WHAT DOES WORKING AS PART OF AN EQUINE TEAM MEAN? BY YASMIN STUART

I’ve just come back from the most amazing clinic in Ireland. Together with Georgie Welge, Equitopia’s lead saddle fitter, and Katja Porenta, Equitopia’s lead bodyworker, we provided a clinic for 6 horses and their riders. 

HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED

The clinic began with assessments, which were carried out for each horse. This included walk and trot up in straight lines and on a circle, static postural assessment including taking note of their hoof balance and finally acknowledging their head and mouth from a bridle/bit fit perspective. Notes were taken and every owner was provided with a detailed report of their horse. 

A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH

The initial assessment helped us to make plans moving forward. Every horse on the clinic received bodywork from Katja, followed by saddle/bitting/bridle advice and necessary adjustments from Georgie and then training from myself (both on the lunge, ridden and some unmounted rider posture). Our capacity to draw information from different fields of expertise meant that we were able to tailor treatment and training to target the specifics of every horse/rider’s individual needs- providing them with the tools to allow them to continue to grow after the clinic. 

CHANGE IS AMAZING!

It astonishes me every time I see a horse and rider combination change. Especially after just two days. But what I adore the most is the light in every rider’s eyes at the end of the clinic. The adoration they radiate for their horse, no matter the breed, the build, the stage in training. That wholehearted love and pride for their horse is something I wish I could bottle up and take with me everywhere to gift to everyone who needs a little help to see just how special their horse is.

LEARNING IS A LIFELONG THING

However, working as a team isn’t just for the benefit of the horse and rider. It’s about cultivating an environment where the whole team can develop and grow together. 

The finished article doesn’t exist, there will always be more research, there will always be new life experiences, different horse/rider partnerships with their own experiences that shape their own dynamic. Therefore, we must remain open minded, humble and receptive to change. Everyone has a story that shapes who they are. Everyone needs a team around them to help them be their best self. It’s not always flowers and rainbows- honesty is a necessity and the hardest thing about change is being able to acknowledge that at some point we weren’t the person who we’d like to be now. I believe personal experiences change how we conduct ourselves in our professional career, acknowledging this is the keystone in being able to develop ourselves. But it’s your team that can help you to spot your strengths, highlight your weaknesses and keep you grounded- there’s no place for an ego here. A support network both professionally and personally to help you be the best you, and ultimately help you provide the best service to the people around you.

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, AND ARE INTERESTED IN RELATED CONTENT, YOU MAY ACCESS SOME OF OUR OTHER RESOURCES FOLLOWING THE LINKS BELOW:

ONLINE COURSE – Compassionate Training for Today’s Sport Horse at: https://www.equitopiacenter.com/shop/compassionate-training-for-todays-sport-horse/

ONLINE COURSE – The Essential Guide to Saddle Fitting at: https://www.equitopiacenter.com/shop/the-essential-guide-to-saddle-fitting/

BLOG POST – Asymmetry in Horses at: https://www.equitopiacenter.com/asymmetry-in-horses/

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