Conversations that Restore:
Connecting Horses and Riders
A two-day clinic featuring Anna Blake And Andrea Datz
Our horses are communicating with us all the time. Their primary mode of communication is body language and on a subtler level, resonance. This workshop will teach you how to interpret these whispers of communication from your horse, opening the door to deeper levels of partnership.
Calming Signals: If you’re standing next to your horse and he looks away, do you think he’s distracted or even disrespectful? When your horse yawns, is he sleepy or bored? If he moves slowly, is he lazy? Calming signals are the body language a horse uses to communicate both positive and negative feelings; messages that horses have for us, if we listen. It’s an equine-focused approach to haltering, leading exercises, and your body language.
What is Resonance?
When we begin to notice and honor our horse’s calming signals it’s an invitation for them to share freely. As we open this dialogue with our horses we can access another level of communication I like to call resonance. Resonance is the communication that happens on a felt level: if my horse has a tight jaw my jaw will feel tight, if my horse feels nervous I’ll get butterflies in my stomach and vice versa. All beings have an innate ability to resonate with others. All we have to do is wake that ability up. Once we do, it becomes an invaluable source of information, giving us direct insight into what’s going on underneath the physical calming signal.
The primary focus of this workshop is learning how to understand what your horse is communicating to you through their behavior and body language and what you are communicating to your horse via the same.
This is not your typical clinic. Andrea and Anna, each dynamic teachers in their own right, together offer the rare opportunity for an intensive multi-dimensional learning experience. Workshops include:
- Video and slideshow presentations that illustrate key concepts related to the ways horses and humans communicate with each other.
- Demonstrations by instructors.
- Hands-on skill development through exercises with each other and with horses.
A key feature of these workshops is the opportunity for each participant to actively participate in co-creating their experience with Anna and Andrea.
Participants and their horses benefit from individualized attention from both clinicians, working in collaboration for the well being of the partnership. Participants without horses are coached in the many ways to listen and observe with compassion. Anna and Andrea welcome active participation and questions, striving to meet the needs of individuals and the group.
Options for participation:
Participants with horses: Includes one-on-one assessment with Anna and Andrea on Saturday and a one hour lesson with Anna and Andrea on the subject of your choosing on Sunday. When you are not actively working with your horse, you’ll join the auditor participants in observing the other people and horses.
Auditor Participants: Will be given exercises and engage in activities with each other that help them develop their skills in resonance and reading body language. Either Andrea or Anna will work with the auditors as much as possible to talk about what’s going on with the horse and rider or guide discussion and answer questions. If available at the facility, some hands-on groundwork with horses will be offered.
There is no traditional non-participating auditor option for this workshop because so much of what you learn is based on developing your eye and we want everyone there to feel involved in the process.
Skills will build from the first day into the second. In addition, Anna and Andrea will show how to use touch and movement during interactions with your horses to help you help your horse work through any issues they may have.
As clinicians, we work hard to find a connected time with each participant, even during group activities. We are very positive in our approach with both riders and horses. It's always our goal to inspire the rider's passion for their equine relationships.
About Anna Blake:
“Like so many of us, horses have always been at the center of my life. I marvel at their ability to hook our hearts so deeply and change our lives in the process. Lessons with me are firmly rooted in the principles of Dressage; training relaxed and forward gaits, responsiveness and balance for the horse and rider. I combine this with a special focus on listening to the natural language of the horse, for a partnership of confidence and pleasure. I take horses and riding very seriously, but I do it with humor and lightness because horses like happy riders.”
--Anna Blake is a horse advocate, trainer, clinician, and award-winning author. She also writes the popular, yet unconventional AnnaBlakeBlog.com about horse training and farm life.
About Andrea Datz:
“I believe in the inherent value of all horses and want to see them whole and healthy in mind, body and spirit. For ten years I took in horses with injuries and behavioral issues for which I was the last resort. I watched horse’s lives transformed as they were listened to and honored, allowed the time and care to heal on all levels. Everyone can learn how to listen to their horse, how to do intuitive body work and how to let their horse guide them to remain sound and healthy. “
Through online courses, private lessons and workshops, Andrea Datz uses her extensive knowledge in body work, biomechanics, nutrition and the horse/human relationship, combined with creativity and intuition, to educate horse care givers of all levels and disciplines in how to be an educated advocate for themselves and their horses.