Tango with Horses
a slow horsemanship revolution!
Tango with Horses is an invitation to embrace slow horsemanship. Slow horsemanship is a call to embody sustainable, ethical ways of relating to horses, to our own needs, and to the environment as a whole. This is an invitation to join the intimate dance of life going on all around us, gain access to instinct, intuition, and the confidence to follow our unique path.
Horses connect with each other and humans naturally. It is an ability that transcends all boundaries. They offer honesty and heart to anyone open to hear it. The herd and I are on a mission to help people learn to listen with an open heart, to honor the sentience and intelligence of horses and integrate intuitive art with the science of horsemanship.
Are you seeking to grow a deeper connection with your horse or horses? Do you want to learn effective ways to build closer relationships?
Since horses communicate primarily through non-verbal means, it behooves us to refine our fluency in their language. Not by trying to act like a horse or mimic their behaviors in order to influence them, but by consciously improving our own posture, balance and movement. My focus is on empowering you to discover your unique way with horses - true to yourself - true to how you move, feel and sense the world around you.
Come dance with us!
Andrea and the herd
Integrative Horsemanship is founded on the principle that horse and human improve and grow together. Our ultimate goal is to seamlessly integrate:
The ability to accurately assess ourselves and our horses throughout our interactions
Be capable to creatively address any issues as they arise
Re-assess and continue to address the layers that unravel
So we may progress together with ease
By first removing our own roadblocks, we lay the foundation to becoming a proficient practitioner for our horses. Comprehensive training as a bodyworker includes active work healing ourselves so we may come to our clients with integrity. We aim to bring this same kind of integrity to the process of training, and engaging in intuitive bodywork with our horses.
Andrea teams up with Joyce Harrader of Soaring Spirits LLC and Karin Denny of Intrinsic Bodyworks to facilitate workshops designed to help people learn the skills required to engage in a therapeutic relationship with their horses. Check the workshop page to learn dates and locations of upcoming opportunities.
I have a fairly unique perspective on horsemanship. A lifelong horsewoman with a degree in Equine Science, I began my professional career more than twenty five years ago. Managing barns, working as a large animal Veterinary Assistant and practice manager I had an inside view of the equine industry. I got to see the consequences of chronic stress on horses up close and personal.
My desire to help horses beyond the scope of what Veterinary medicine offers led me to equine bodywork. I spent eight years traveling and teaching as a professional equine body worker, ultimately focusing my attention on rehabilitation, another window into the consequences of training methods on the horses. For these horses, all else had failed, and one thing became clear: for each of these horses, there were early warning signs of problems brewing that went unrecognized.
I did years of extensive research into the impact of physical and emotional stress and trauma, and what it takes to recover from it. Years of intensive study of movement and biomechanics. What does it take to get a horse sound and keep them sound? More importantly, what does it take to avoid problems to begin with? Three years ago I quit riding and taking on rehabilitation cases to discover what the herd here had to teach me.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been searching for a way to work with horses that felt like a true partnership. A partnership of equals where horses choose to participate. None of the models of horsemanship I found fit that bill. Finally, my husband and I began dance lessons, Argentine Tango in particular. And in dancing Tango I found my metaphor for horsemanship! Understanding what it feels like to follow someone else’s lead was a revelation. Dancing with a masterful leader is intoxicating and exhilarating. This is what I want to create for my horses, this kind of leadership!
What I learned from the herd and dancing is now my passion. Teaching people the fine art of reading body language in horses and communicating clearly with their own. Working with the senses, emotions, posture, movement we can all learn to work with horses as the sentient, intelligent partners they are.
I teach online and live workshops at my farm in Fruita, Colorado and across the country.