Equine SENSE Method Sessions


About Feldenkrais


About Centered Riding


Lessons For You

Equine Sessions


About Helen Harvey


Like people, horses are not symmetrical, and often move more easily in one direction than the other. When I’m working with a horse, I ask you what your goal is for your horse. I ask what your horse finds easy and what your horse finds difficult. I watch the horse walk and notice how the horse moves.

  • Does the pelvis move more in one direction than the other?
  • Do the ribs swing more in one direction? Is one foot weighted more than another?
  • Does the horse track straight with all joints moving equally?
  • Are muscles more developed on one side than another?
  • Are there any unnecessary movements?
  • Is the animal restricting itself in any way?
  • What movements are effortless?
  • How can the effortless movements be made more elegant

I then determine a strategy for the session, based on the observed movement patterns, and your goals. With SENSE, the goal is to educate and involve the animal in the process so that lasting results are achieved. I will show you techniques you can use with your horse to remind his nervous system of the new movement possibilities.

A Sample SENSE Method Session


If a horse has difficulty turning, it is often the case that there isn’t freedom of movement through the ribs. There are small muscles between each rib that should allow movement. You can feel how your ribs move when you breathe, and see the movement in your horse. If movement is inhibited in the ribs, the barrel cannot swing. You can try working with your horse's ribs as follows:

1. Watch your horse walk so you can see the movement of his barrel.

2. Softly place your hands flat on his ribs, about 6 inches apart, with your legs in a split stance

3. Let your hands sink in to find your contact with his ribs

4. Using just enough pressure on his ribs, so that the skin doesn't slide under your fingers, move your soft flat hands together by moving your shoulder blades together. Your hands should not slide on the horse’s skin.

5. Stop when the movement becomes a little more difficult – that is the point where the holding in the muscles inhibits the movement.

6. Move to the other side of the horse and repeat the movement. Is there more movement on one side of the horse? Move your hands to a different location on the ribs and continue the exploration.

7. After asking for movement in several locations a few times, go back to your original spot. Is there more movement? Watch your horse walk. Is there more movement through his ribs or pelvis?