Core Conditioning for Horses
Yoga-Inspired Warm-Up Techniques: Increase Suppleness, Improve Bend, and Unlock Optimal Movement
Every equestrian wants to know: what is the difference between the horse that “dances” when you are on him, and the one that doesn’t? According to Visconte Simon Cocozza, Trainer and Examiner for the La Fédération Française d'Equitation (FFE), it all comes down to the horse’s posture. The horse’s ability to use the powerful mechanisms already built into his body relies not upon the strength we can see on the outside but the strength on the inside. This invisible and complex arrangement of internal “core” muscles control the horse’s posture, suppleness, and agility. Their good condition is the key to the dance. Equine core muscles are very difficult to isolate with the traditional training techniques common to horse sports. However, by examining what we do with the human body when faced with a weak core, we can find new methods for conditioning these areas of the equine body. Visconte Cocozza has taken principles of the human practice of yoga and used them to develop novel ways of reaching deep within the horse’s body and gently “unlock” areas that may be a little “rusty,” improve core fitness, and even relieve pain related to conditions such as kissing spine. In this book, he provides step-by-step instruction explaining easy mounted exercises that enhance the horse’s posture, and boost his confidence in his body and movement, making him easier to ride, and ultimately, the dance partner you’ve always imagined.