asanas) on the ground and/or mounted (bare back or saddled) to music with your horse. It is beneficial for both human and horse, to participate you do not even need riding experience, nor do you have to mount the horse. Sessions are horse and person centred making sure that we are in tune with the horses needs as well as our own. Being aware of the horses body language enables you to work with your horse in perfect harmony.
Yorse will strengthen the bond between you and your horse, allowing you to connect to him or her on a deeper level. It will also help you both release stress, tension and anxieties. You will become increasingly stronger, more balanced physically and mentally. If you are a competitive rider it helps improve your dressage, show jumping, eventing, cross country and polo. For anxious, novice or young riders Yorse is a great way to build your confidence. It will also help relax you and your horse before you compete or ride. Most importantly it is super fun and is for everyone!
Private 1 hour class £80 per hour
Group class minimum 4 people max 20 £20pp
If travelling over 22 miles away or 30 mins, travel expenses will be added to price of the session.
Yoga/Yorse has so many benefits for the competition horse rider.
If you look at dressage for example you ask your body to perform specific movements that come up thick and fast and you need to have the strength, mobility and awareness to perform them. Breathing is so important, for example you can slow a pace and control a movement by slowly breathing out, the horses can feel that shift through your core and they respond to it. When I come up the centre line to start my test I want power and that sense of ‘wow’ but as I reach C and track right or left everything needs to slow and collect so that you can smoothly make that turn without affecting the horses rhythm. Correct breathing helps to promote that relaxation in the rib cage and shoulders so that the rider moves as one with the horse without tension. I don’t know why but as riders during a test or a show jumping round we forget to breathe and tension and mistakes creep in. It is such a simple thing we could learn to control.
Not only does yoga improve your core stability and flexibility to be able to help your horse perform to a higher level I can see how it would help to train your mind. When you are in a stressful situation like a competition you need to be able to control your thoughts and emotions and be mentally flexible. The horse looks to you as leader and you need to be able to keep your cool and think clearly.
I have seen myself how combining the session of yoga on your horse develops that bond you have and the trust you need to jump those show jumps together and gallop cross country. It is also a lot of fun and a break for both horse and rider from regular training sessions.