Core Conditioning for Horses: Yoga-Inspired Warm-Up Techniques: Increase Suppleness, Improve Bend, and Unlock Optimal Movement

Core Conditioning for Horses: Yoga-Inspired Warm-Up Techniques: Increase Suppleness, Improve Bend, and Unlock Optimal Movement

by Simon Cocozza


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781570768040
Publisher: Trafalgar Square
Publication date: 07/23/2019
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 345,286
Product dimensions: 7.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

After a lovely childhood in Rome, Italy, Simon Cocozza was educated in England. The family passion for horses inspired him to study for the British Horse Society's BHSAI, followed by the Instructor training of the Advanced National Certificate in Equine Business Management at Warwickshire College of Equine Studies. This led to many years as a professional trainer contracted to some of England’s large equestrian centers. After returning to mainland Europe, Simon studied with some wonderful mentors and became driven to overcome the limits set by the horse industry on horses, and to discover the unifying principles behind Greek, Roman, and the Renaissance school of equestrian art to find ways of helping each and every horse be as healthy, happy and useful as can be. From his stable in Normandy, France, Simon became the first non-French national to obtain the Brevet Professionnel and become a Trainer and Examiner for the La Fédération Française d'Equitation (FFE). He now coaches biomechanically sound training techniques internationally.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part One: Understanding the Horse’s Core 7
1 The Back: Where All Movement Begins 9
The Magic Inside Every Horse 9
Mother Nature’s Perfect Design 10
The Silent Language of the Herbivore 20
Riding “Feels” 22
Taming the “Snorting Beast” 24
Releasing the Natural Athlete 28

2 The Source of Force in the Horse: The Core 37
The Power of Three Will Set You Free 44
The Dark Side of the Core 54

3 Horses Are People, Too 65
The Human Touch 66
Using the Warm-Up to Condition the Core 68
Yoga: Kind to the Core 72

4 Assessing the Horse’s Core and Choosing a Warm-Up Plan 81
The Core Score 82
Non-Ridden Core Indicators 100
Choosing Your Warm-Up Plan 107
Putting It All Together 110
Special Considerations 111

Part Two: The Core Conditioning Exercises 115
5 How to Ride from the Horse’s Core 117
Building Blocks: What You Need to Know for the Core Exercises 119
The Three Exercise Levels: Release, Coordination, and Tone 123
Head-and-Neck Positions (HNP) 130
Yoga-Inspired Warm-Up Aids 136

6 10 Core Exercises for the Horse 151
Getting Started 151
Exercise 1: The Half-Moon Pose/The Core Release Volte 156
Exercise 2: The Yoga Half-Split/The Turn on the Forehand 169
Exercise 3: The Cat Pose/Forward,, Down, and Out (FDO) 186
Exercise 4: The Balancing Table to Tiptoe Chair Poses/Forward and Back 198
Exercise 5: The Chair Pose/The Driving Seat 211
Exercise 6: The Garland Pose/The Rounding Rein-Back 223
Exercise 7: The Revolved Triangle Pose/The Limbering Leg-Yield 238
Exercise 8: Thread the Needle Pose/The Perfect Pirouette 250
Exercise 9: The Cat to Cow Pose/Forward, Down, and Out to Competition Outline 264
Exercise 10: The Revolved Half-Moon Pose/La Giravolta Longe 274

7 Happy Bendy Horsey!
Practice Makes Perfect 288

Acknowledgments 291
Index 293

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