Kindred Spirit Whole Horse Care, Inc.

Kindred Spirit Whole Horse Care, Inc. Assessment and Evaluation Services with a Whole Horse Approach

Operating as usual


The back of the mouth mirrors the front..


We are excited to share the news that Mark’s new book, “For the Love of the Horse” will be released this September by Trafalgar Square! You’ll be able to order autographed copies from our website, or purchase digital and print versions from your favorite bookstores or online retailers.


Visit the BEAUTIFUL state of Michigan this summer… and meet Jillian, too!

Jillian is headed up to Parma, Michigan July 15-18 for a Course 1 Clinic! If you haven’t taken Course 1 yet, what are you waiting for?

Learning about the functional anatomy of the horse sounds intimidating… But fortunately, Jillian is known for her easy-to-understand process of teaching you how form and function can apply to your riding.

For more information or to sign up for the course, please contact Terra Bortels at [email protected]

Harry will be here soon in Rogersville TN! Can't wait!!!

Harry will be here soon in Rogersville TN! Can't wait!!!


Happy St Patrick's Day 💚☘️💚 to all our Donkey Friends and Followers! Thank you for loving Donkeys and Mules 💚☘️💚 ~ Ariane


𝗕𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗔𝗹𝗹 𝗧𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀, 𝗚𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗦𝗺𝗮𝗹𝗹

"Poland 2019...Manolo had noticed this tree on the way to the restaurant and on the way back he examined it carefully and then gave it a short embrace.

I have noticed on previous trips together that when tired, he will find a tree he likes and go rest underneath it or by its side. He takes good care of his own trees.

Trees also feature often in his explanations about training for wellness.

This is one of them:

“I remember that a man would come to prune the orange trees on my father’s farm.

First he would study a tree from a distance to assess the overall shape for symmetry.

Then he would cut away any branches that gave the tree an unbalanced appearance.

He would take out wood to open up the middle of the tree so that the inside branches got more sunlight and could grow stronger and thicker.

I came to understand that this was not about how the tree looked, but about how it felt.

If the tree was not balanced, if one side was heavier to hold up than the other side, then the tree was working too hard. It would not rest in autumn and winter after producing flowers in spring and bearing fruit in summer.

It would become tired, producing fewer flowers and fruit each year.

With balance and symmetry came more flowers and more fruit.

Because the tree was not tired, the fruit would be bigger. And the tree could carry its abundance more easily because it was in balance.

I came to see that training a horse is just like that.

You assess the overall horse; you get a feeling for what he needs to find balance. Then you use technique to create that balance.”

This piece appeared in PRE Magazine as one of several written answers to questions submitted by clinic organizer and trainer Holly Hansen and in Hilary Austen's book: "Artistry Unleashed: A Guide to Pursuing Great Performance in Work and Life

Photos from David Landreville- On the Vertical's post

Photos from David Landreville- On the Vertical's post


Front foot 19 year old Arab


Sometimes when you offer relaxation to horses, or the ingredients that allow for it that is, they take you up on it readily. Some horses are like fertile soil when that first drop of water hits- they soak it up and blossom into something beautiful right before your eyes.

I wouldn’t say that some horses don’t WANT to be relaxed- they certainly do. But some horses won’t trust it. Some have protected themselves with tension and distrust for so long, the invasive requests to soften and settle feel like a someone prying into a barricade- the more you pry and poke and pick at it, the more the shields come up. With those horses, it’s best to remember you can’t force relaxation. You can’t make it happen.

Your best chance is to offer the conditions and relax yourself - we can get too eager to MAKE, even when it’s for the horse’s good. It can be hard to give it time, but day in and day out, you can prove to this horse by being consistently trustworthy, in your actions, handling, position with riding and gentle provocations at relaxing their neck, back, and body- they might sneak a little yawn here or stretch there- don’t get greedy. Don’t get excited and try asking for more and have them hole back up. Just keep being the same, day in and day out, until it’s safe for them to come out of their armor.

Photo by Melinda Yelvington


𝗠𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗪𝗲𝗹𝗹:
𝗚𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗛𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲
𝗚𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗬𝗼𝘂

𝘞𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘣𝘺 𝘊𝘢𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘓𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘩, 𝘗𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘥𝘏𝘰𝘳𝘴𝘦 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴, 2014

Manolo speaks of the in-hand trainer being like an orchestra conductor and creating music with the horse by using his bamboo cane to organize and activate the horse’s body just as a conductor activates different sections of the orchestra to create a symphony. As he does, a conductor’s baguette moves fluidly and effortlessly in the air, and so does Manolo’s bamboo cane.

The conductor’s baguette points and energetically touches and connects with parts of the orchestra. Of course when we do in-hand work, while we can point, we can also connect physically with parts of the horse but if you watch Manolo work there is a lightness to his touch that contains this “in the air”, light as a feather, quality.

There is fluidity and grace in how the bamboo travels in the air which comes from decades of in-hand experience but also comes from Manolo’s intent, his own body awareness and how he chooses to step through life with or without a bamboo.

I have observed for many years how Manolo moves like a dancer and how he enjoys movement. Anyone who has seen him run in the arena knows this. There is a playfulness to how he uses his body in space and an intuitive understanding of symmetry and rhythm.

𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘀𝗮𝘃𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗳 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗺𝗼𝗻𝗶𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 Manolo does.

Watch him sweep a broom, trim a hedge, harrow an arena, dig a hole, hammer in a post. There is an innate understanding of timing, cadence, volumes, movement, equilibrium, and harmony in the most mundane tasks.

Manolo flows and yet he is very precise, his geometry always elegant.

When you practice with your bamboo (without your horse at first as you develop your dexterity) you may think of yourself as a cross between a dancer, a fencer (with a sword) and a conductor because you want to develop the ability to move fluidly, with a great range of motion, while in motion.

As you hold your bamboo, you want to practice twirling it, lengthening it by extending your arm, shortening and bringing it back by retracting your arm or moving your hand, pointing it at the sky, the ground, to the left and right…etc….

All these motions are designed to improve your brain/hand/bamboo connection and spatial awareness and will go towards making the bamboo simply an extension of your arm and hand.

Until movement becomes organic.

Your goal in the beginning is not to be able to hit a target precisely as you walk around on fixed travel lines but instead, to be able to move as one with your bamboo, to dance with it, to remove any inhibition in your body and mind about having to hold a foreign object and move it around.

You want to dance with your bamboo, trace ribbons in the sky with it, listen to its sound when you shake it fast in the air and it vibrates and changes the air around it.

As you do, pay great mind to creating a rhythm and avoiding jerky and abrupt movements.

Look to create shapes that are harmonious.

𝗟𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀, 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗳𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗷𝘂𝗱𝗴𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁, 𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗶𝗰𝘂𝗹𝗲, 𝗰𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗾𝘂𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗹𝗲𝘁 𝗶𝘁 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗴𝗼.

As the awkwardest of holding a long cane and moving it around subsides, think of yourself as a dancer:

💃Your wrists, supple
💃Your elbows supple
💃Your shoulders supple
💃Your trunk supple
💃Your knees supple
💃Your ankles supple
🕺Your spine supple
🕺Your neck supple
🕺Your jaw supple
💃Your eyes soft
🕺Your jaw relaxed
💃Your lips soft
🕺and your breath easy.

𝗜𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗮𝗺𝗯𝗼𝗼 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗯𝗲 𝗳𝗹𝗲𝘅𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱 who will have gained the ability to adapt, twirl, lengthen, gather, turn in step with your horse, as you help shape his posture.

There can be inhibitions at first in holding a bamboo and doing this work. Worrying one is doing it wrong and feeling the eyes of others on oneself or imagining them.

Feeling awkward and cumbersone with two left feet like an arena wall flower.

This is why remembering how you experienced the pure joy of movement is important and giving yourself a private, safe place to practice alone or with your horse is equally important.

That and time.

Too often, working with horses is so codified it becomes stultifying and creates stiff handlers.

This leads to stiff horses and eventually unsound horses.

Training rigidity in mind and body creates a distance between the horse and us.

𝗛𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗮𝘂𝘁𝘆 𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮 𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗱𝗲𝗻 𝗼𝗿 𝗶𝗻-𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲 𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗱𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝗼𝗻𝗲, 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲, 𝗯𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲, 𝗽𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿, 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗶𝘀 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝘄𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝗺𝘂𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗯𝘆 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗲, 𝗯𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗱 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗲, 𝗯𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝗰𝗮𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗷𝗼𝘆 𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘀𝗼 𝘄𝗲 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗯𝗲 𝗮 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗱𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗻𝗲𝗿.

There is much to benefit a handler in the simple act of picking up a bamboo, in order to work as Manolo does, for one who pays attention. It can bring you back to a time when your body held no shame or fear and when moving, jumping, twirling, cartwheeling, running, skipping, dancing came as naturally as breathing and could make you almost giddy with pleasure and pride. The very same e-motions that make all horses beautiful.

This way of training truly benefits the handler just as much as the horse.

𝗧𝗼 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗼 𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗪𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀™️ 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗠𝗮𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗼'𝘀 𝟯 𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗶𝗻-𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗹𝘂𝗻𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘃𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗼 𝗶𝗻 𝗗𝗩𝗗 𝗼𝗿 𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 $𝟯𝟰.𝟵𝟱 (𝗨𝗦𝗗) 𝗽𝗹𝘂𝘀 𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗳 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗴𝗼 𝘁𝗼:



Offer includes:

+ 24- page in-hand work booklet (pdf)

+ Access to a Facebook Group with bonus videos and hundreds of questions answered.

If you purchase the streaming version, follow instructions to access bonuses.

You can learn more about Manolo's cavessons here:

Photo caption: Working in synch without tension. Note the lead holding hand guiding movement without force and the supple wrist of the bamboo holding hand.


Watch this Free Video Clip To Help Your Horse!

Shoulder relief, freedom of movement and straightness.. Learn the acupressure point in the video clip below that can help your horse move better.

Dr. Ridgway's lung 1 + is a really important acupuncture/acupressure wellness point which releases and resolves pain in the shoulder and barrel. It is a very good point to stimulate and incorporate in any horse's training routine as it promotes muscle comfort and shoulder freedom before even getting in the saddle-- thus helping the rider develop the horse's straightness without stress.

This educational video clip demonstrates how to find the point in detail:

𝘾𝙡𝙞𝙘𝙠 𝙤𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙑𝙄𝙈𝙀𝙊 𝙨𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙖𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙘𝙡𝙞𝙘𝙠 𝙤𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙠 𝙩𝙤 𝙬𝙖𝙩𝙘𝙝 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙘𝙡𝙞𝙥.

DISCLAIMER: If you are not an equine health professional, please ask a qualified equine health professional to teach you the techniques shown in the video series that are appropriate for amateurs and let them do the mobilization, alignment, acupuncture/acupressure, bodywork techniques that requires a professional education in equine health and/or integrated veterinary medicine.

To learn more about Dr. Ridgway's work, please check ProudHorse Connections:

For fantastic streaming videos of Dr. Ridgway’s saddle fitting course and ulcer courses please go to:

Photos from Ty Haas Horsemanship's post

Photos from Ty Haas Horsemanship's post

Photos from Salt River Wild Horse Management Group's post

Photos from Salt River Wild Horse Management Group's post


Improve your horse's suppleness

Join our BENDING BIOMECHANICS webinar to discover what causes a horse to struggle with lateral flexion and bend and how this can affect posture, symmetry, balance, and correct way of going.

Learn ridden and in-hand exercises as well as massage and mobilisation techniques that you can do with your horse to improve and maintain lateral flexion and suppleness within the neck, back, ribcage and tail.

Wednesday 6 April 2022, 7.30pm
Price: £10 (with 7-day access to recording after the event)

Book your place here -

#horsetraining #equinetraining #horsesinsideout_ #horseriding #horses #horseanatomy #equinebiomechanics #equineanatomy


All things done with care

Some horses tolerate quite a lot, and for that we are lucky. We often miss the signals of their discomfort until we have a full blown problem.

People often ask me how to fix such and such issue, and are thinking of it as a separate issue. It bleeds into everything- the way we halter prepares the horse for how we bridle which prepares the horse for how to feel about our reins which prepares the horse for how to use their back, and so on.

If we run into a problem, it’s helpful to think of it in small pieces. If the horse is having trouble bridling, for instance, think of the task in several small tasks:

Lowering the head
Having the mouth and muzzle handled
Having the bridle brought up with head low
Having the bridle lifted to the mouth with head low
Having the bit near the mouth
Having the bit placed in the mouth
Having the bridle brought over the ears with head low

So you can see that bridling is not one task, but many little ones. It’s helpful to break it down, make it feel good to the horse, and watch the whole picture clean up.

Photo by Nicole Churilla

It is not about the shoes, it is about the trim and I have found very few farriers in this area that understand that!!!

It is not about the shoes, it is about the trim and I have found very few farriers in this area that understand that!!!


SYNCHRONICITY 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆...

𝘞𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘣𝘺 𝘊𝘢𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘓𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘩, 𝘗𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘥𝘏𝘰𝘳𝘴𝘦 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴. 𝘍𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 2014

I remember writing these notes back in 2014 and 2016 and sharing them on Manolo's page and Groups which I run.

Because Manolo is always in perfect or near perfect synchronicity with horses, I may not have noticed how this seemingly small thing had such an impact on training if I had not watched hundreds (probably more like thousands) of hours of lessons and home training sessions since 2009 and seen what happens when Manolo would help someone work in-hand.

To help a student, Manolo would stand behind them, one hand on their right shoulder and the other holding and guiding their lunge holding left hand.

He would walk with them (he does not lunge on a "dinner plate") and naturally, as he synched with the horse he would influence the student's paces so they too synched up with the horse.

He would also always demonstrate how to hold the lunge line and the living quality of the contact that encourages the horse into the desired postures, similar to the contact you have on the reins: light, permanent contact.

This, I believe, is the other half of why his synching up is so effective in encouraging a deeper connection between horse and handler and better posture and movement.

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 𝗯𝗲𝘁𝘄𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻, 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗹, 𝗲𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗵𝘆𝘀𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗯𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗼𝗴𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗹 𝗮𝘀 𝗼𝗻𝗲. 𝗜𝘁 𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀 𝗮 𝗱𝗲𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗳𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗹𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝘀𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗹𝘆 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗻𝗼 𝘀𝘆𝗻𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘂𝗽 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁.

It started to become apparent to me that this systematic synch up was an element in Manolo's training that was not present in the other trainers whose work I was seeing nor did I see it brought up anywhere else in writing when I looked for it.

It may be I missed it, because God nows nothing is new in the world of horses.

Other trainers may have walked calmly, they may have been balanced but their being in synch, their steps and the horse's steps being identical, seemed more accidental that purposeful or instinctual, to the point of being almost unnoticeable without paying close attention, as is the case for Manolo.

Anyway, having noticed these improvements, it was not long before while watching a friend do groundwork with a young mare which was a bit chaotic, I suggested trying synching up as Manolo does as a means to improve the flow between handler and horse.

This was a success.

It led to not only a calmer horse and better movement but the friend, also a trainer, reported feeling lighter, more balanced and just more tuned-in and comfortable moving and guiding her horse. It was for her, a real "Ah Ah" moment.

This thoughtful feedback caused me to do some more observing, some more suggesting and some more listening and eventually come to the conclusions found in the post below. Conclusions which Manolo when asked validated as reflecting his experience.

Since, we have continued to receive further validation of how effective a simple change in steps can be as for the past seven years, as we have shared these posts and their recommendations with thousands of students and Page and Group followers, they have shared their experiences with us.

And now you know the history behind this technique.

🙂 Caroline

𝗠𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝘀 𝗢𝗻𝗲: 𝗦𝘆𝗻𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘂𝗽 = 𝗜𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲𝘀 𝘪𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘤𝘶𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬.

Two foundation posts about an often overlooked element of how to Train for Wellness™️ which we first shared on this page in 2014.

When you watch Manolo work in-hand you will notice how Manolo's legs are 90% of the time at least in synch with the horse's front legs when he is working by the shoulders and hind legs when he is working by the quarters. There is a reason for this and it is an important one.

𝗙𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗽 𝗽𝘂𝗿𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗳𝘂𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝘀𝘆𝗻𝗰𝗵𝘀 𝘂𝗽 𝗯𝗼𝘁𝗵 𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗹𝗲𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗮 𝗽𝗵𝘆𝘀𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝘄𝗮𝘆.

When horse and handler are in the same balance in motion, it creates a different flow of energy between both of them and it is reflected in the look and feel of the horse and its movement.

It links horse and handler and it creates a different rhythm horses respond to immediately and profoundly.

Walk hand-in-hand with a child or a loved one, what happens?

Unconsciously, we match up our steps. Because we are designed to function efficiently and not moving in synchronicity uses more energy.

It also means losing time if we have to all of a sudden flee. The seconds needed to synch up may mean we are the ones the lion gets.

𝗪𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗴𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘀𝘆𝗻𝗰𝗵𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗶𝘁𝘆, 𝘄𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗴𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗮𝘀 𝗼𝗻𝗲.

Think about huge flocks of flamingos or well trained armies - they fly or walk as one.

Look at pics of babies and mares and how often they synch up perfectly.

It is likely that being in step also leads to heart beats and breath synching up also.

𝗧𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝘀𝘆𝗺𝗯𝗶𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝘆𝗻𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘂𝗽 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝘁 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲𝘀 𝗮 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲'𝘀 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 (𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘂𝗱𝗲, 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝘂𝗹𝗮𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘆, 𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗼) 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝗵𝗶𝘀/𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗯𝗲𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝘀 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗹.

It has a relaxing effect.

Watching Manolo in person or on his dvd, work in-hand you can see how by changing the timing of his own stride - slower/faster and how much and how high or not he bends his knees (in trot) he can influence the horse's movement.

He does not do this systematically and mechanically but instead interlaces moments of simple harmonious synchronicity with steps of influencing the horse's movement.

This is something you can play and experiment with to see if you feel a difference when you synch exactly, almost or not at all.

Feel how differently you both move when you mirror the horse,

when you just match its stride but do not mirror it,

or are just walking at odds with your horse's steps.

What do you find?

𝗦𝘆𝗻𝗰𝗵𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗶𝘇𝗲 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗽𝘀 𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗕𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗟𝘂𝗻𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗜𝗻-𝗛𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸

These are pictures of Manolo during a clinic in Sweden in 2014 working with a very attractive Frisian.

Note the synchronicity between his legs and the horse's fore legs in pic 2 and pic 3.

In Pic 1, Manolo just began working with the horse and he is observing him move, without any influence from him.

Synchronicity is important between handler and horse when working in-hand. Best results happen when the handler is working in balance and in control of their own body and moving in synch with the horse not against him.

Without this body awareness a handler can be left fumbling and feel a sense of rushing, of having to catch up to the movement, which then spills over to the horse and affects his straightness, balance and tempo.

𝗙𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗽, 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝘆𝗻𝗰𝗵𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗹𝘆 𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝘄𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝘃𝗼𝗶𝗱 𝘂𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝗽𝘂𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗻𝗲𝗰𝗸 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗽𝘂𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲'𝘀 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗯𝘀 - 𝗯𝗮𝘀𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗶𝘁𝘀 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵.

In all interactions with horses, feel, timing and accuracy is important but it is perhaps even more so when working in-hand where a handler's clarity of mind and focus, posture and balance, arms, hands and bamboo or lunge whip control has a direct impact on the horse's balance, tempo, posture, movement and confidence.

𝗛𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗽𝗮𝘆 𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝗼𝗱𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗴𝘆 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝘂𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗵𝘆𝘁𝗵𝗺 𝗻𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆.

Before we even think of influencing the horse's posture, we want to take a few minutes to watch him move. Then breath, decide on a course of action.

When beginning to work, we want to step in synch with the horse's fore or hind legs depending on where we are are positioned. It will help with flow, timing and precision. When Manolo is long lining, his steps synch up with the horse's hind legs.

𝗠𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗹𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗰𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗽𝘀 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝗴𝘀. 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝘂𝘁𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝗴 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲𝘀' 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝗴. 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝗱𝗶𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗳𝗲𝗹𝘁 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗹𝗲𝗴𝘀 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗰𝗵 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗶𝘀𝗲𝗹𝘆.

This is something to play with and pay attention to.

If you do, come back and tell us what you experienced.

One trainer told us it changed the quality of her attention to her horse and that 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁.

Be aware that for some horses, being between the handler and his bamboo and the wall can feel claustrophobic and they may rush or become agitated as a result. If that is the case give the horse more room or work on the 3/4 line and away from the wall.

𝗗𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗽 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝗰𝗰𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘆 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝗹𝗸 𝗳𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁. 𝗜𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗵𝗮𝗯𝗶𝘁𝘂𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼𝘂𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗸𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝗵𝗶𝗺 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝗻𝗮𝗳𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗱.

When beginning to experiment with trot, do not be over ambitious and try for too many strides.


𝗙𝗼𝗰𝘂𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗶𝘁𝘆.

The horses appreciate this consideration and will remain tuned into the handler, unafraid and willing.


𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗽, 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝘁𝗼𝘂𝗰𝗵 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝗽𝘂𝗿𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗲.

© Manolo Mendez Dressage 2014 and 2016. Reposted in 2015/2016/2017/2010/2021/2022

First posted on Manolo's Page and Groupe in 2014/2015/2017/2021/2022

To learn how to Train for Wellness™️ and get Manolo's 3 hour introduction to in-hand work and lunging video in DVD or Streaming format for $34.95 (USD) plus shipping if applicable go to:



Offer includes:

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If you purchase the streaming version, follow instructions to access bonuses.

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Thank you Kathy for working with Whiskey So that he can become the amazing horse that he is! Thank you for taking the time with me to understand my horse better. But mostly thank you for the amazing lesson today in loping- So much fun!! Can't wait till next week post🤠🤠🤠
In July last year we started building our home and barn so we could be with our horses on a daily basis. Although we are finally settled and happy, during this past year I did not work with or ride Morgan. Then, at the end of the year, I put him and Dandy in the trailer and took them from their home and their herd of horses they have been with for 3 years. I had no idea how stressful this was going to be for our horses. Somehow I reverted back to being frustrated with Morgan as well as having anxiety myself that I did not see coming. This past few weeks of training has not only assisted me in viewing things from the horses point of view but helped Morgan soften as well as building my confidence that everything I have learned in the past three years is still with me. Morgan started "wanting" to be with me again. He is softer to work with and my frustration level is minimal. I notice what I am feeling and then look at my horse to see what his needs might be. What is he thinking or telling me. Am I being consistent in my training with him? Am I being clear in what I am requesting of him? Thank you Kathy for your dedication in developing your students and horses. Sure, there are techniques that we use to ask something of a horse but it is NOT the same technique for every horse. Learning how Morgan communicates with me so I can help him find a way to complete a task that I am asking of him is not an easy process for me. I am quick to becoming frustrated with him and me. I am looking forward to this next phase of training and playing with my horse. Also, thank you for being a student in your own business. You are always growing and that helps me! See you Sunday :)
Thank you for providing notes from spring clinic. Great to review as we begin the spring undoing! :-)
Morgan is limping again on trot 😰
I forgot something to add: Knowing that I have begun to learn how to help Morgan when become anxious or better yet, being able to see in advance that he might become anxious and changing that for him with ease versus either being scared or frustrated helps me feel grounded. These tools are priceless! Yesterday was the third clinic day with Kathy Davis Baker. Everything you have been teaching me is penetrating in ti my soul, and because of this, Morgan is becoming the horse he wants to be. To see Morgan have had so much anxiety and now seeing him feeling safe and comfortable under saddle is a feeling that is indescribable. I am so happy for him (and me of course)! The three of us working together is changing my life in so many ways. Thank you for your dedication, patience, knowledge and excellence that you bring with you each time we work together. It is so apparent how passionate you are in what and how you teach and coach. Looking forward to many more years together. — feeling accomplished.
Great day at Mcmillan Farms 495 Mcmillan Rd. Moshiem,TN Farms. People coming together to help another in need. A fund raiser for a very special person. I grew up riding horses but have not been riding for the past 44 years. 4 months ago I bought a horse and his worry cup was running over. He could not settle down, his neck and head held high and wanted nothing to do with anyone accept other animals. He was obedient and very smart but was distant, worried and unhappy. Many people tried to help us but we could not get any permanent change in him. 4 months later all I can say is THANK YOU Kathy Davis Baker for your expertise and patience with both Morgan and me. You had so many alternatives if something did not work with him or me. You came prepared for training, gave me assignments and had me do things that did not always make sense. I have seen my horse go from completely unhappy and stressed out to a happy calm horse that comes running to me when he sees me in the field. Today I witnessed many horses and riders doing the obstacles. I was able to see the people who had their horse with them by choice versus the riders making their horses following them. They might have been obedient but there was no partnership between the rider and the horse. I can see my horse starting to ask me for direction versus me just telling my horse what to do. I have learned that my horses needs must come first. This is something that is so simple but NOT EASY to take action on. I am on a path that is bring me closer and closer to my horse, his needs and the outcome is having the best rides, more fun and great safety for him and myself. I cannot say in words the gift Kathy Davis Baker has with horses. I had to re-learn everything that I already new about horses and riding. But once my ego got out of the way, I could hear what Kathy was telling and asking of me for the change we needed in me and in my horse. 😍 I will continue on my path with Kathy to enhance my skills, have fun and be the horsewoman my boy needs me to be. I love this new path....