On this transformative five day course, we will look at how we can use mind, body and breath to connect with horses.
This intensive course is suitable for people with no previous experience with horses and who simply want to learn how to communicate with these wonderfully sensitive animals as well as those with some experience with horses who want to improve their connection with them. No experience of yoga or meditation is necessary.
In the yoga classes, you will will explore the balance between strength and softness within ourselves with a view to strike the right balance when interacting with our horses. You will also learn yogic breathing techniques that can be used to increase concentration and improve communication with the horses. Finally, through the practice of mindfulness meditation, you will learn how to become more aware of your emotions and how to develop a non-reactive mind, an essential life skill when dealing with horses.
In the horse sessions, you will learn how to develop a true connection and how to communicate with horses in a centred and sensitive way, with respect for his whole being and without any use of force. This part of the workshop will include work at liberty (where the horse is loose in an enclosed area with their handler) and groundwork (when the handler is leading the horse with a rope), but does not include riding. You will be taught how to use your body in a soft but clear way to communicate with your horse. You will learn the importance of intention before technique, and how to let horses have their own opinion. Finally, you will learn how to use the techniques taught in the yoga classes when interacting with the horses.
You will have opportunities to test this connection with your horse during the afternoon treks!
Christophe started studying and practicing yoga daily in Ireland in 1994. He is certified by the Independant Yoga Network as a senior (1000 hours) teacher, and, with his partner Ciara, he runs a farm and a retreat centre on an Island off the coast of Ireland.
He originally trained as a yogateacher in 1998. He has studied many different styles of yoga and has a keen interest in practicing with the breath.
His quest for a broader, more balanced practice led him to study Buddhist teachings on ethics, mindfulness and meditation and his practice also includes anapana sati (mindfulness of breathing) and metta (loving kindness) meditation.
Christophe is also a very experienced horseman and a long time horse owner. He has studied Intelligent Horsemanship with Kelly Marks (a student of Monty Roberts) and Positive Horsemanship with Vanessa Bee (founder of the Horse Agility Club). He has also been inspired by the writing of Mark Rashid, Linda Kohanov and Chris Irwin (amongst others), and he is currently studying the Horsefulness system of Karine Vandenbore.
He is also an experienced barefoot trimmer, and is passionate about natural horse care.
His passion for horses led him to explore the therapeutic aspects of the horse / human relationship, and he is a trained Equine Assisted Learning facilitator with EAGALA. He has been teaching course combining yoga, horsemanship and mindfulness for a number of years.
Timetable for the course:
8.30 to 10.00, morning yoga class (posture and movement)
11.00 to 13.00 Horsemanship
trail riding in the afternoon
17.00 to 18.00 evening pranayama class (breathwork)
Course cost is 850 Euro and includes 5 nights full board shared accommodation, yoga, horsemanship and trekking.