Mind-Body Horsemanship

Go Beyond Natural Horsemanship, to Dialogue

My approach goes way beyond natural horsemanship. Would you like to know how to use less pressure and more subtle body language? Or how to harness the power of your personal electromagnetic field to create a near-telepathic level of ‘invisible aids’ that will magnetize any horse to you?

Those are completely achievable dreams – and you don’t have to be naturally gifted or a ‘horse whisperer’ to get there!

Alissa Mayer's book - How to Invite an Interspecies Dialogue: The Five Agreements of A Somatic Approach to Horsemanship™

It does require a willingness to change, some personal growth, and becoming our best selves… and if you aren’t sure how to do that, I’ve written a book to help guide you! How to Invite an Inter-Species Dialogue – The Five Agreements of A Somatic Approach to Horsemanship™. (click here to claim yours, free)

Are you ready to reveal the truth about connection, communication and cooperation?

  • Discover the 3 levels of connection you should be encouraging
  • Learn the secrets to having a 2-way conversation with a horse
  • What stops 95% of equestrians from gaining a horses trust? The answer is inside.

All this and more is what you will find inside my book.

The Benefits of a Somatic Approach to Horses

When you learn to shift to A Somatic Approach to Horsemanship™ many of your training issues and behavior problems will just melt away.

Here are some of the benefits you will experience when you learn to invite dialogue with horses.

  • Anxious or herd-bound horses become calm and confident
  • Easily distracted or aloof horses become focused and willing
  • Naughty or disobedient horses become agreeable
  • No more arguments or battles of will
  • Your thoughts become your lightest aid
  • Escalating pressure to ‘make the wrong thing difficult’ disappears from your vocabulary
  • Your horse will become lighter on the forehand and move more beautifully and with better posture
  • Ears forward and that heart-to-heart connected feeling become your baseline. Your horse won’t want you to end the sessions!

To be clear, what I teach is NOT a new method of natural horsemanship groundwork or training exercises. You will not have to give up everything you have invested in learning so far!

You can use any kind of halter, wear any kind of boots, use any type of training method or horsemanship guru, and ALSO use what I’m about to teach you.

You can have any level of horse experience or any kind of dreams. Love to go on trail-rides as your therapy? This book is for you. Have Olympic-level competitive goals? My method will help you get there, better, faster, and in a way that feels great to both you and the horse.

Because it’s less about what training style or exercise you are doing, and more about how you approach the horse. It’s about your expectations and how you conduct yourself. It’s about how your body moves, your sense of self, and fine-tuning your sense of feel.

Horsemanship as Personal Development

There’s an old saying: “If you work on the horse, the horse gets better. But if you work on yourself, every horse gets better!”

While my horsemanship and training philosophy is rooted in classical dressage and the study of natural horse behavior, what I find myself teaching 90% of the time is:

  • how to improve body awareness and self-carriage
  • how to use intention and energy as tangible communication tools
  • how to develop Feel as a skill and
  • how to free the bodies of both horses and riders from restrictions, tension and pain.

All of this is necessary if we are to become embodied communicators.

As an embodied horsewoman (or man) we can move easily, speak clearly, solve problems and excel at connecting with horses. How? By offering the kind of leadership and companionship that horses don’t just desire, but they simply can’t live without.

The other 10% of the time I’m teaching folks how to solve training problems and get their horses to be more connected to them. I also help horses get more engaged in their work, and to move with more lightness and self-carriage. SPOILER ALERT – These things start happening naturally when we shift our approach to a somatic one, and learn to embody our best and truest intentions.

I can’t wait to share my secrets with you!

How I came up with The Five Agreements of ASATH

Over my 20+ years as a horse trainer, riding instructor, natural horsemanship clinician, barefoot hoof trimmer, Equine Hanna Somatics® practitioner and Somatics for Riders instructor, I have developed a set of “rules.” . My rules form a general guide to all interactions with horses, designed to maximize impact while minimizing stress and tension.

These rules also ensure that I am inviting the horses to feel free to express themselves. I want our horses to participate voluntarily in whatever it is we are doing.

What I’ve put into my first book are my foundational 5 rules. This is how I can quickly connect with a horse and start building a basic non-verbal vocabulary. These Five Agreements of A Somatic Approach to Horsemanship™(ASATH) are how I invite an inter-species dialogue.

Book cover - How to Invite an Inter-Species Dialogue by Alissa Mayer

When I started writing this book, I decided to call my rules ‘Agreements.’ As you will learn, each of the five agreements are two-way streets, and this is important.

Both the horse and the human have needs, expectations and responsibilities.

Both the horse and the human will ‘agree’ to abide by these rules at all times.

I am, of course, making my most educated guess about what the horses need, expect, and are able to take responsibility for. This is based on my experience working with thousands of horses as both a trainer and as an Equine Hanna Somatics Educator.

Here’s the thing…

I do not claim to be able to ‘speak horse’ or to know their thoughts...

In fact, in my approach, I actively try to avoid anthropomorphizing. I am constantly reminding myself and my students that many of the behaviors that we label as good or bad, rude or respectful, are actually just natural elements of horse behavior.

Most of what horses do does not carry the emotional connotations that we often imagine they do.

To learn more about the history of how I developed ASATH method, click here to read this post.

What about all that Predator/Prey Psychology in Natural Horsemanship?

As highly intelligent mammals, horses share many similarities with humans. They live in family groups. They form strong bonds and grieve when they lose loved ones. They play. They eat, sleep, mate and compete with one another…

But horses evolved at the other end of the food chain, as animals that are hunted by predators, like us. As prey animals, a horses needs, the way they see and interpret the world and it’s dangers, and even the way they communicate can seem very foreign to you and I.

It is important to understand and acknowledge the differences between our two species. Natural horsemanship teaches us to present ourselves as less predatory and more trustworthy – which is great – but I don’t want us to forget the many similarities between us.

The similarities are what enable us to form such incredible bonds and powerful interspecies connections.

I have come to believe that more often than not, horses are here to teach us important lessons about life, relationships, compassion and communication.

These 5 Agreements are the basic ingredients I believe are required to open a dialogue with a horse.

We can start building a vocabulary of mutually understood non-verbal words and phrases, using energy, intention and subtle body language to communicate (and of course some pressure and physical contact, too).

How to Approach a Horse, Somatically!

As we practice using these tools and strategies with our horses, it becomes clear that in order to become ‘good’ or even just effective, we have to do some work on ourselves. The first five major areas of this work are covered in my book – here’s a sneak peak:

The Five Agreements of A Somatic Approach to Horsemanship:

  1. Give and Get Permission
    We need to understand the basics of horse behavior and social norms. Then we can become good at ‘reading’ the horse when we are asking for or offering permission.
  2. Prioritize Connection
    We need to know about the three levels of connection and how to differentiate between them. This gives us exponentially moreopportunities to build our bond and inspire engagement from our horses.
  3. Occupy Your Space, and the Expectation of Politeness
    We need to become very clear about our personal boundaries. With clarity and practice, we develop the ability to speak about them and enforce them without becoming frustrated or aggressive.
  4. No Pulling on the Rope
    We need to have the presence of mind and fine motor control to be sure our bodies are not doing some all too common things, like pulling on the rope or rein, that are causing brace, tension, or even injury to one another. This goes for the horse as well.
  5. Speak Clearly and Listen
    We need to understand the basic structure beneath all languages that give them meaning and power. We need to know how to harness the natural power of our own minds, bodies and personal electromagnetic fields so we can use our thoughts, intentions and energy to layer information and meaning into that structure. This is how we can have rich and rewarding conversations with horses.

I believe every equestrian is seeking that Ultimate Connection and most rewarding relationship with their horses. Unfortunately, through NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN, these fundamental ingredients are often overlooked or simply missing from the awareness of many horse trainers and riders.

I believe that this is simply because the information (and how to apply it) is not common knowledge. Finding a teacher who can both share the right information and effectively coach you in your practice is rare.

That’s why I wrote this book, and decided to offer it to you as a gift, free of charge.

We do the best we can, until we learn to do better, right?

Go Beyond Natural Horsemanship, to Inter-species Dialogue

You already have all the tools and natural power you need to become the person your horse is dreaming of partnering with. When you adopt my 5 Agreements, you will take your relationship, riding and training to the next level.

You are about to unleash a whole new world of Trust and Connection with horses…

Are you ready to reveal your FEEL? Enter your email and click the button below to find out, now!

By Alissa Mayer

I’m a horse-girl obsessed with Hanna Somatics and behavioral science, which led me to develop a whole new approach to Horsemanship, Riding and Fitness. Find me in riding tights, eating pumpernickel bagels and working from home with my twins playing nearby and my horses out the window. My mission? To help horses and riders (and mama’s!) to unleash their inner athletes and feel great every day!

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