I am excited
to announce the release of Women & Horses™ The Dynamic Rider
System®: The Total Exercise and Biomechanical Solution for
the Female Equestrian (Integrating the Pilates Method). You
will find information, the press release and ordering on the website.
I have reprinted the press release here for your information.
You may download and reprint it as you wish. There will be Inserts
coming out every 4 months and we are working on producing accompanying
DVDs later this year.
Mary D. Midkiff Introduces
The Dynamic Rider System® from Women & Horses™
Mary D. Midkiff’s
Women & Horses line of products and services is expanding
once again with a unique Pilates-based program of integrated flexibility,
strength and postural position exercises to help female equestrians
get the most from the time they spend with their horses. DRS has
been developed by Midkiff in collaboration with certified Pilates
Method instructor and lifetime horsewoman Maggie Parker.
to the new The Dynamic Rider System (DRS) will receive
a series of easy-to-use installments detailing body part specific
exercises and related riding techniques. "This is a unique program
fully integrating the nationally acclaimed Pilates Method with
effective riding specifically for women," Midkiff says.
a total exercise and biomechanical solution that will enable female
equestrians to achieve better form, function and comfort with
course of progressive learning installments, it will teach the
female rider, both in and out of the saddle, body movement patterns
and awareness, body alignment, breathing with exercise, development
of core strength, stability and flexibility of the pelvis and
shoulder girdle, spinal rotation, flexion and extension and much
more. A unique aspect of this system is that it can improve the
rider's physical integration both in riding and in everyday life.
installment, "Finding Your Foundation: Insert 1", is now available
for $17.95 plus shipping through www.womenandhorses.com. The initial
package includes an introduction to the DRS and the Pilates Method,
a full-color, fold out instructional exercise pamphlet, and cover
art for a reference binder to store the installments.
products include the books: "Fitness,
Performance and the Female Equestrian" (Macmillan), "She
Flies Without Wings: How Horses Touch a Woman’s Soul"
(Delacourte), and W&H Essential
Oils. Electronic photos are available upon request.
Horses Lack Vision in Indoor Spaces
training in indoor arenas are always a topic of discussion during
the winter months. We absolutely need them to exercise our horses
when the weather is just too extreme to ride outside; however,
they have their own issues. Horses must see what's going on to
be comfortable. They rely on all of their senses but they are
wide eyed prey always watching for the steely-eyed predators.
eye is similar to that of other mammals and represents the largest
globe size of land mammals."
of domestic horses were adapted to open range conditions and able
to swiftly flee predators. Their visual system provided a wide
panoramic view to detect danger, identify nutrition, and assist
during locomotion… Functionally, the horse enjoys a total field
of vision slightly greater than 350 degrees and has only a narrow
blind spot, immediately anterior to the nose and several meters
posterior to the rump. Thus, the horse detects motion and objects,
whether threatening or not, in a wide panoramic view. It has been
proposed that horses are using binocular vision when the ears
are erect and facing forward."
taken from "Equine Vision and Optics" by Steven M. Roberts, DVM,
MS, Veterinary Clinics of North America: Equine Practice, Volume
8, Number 3, December 1992.
In an indoor
arena, because we have blocked or taken away the horse's ability
to see what they hear, smell or sense, many horses have a hard
time relaxing their mind in this environment, which inevitably
leads to a tense back. Horses that are afraid or insecure in the
indoor arena setting could be reacting to the inability to identify
the origin of a sound or noise, a smell or something they sense.
Create a Positive environment:
arena should be as large as possible, with natural and artificial
light available. The footing should be no more than 3.25 to 3.50
inches deep on top of a secure sub base and base, and as dust
free as possible. A watering or sprinkler system used daily is
optimum. The ceiling should be high enough for large trucks, front
end loaders and tractors to come in and out with venting in the
roof for circulation and air exchange. Doors should be wide and
high so riders may enter and exit mounted. Doors should open and
close easily, safely and as quietly as possible. Bolt down and
secure all flashing and panel material and replace dry or rotted
wood as often as needed. At least insulate the ceiling to prevent
noise during heavy rain, hail and sleet storms. Make extra building
considerations if you are in extreme areas of heat, cold, ice
sound unconventional but you may want to have a psychic or communicator
visit your indoor arena to make sure it is clear of unpleasant
energy. I rode in an indoor arena in Virginia for several years
where the horses would not go near one of the corners of the building.
All of the horses spooked or backed away from a particular corner.
It was a real mystery to everyone who boarded and rode in that
arena every day, because the horses were willing to go everywhere
else comfortably. We finally had a psychic come out and do a reading.
We did not tell her anything about our observations just that
the horses were acting strange in the arena in general.
told us that the arena sat on top of a civil war battleground
and many horses were killed and buried on this site. In fact,
she indicated that there were a pile of horses buried underneath
the SE corner of the arena and there were disturbed horse spirits
still lurking. What an amazing experience that was and how intuitive
the horses were. We asked her to talk to all of the horses and
tell them it was okay to go into that corner. The horses were
better about it after that day but I will never forget how much
of an impact something from the past made on those horses that
was completely unknown to us as humans.
if there is negative energy coming from the people at a barn the
horses will feel it and demonstrate it through their behavior.
This is intensified in the indoor arena where the negative feelings
are even stronger due to stress and tension. The people that surround
horses need to be clear, present, available and open to create
a positive environment.
the horse tell you when he/she is ready:
introducing a horse to an indoor arena, prepare their nervous
system with some acupressure and aromatherapy and/or Rescue Remedy.
Give them a walk around in hand for awhile and let them sniff,
look, roll, check out the mirrors and smell the environment. It
is also nice to have some music playing at a medium sound level
to cover up the pops and cracks of the wind, rain and snow outside.
Make sure everyone using the arena knows to say "Door" or any
word loud enough before they enter and exit to give you and your
horse fair warning. You may also want to lunge the horse, or if
it is safe without mirrors, let them free lunge to get to know
decide your horse is familiar with the space and you feel it is
safe to ride, use a mounting block and walk for a few minutes
to let the horse stretch and relax. I like to use an ear bonnet
to help muffle scary noises and I give my horse The InBalance
Horse oil blend and Rescue Remedy too on extremely windy days.
If your horse
continues to be afraid and nervous in indoor situations you may
want to take their feed tub into the arena and let them have their
grain in that environment. If they will eat within this space
they are relaxing. After finishing the grain, give him a walk
for a few minutes, and then walk under saddle until you have had
about 30 minutes of time for digestion. You can begin your work
after this time.
Mix up your
routine in the indoor area as much as possible. The horse should
not associate any arena with pressure and hard work but as an
exercise area to do different things. One day do ground work,
another day do your acupressure and massage therapy in the indoor,
another day ride practicing lateral moves, and still another day
do simple transitions.
horses need other horses in an indoor setting to feel safe. They
may be worriers and concerned about the whereabouts of the herd
outside. Did they leave? Are they safe where I cannot see them?
If they worry and fret too much when alone, find out when others
are riding and plan your rides accordingly.
an indoor arena can be a whole new set of experiences and sensory
overload for your horse. Especially since a judge will be sitting
at one end which is a new addition to the space they probably
don’t see at home. Give him or her time to adjust. Ask the show
management if you can arrive a day early or early that morning
and walk your horse around the grounds and around the indoor.
Most will be happy to accommodate you if you ask and act courteously.
And again, use the W&H oil blends and/or Rescue Remedy whenever
you confront a potentially stressful situation.
this is an artificial space for horses and they are not used to
hearing and smelling without seeing what is causing a noise. They
need to turn their trust to you and have self-confidence that
they will be okay. It is up to you to help ease their emotions
and establish that special bond. You know your horse’s individuality
better than anyone else. Honor it.
was sent to me from a horse friend, Jody Marken, and I wanted
to pass it along to all of you:
to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a horse,"or,"that's
a lot of money for just a horse".
Some of my
proudest moments have come about with "just a horse."
have passed and my only company was "just a horse," but I did
not once feel slighted.
Some of my
saddest moments have been brought about by "just a horse," and
in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a horse"
gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.
If you, too,
think it's "just a horse," then you probably understand phrases
like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise."
"Just a horse"
brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and
pure unbridled joy.
"Just a horse"
brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person.
"just a horse" I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly
to the future.
So for me,
it's not "just a horse" but an embodiment of all the hopes and
dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure
joy of the moment.
"Just a horse"
brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away from
myself and the worries of the day.
I hope that
someday they can understand it's not "just a horse" but the thing
that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "just a woman/man."
So the next
time you hear the phrase "just a horse" just smile, because they
"just" don't understand.
will be speaking three times per day at the Minnesota Horse Expo,
April 28-30 at the Minneapolis State Fairgrounds. Go to www.mnhorseexpo.org
for more information.