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In horsemanship, we are aware of how many elements are involved in good horsemanship. There is the health of the horse, the fit of the equipment we are using, our skills as a rider, our relationship with the horse… each matters equally, and the more educated we become as horse people, the more clearly we see the importance of all parts of riding. 

Each of these areas has its own parts as well. For example, for the health of the horse there is nutrition, hoof care, dental care, fitness and conditioning. Each may be examined individually but is also always part of the whole. 

The same exists for our part as a rider, we need physical skills, fitness, a certain level of knowledge, and mental skills too. This is where an interesting parallel is seen in the principles of yoga, specifically in a concept called the eight-limbed path, which describes the principles of yoga as a guide for life, beyond postures and movements.

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22 Responses

  1. I love this, Callie. Your connections between yoga and horsemanship are great. And speaking about the 8 limbs of yoga (rather than just thinking about it as exercise) is a huge service to the yoga community on its own! Thanks!

  2. I love you are connecting yoga and horsemanship. During my yoga teacher training I’ve practiced breathing techniques on my horse and it works. If someone is struggling with anxiety breathing really helps and immediately the horse will feel/sense your calmness and in the end it connects you closer to your horse

  3. For years –44– I have practiced YOGA with the intent of tuning in with my horses, and retaining flexibility and supplements as aging. I’m 75 and very much alive with my riding– two horses a day for five days a week.

    I’ve always thought that yoga is the natural partner with riding…I’m so happy that you’ve seen the connection and are teaching hundreds of riders the skills.
    I’ve never heard of the eight limbs– so that was a new and important insight. Thank you so much Callie, for this opportunity.

    The worldwide nature of the group is great. I’m from California but live in the countryside of Quito, Ecuador with our four horses grazing right here at home.

  4. Bravo! You hit a home run with your 8 Limbs of Yoga video! Most yoga classes do not bring up the 8 Limbs of Yoga, instead focusing on the asana, maybe some pranayama. I’m looking forward to the yoga classes. It really helps with all aspects of riding. I’m a certified yoga instructor, Namaste

  5. This is great, thanks Callie! I am looking forward to learning more. The limb I have the greatest challenge with is concentration. No matter how well I practice being present, I find that my mind keeps wandering, and naturally so does my horse. I would like to find the balance between just being present and also having a plan, without coming across to my horse as “having an agenda”. As soon as she senses that, she becomes resistant-on the other hand when I don’t know what we are going to do, she tends to want to take over. She is a very dominant mustang 🙂

  6. So excited to be part of the group! Hope to learn all I can. My problem has always been posture and lack of balance that comes from it. Both my mare and myself are getting “ a little long in the tooth” but still very anxious to learn all we can. Am in Texas but haven’t seen many responding from here!

  7. I haven’t yet decided on any particular limb or two that would most apply to riding and horses for me, but what I would hope is that the words labeling the limbs and the verbal descriptions can actually be put into the yoga movement practice, so I’m learning them through my body, not just intellectually.

  8. I was drawn to withdrawal of senses. To me that meant those moments when you feel totally in flow. In a perfect trot, or the moment a horse’s eyes soften and they seem to deeply connect with me.

  9. Several of the limbs struck me as I am recovering from a bad accident I had in September and trying to get my mind prepared for riding again. My horse will go off to training soon and I plan to begin some ground work with him this coming week. I only purchased him last april and I feel we really did not have enough time to connect or bond prior to the accident. I’m willing to try anything that will help me with my riding both mentally and physically..

  10. Concentration and meditation go hand in hand. For me I would like to balance the two. When I’m riding my horse I’m able to concentrate, but I often let negative judgment of myself filter into my mindset. I feel that I will be able to have a deeper connection to my horse when I can let the things that don’t serve us go. I love the idea of fusing yoga and horsemanship. Thank you for sharing this informative video.

    1. The mental benefits of yoga will be so beneficial to help you work through this Dawn!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  11. I have been trying to work at Pilates to grow a stronger core and become more flexible , had a break over Festive season , unfortunately!

    The 8 limbs in your ‘Yoga Tree’ make complete sense and I am very keen to join the group.

    I live in South Africa in a village I’m a Nature Reserve ,,magnificent place , my two horses , one 21 year old he’s been with since he was 5yrs old) still incredibly fit and a great ride and a youngster form the same stud who is very talented and still learning the basics , strong , right and attention span difficult to keep!! .lookimg forward to getting myself in better shape to help my lads more xx

  12. I’ve been practicing yoga for about a year in order to better connect with my horses. I can definitely see improvement in my balance but think I need to focus on the limb of concentration. Thank you for offering yoga specifically for equestrians. I’m so excited about the upcoming sessions.

  13. Dear Callie,
    We are Hugh fans from Europe, Holland.
    The yoga and calming training are of great assistance to us.
    It helps us connect to our horse and focus on all they are giving to us.
    Thank you very much!
    Heleen

    1. Heleen, thanks for being a part of our community! Looking forward to having you in the free classes 🙂

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  14. I love this — it was presented clearly but simply. I wrote down the 8 Limbs of Yoga for reference as it is a new concept for me and really triggered some thinking about my relationship with my horses. I love the FB group, the international nature of it and the amount of information shared in a positive and supportive way. Very excited to begin the yoga classes. Thank you!

    1. Hi Bonnie! Thanks for being a part of our community – so glad to hear you enjoyed this video and our Facebook group!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  15. Thank you Callie. You have simplified and communicated information that has connetec with me. Looking forward to the Yoga videos.

  16. I have signed up. My cousin will be joining me. I’m new to riding but I’m stiff and she has a hip injury that she is recovering from but it makes her stiff as well. We both love yoga and can’t wait to get started.

  17. What a great analogy. Withdrawal of senses and meditation resonate especially. I hadn’t thought of those. Callie you are a brilliant and inspiring teacher. Thank you

  18. I have recently started doing a little yoga to help with relaxation and strengthening my body. I have found that the breathing techniques I have learnt in yoga have really helped in my riding, especially when I am riding Oreo who just wants to go. By controlling my breathing it has really calmed her and we find a good rhythm more easily and she settles and listens to me. It has also helped me with awareness of my own body. I am looking forward to exploring some of the other branches/limbs.

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