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Yoga with Horses! The Wild World of the Moving Yoga Mat

in Meditations on Mutations, YD News

A horse is a horse, of course, of course…unless he’s a yogi!

It’s the hidden world of Horse Yoga revealed. We don’t ride horses, we live in NYC! But doggone it if this doesn’t have us wanting to kick our spurs and saddle up. We see you rolling your eyes. More animal yoga?  Hasn’t Doga seen enough? Yes, but this time we are completely mesmerized by the beauty of this animal meets human yoganess trend.

What is Horse Yoga? From what we gather (again, live in a concrete jungle) it’s People+Horses doing yoga together, AND separately, yoga stretching specifically to increase mobility and improve the posture of our fine equine friends.

Via GlobalAnimal.org:

“Horses have an amazing ability to detect energy. Their fields are much larger than ours,” says Kerry Borcherding, a Yoga with Horses teacher from Star Peak Stables in Golden, CO, who is also a equine-assisted psychotherapist.

“Horses allow people to feel good in their true nature, instead of having to be someone else.”

“It almost seems like magic at times. They hold up a mirror and reflect back to us ourselves,” Borcherding says.

And the horses? They love it!

As one horse feels the relaxing energy of the rider, her mouth flops open and her lower lip hangs relaxed. Some horses look like they’re falling asleep standing up.

Curious? We dug up a few videos from the interwebs demonstrating the practice, and we have to admit it’s completely captivating. What do Equine Yogis wear to yoga class? Horseshoes! wacka wacka.

Equiyoga – with Dona Holleman

And finally, yoga for horses with April. “Do all your yogas and you’ll have your horse for a really long time.” Truth, sister.

Further resources:



CowGirl Yoga – Yoga and Horseback Riding Retreats.

Whoa-Ga! – use asanas while riding to control the horse’s gait and direction.



12 comments… add one
  • Hey YD! Thanks for the shout out. I know the yoga and horses thing can be easily misinterpreted. can’t tell you the number of calls we get asking if we do, say, handstand on the horse at a full gallop. nothing that dramatic, this ain’t the circus, but what is dramatic and cool is the connection between what we do on the mat and the time we spend with the horses, both in and out of the saddle. Horses pick up on all that work we do to shift our energy around in good ways when we practice. The result? Both human and horse are happy, more connected, and have a great time together.
    We also have a program called cowgirls vs. cancer, we bring breast cancer survivors out on our retreats. You already know how healing yoga can be. Horses are amazingly healing too. So combine them, and there’s a lot of potential for good stuff.
    Come on out to Montana next summer, we’ll get you loving cowgirl yoga. Yeehaw & Namaste.

    • I’m really interested in how the theory of this Horse Yoga developed. Was it something as simple as, “Oh, let’s bring in our horses because we love them and want to connect with them!” Or did it stem from a more advanced idea? Just as a disclaimer, I’m not trying to be condescending in the least.

      What are some of the personal experiences that you’ve had with this kind of yoga? It did appear in the videos that the horses seemed very relaxed, and it’s also commonly known that horses (and many other animals) can sense our mood/energy/emotions. I’m interested because it seems that these days many folks are trying to create their brand of yoga, and I’m curious to know the kinds of thought which goes into these ideas.

      Great job on the article too, YD. Thanks!


  • That sounds fantastic! A retreat on horseback… what a nice thought.

    I have a natural affinity to horses as well, and I’m not surprised that they are so intuitive and receptive to others’ energies. They have such a powerful presence.

  • But the cow is better…

    “Be as a cow and flow with the Tao.” ~Paulie Zink


    Ha, ha did this spoof a few years ago from this post http://pauliezink.com/testimonials/

    Yea-ha little dawggies…!!

  • As someone who has taken a Cowgirl Yoga Retreat with Margaret- I loved it! It was a wonderful experience and it is great seeing how yoga and horses (my two passions) come together so nicely! I highly suggest people to try it out!

  • If you like the Yoga in Big Sky for adult women – Big Sky Yoga Retreats, you may like to consider a girls adventure camp version in the Big Sky country as well. Based in Bozeman, Montana, Alpengirl offers teen girls age 11-17 daily yoga during camp plus horseback riding, rock climbing, rafting and more.

  • Horse riding is a complete exercise

    for details see the message below

    We are located on Keller Road in Clarence, New York. We focus on English horseback riding and offer boarding, training, horse lesson riding, horseback riding camps, horse shows, clinics, all kinds of horseback riding in NY and much more!

    We take pride in our friendly atmosphere, facilities and the effectiveness of our programs and invite you to experience it for yourself.

    For detailed information on horseback riding in NY



  • I am the Equine Nomad, and have ridden 2000 miles in the past 14 months. As a long term (40 yrs) practitioner of yoga, it was only natural to start taking my poses to the saddle. Check out my blog for photos! I am currently working on a DVD called “Equine Yoga”. Come visit my blog and say hello! ( I also offer workshops and lessons in Northern Colorado.) The horses love it, and it helps to relax and shift the energy of the rider, developing balance, collection, and connection for rider and equine partner.

  • If you are interested in Horses and Yoga and you live in the Medicine Hat area of Alberta please contact us at http://www.countryhavenstables.ca because we now offer HorsePowerYoga. Light & Love people. Or check us out on facebook at Saltwater Gypsys.

  • I’ll be in upstate NY doing a yoga & horsemanship clinic Memorial Day weekend at Harmony Hill Board & Bale! Come on out 🙂

  • I will be offering yoga with horses at my Lothlorien studio in Panama City, FL in the near future.

  • I am now in Portola Valley, CA, and have been working on Equine Yoga and at Liberty work with my horses. I’m excited to share this work with the world – it brings incredible and deep connection and improved flexibility and synergy of hearts and minds for horse and rider. My Equine Companions are loving it! To arrange a workshop in your area, or to pre-order the Equine Nomad Yoga DVD/CD, please contact me at Trish.wild@yahoo.com.

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