Easier Movement, Happier Horses

Enhancing Flexibility, Balance and Strength at Any Age

March 14, 2024 Mary Debono Season 1 Episode 64
Easier Movement, Happier Horses
Enhancing Flexibility, Balance and Strength at Any Age
Show Notes Transcript

Learn why the Feldenkrais MethodⓇ is gaining in popularity among equestrians. This innovative approach can improve your flexibility, balance and strength. And it can feel almost effortless.   

In this episode, you'll hear how the Feldenkrais Method can improve your ability to ride easily and comfortably - at any age!    

Want to know more? 

Key Takeaways: 

  •  Feldenkrais Method improves flexibility, balance, and strength, especially with age
  •  You can improve your riding and your confidence through Feldenkrais lessons
  •  Focuses on coordination and organization of the body for efficient movement
  • Helps regain proprioception, balance, flexibility, and strength after injuries or aging
  • Takes a holistic approach to physical and mental well-being
  • Does not emphasize stretching, which can exacerbate inefficient movement habits
  • Enhances body awareness for riders and horses
  • Improve how you move and feel in and out of the saddle! 

🐴 Our Move with Your Horse program offers Feldenkrais lessons and live coaching so that you AND your horse can move and feel better than ever!

💥 Sign up to be among the first to know when we open the doors to our online group coaching program, Move with Your Horse! 🐴 https://www.marydebono.com/joinhorse 💥

Podcast show notes for THIS episode: https://www.marydebono.com/blog/h64

Free rider masterclass:

All information is for general educational purposes ONLY and doesn't constitute medical or veterinary advice. Please consult a qualified healthcare provider if you or your horse are unwell or injured. 

Hello, would you like to know how to improve your flexibility, your balance, and your strength, especially as you age? Hi, my name is Mary Debono and welcome to the Easier Movement, happier Horses podcast. I'm so glad you're here. And I'd like to start by giving you a few stories about some, some of my clients that I think might be a little inspiring or maybe a lot inspiring for you.

So this client named Carolyn, and she was a dressage rider and she had very tight hips. And I find that that's really, really common, by the way, with people in general, is that their hips get really tight. So she had tight hips and her back was often sore. She just was very uncomfortable. So riding was getting a bit difficult and you know,

because dressage, for example, there's so much precision involved, she was having a really hard go of it. And the other thing she was noticing was she was starting to lose her confidence. So in other words, where she could easily ride a spook before, 'cause she'd been riding basically her whole life, she suddenly didn't feel confident riding her younger horse and,

you know, who did some spooking and, you know, had had a little more frisky nature than her other horse. And so she started noticing, she was like doing less and less. So she started taking some Feldenkrais lessons with me. I started working with her and she was amazed at the difference because suddenly her hips became freer. She stopped having back pain and just kind of naturally she regained her confidence because,

and I'll tell you why this totally makes sense, because her nervous system felt safer. In other words, your nervous system is tasked with keeping you safe. So even if you think, I don't know why I am, I'm anxious about riding, or I feel a little worried about doing that particular thing with my horse, it's your brain is saying, Hey,

I don't know about that. You know, and, and we should listen to it. By the way, I'm not one of those that say you should just totally disregard any kind of fear. You, you may feel. But in Carolyn's case, she, and, and in many others I've worked with, she recognized that as she got more flexible,

more balanced and stronger in her body, she just naturally regained her confidence. So that, that was pretty cool. So that's really important. Another one was Doris. Now Doris was an old, much older rider, and she came into writing later in life. And you know, she, she was working out, she was going to different classes, she was going to the gym,

she was doing all the things, you know, to stay fit and, and she was fit to begin with. But you know, just to maintain that fitness as she got older. And she knew it would help her riding, but it wasn't enough. She, because this is a key distinction, you know, if you are working out, which is wonderful,

it's wonderful to do, and you know, all those things that go along with that, but you might just be exacerbating whatever movement habits you already have. So if you overuse certain parts of yourself and underuse others, you are just going to strengthen those movement habits, those patterns, if you will, by working out if you don't address it. So in the work that I do,

which is the Feldenkrais method, that is a big, you know, component of it is that we help you have more coordination, more appropriate coordination of your parts. We call it being better organized so that the parts work the way they were supposed to, right? The way they're designed to. So the big muscles do the powerful stuff, the smaller muscles say in your,

you know, your arms and, and hands and neck, things like that. Therefore, sensing and directing movement. And this, this allows you to move with greater efficiency ha to be stronger, right? And more flexible. Okay? Another, another rider was Rachel. Now Rachel got, fortunately she fell off her horse, her horse spooked and reared and did all kind of bucked and did all the things.

And she came off and she had a severe fracture of her upper leg, her femur. And so she had to have surgery for that. It was a very long recovery. And you know, she also noticed that of course she was feeling a little anxious even after she was cleared to return to riding. She wanted to make sure that she was okay,

you know, so the first thing she did actually is she put the horse in with a trainer and she did different things to make sure the horse was safe. It was kind of a one-off situation with her horse that that happened. But she made sure other people were riding the horse and training the horse and things like that. But the Feldenkrais method really helped her regain her proprioception.

So her ability to kind of know where all the limbs are in space, know where you're organized, which really is important for riding and, and everything really helped with her balance and definitely helped with her flexibility and strength because she really had to get stronger after that. So again, she was doing all the other things that people do for strength, but this gave her that added efficiency of movement.

So you're automatically stronger there. Something, and I know I've said this in previous podcasts, so forgive me if you've heard it before, but there's a difference between straining and using healthy effort. So you can think of straining is when you're, you're, you know, you're doing something that's requires effort. So whether it's at the gym or lifting bales of hay or bags of feed or whatever you're doing,

that's there's, there's effort involved. But if you're doing it in a way that you are inefficient, if you're overusing some parts, underusing others and creating wear and tear damage, that's strain. But if you're using all your parts in this harmonious, elegant way, then you are using healthy effort and the the wear and tear damage on your body is greatly reduced,

okay? That movement is actually, you know, nourishing to your body rather than degrading to your body. Okay? So Rachel had to learn all that kind of all over again, and Feldenkrais method helped her with that. And then there was another lady, Maureen, who she had had from a riding accident as well. Unfortunately, she had multiple surgeries on both legs.

She had also had a lot of muscle damage, things like that. She had been doing tons and, and this was years and years before I met her that she had those injuries and she had been doing all the things, okay? All the different popular workouts and traditional workouts and you know, definitely working with a trainer, all the things, a horse trainer and a personal fitness trainer.

And with her though, it was really eye-opening when I led her through these different Feldenkrais movement lessons that we have, you could think of them as gentle exercises. She was floored at how much better she could use her legs afterwards, because again, what was I doing? I was helping her feel where she was overusing places where she was underusing things and how she could expand her range of movement in a healthy,

safe way. So her nervous system wasn't trying to shut it down and protect her from it. Okay? That's a really big important, big important piece here is that you, the way the Feldenkrais method works is that we set you up so that it feels safe to do it. So your nervous system will want to expand your movement potential so you will have more flexibility,

better balance, and feel and be stronger. Okay? Another lady, Ruth, she was, she was quite a bit older. She had had a hip replacement, I think it was a couple of years or so before I met her. Lot of people have joint replacements and they go back to riding, okay? So just so you know, and I've worked with many of them,

whether it's knees or hips or shoulders, I mean, all kinds of things. And in her case, she had the hip replacement surgery, which according to her surgery went great. She did all the pt, she did all the things, but she still was walking with a limp. She still didn't feel balanced. And this is a big problem for an equestrian,

right? So she felt like one leg was, was longer than the other, which that can happen with a hip replacement. Because if you've worn down one side and your brain got used to that, then when they put the new hip in, you might feel like that leg is longer. Okay? Her surgeon kept reassuring her, they kept measuring everything,

everything was even, but her, her brain had gotten used to it being a certain way. But another thing I discovered was when I was watching her do the Feldenkrais movement lessons, she wasn't even in her pelvis. So all I had to do was take her through, just walk her through a different Feldenkrais lesson that addressed that. And it was crazy how much better she was.

She was completely, when she stood up, felt even on her, on her legs because she wasn't hiking up one side of her pelvis, by the way, you don't have to have a hip replacement to be doing that. Hiking up one side of the pelvis. I was doing that from a young age, and many, many people do that to some degree,

okay? So she was able to, to move around after that, totally balanced and without any kind of walking aids. So that was really cool. So these are things that are, are any i, there really is, I, I'm trying to think of a situation where it wouldn't work, but I can't think of one right now. But the Feldenkrais method is so effective because it is such a holistic approach,

and I'm using that term very specifically, holistic, meaning it takes the, the entirety of yourself into account, okay? It's not just about, it's not about at all stretching one particular muscle. It's not about strengthening one particular muscle. It's how can you increase your awareness so you are more aware of how you move and how you pick up things and you know,

how you do anything in life. And then helping you find easier, more comfortable and efficient ways to do that. Okay? So there's so much about self-awareness in it, and I'll tell you another really cool thing about it is it doesn't just help you physically. Yes, it totally helps you physically. And if that's all you care about, that's fine,

it will help you. But it helps so many people, myself included, on like a mindset level. You can consider an emotional level, whatever you wanna, however you wanna think about it. It also helps you there because again, you are working with the entirety of yourself, how you approach problems, how you approach challenges, you know, like even,

even if it's not directly telling you that because you're thinking, oh, we're just doing these lovely movements and I always feel better afterwards, but your brain is getting all kinds of stimulation that also help you in other aspects of your life. So it's not just about your physical wellbeing or your, you know, your strength, your flexibility, your balance. It actually is so much about your emotional state,

your mental wellbeing, if you will as well, which is really cool. I mean, so many people have told me how much better they feel just in everyday life when they take what they call a Feldenkrais approach to their problems. And I'll give you a little secret probably if you've listened to the podcast. You've probably heard me say this question before, it's one of my favorites.

But it's, how can this feel easier? And you can apply, how can this feel easier to just about anything, right? And so that's one, one little way, but there's so many other ways just by getting more in touch with yourself and opening yourself up to this idea that the body, you know, the whole body mind connection and how we can,

you know, harness our neuroplasticity, our ability of our nervous system to make changes based on environmental factors, based on challenges we're we're getting in the real world, right? The brain can develop, can grow, can help you sort things out, so to speak. I mean, the brain is incredibly plastic. That's the whole neuroplasticity that's malleable. And for a long time people didn't realize that,

but it is, it's incredible. So there's so many ways that the Feldenkrais method really builds on that. It really enhances your ability to create new neural connections and to have more opportunities, more possibilities in your life. So it's really, really cool stuff. So if we think, so, so let's, let's talk about like specific things. So I mentioned how it helps with flexibility.

One thing we don't do in the Feldenkrais method is we don't generally say to stretch, okay? And the reason being is that when you're stretching, that's a whole different subject, if you will, because a lot of times what can happen if you are stretching like isolated muscles, again, your nervous system can feel alarmed at that. It could feel like,

oh, I, there was a reason I kept that muscle short. And now you're, you're stretching it like, you know, alarm bells can kind of go off. And a lot of times what people experience is they find out that the muscle starts getting shorter after that. And they have to rely on this, you know, a specific stretching to do,

you know, continuously. And again, that can actually exacerbate inefficient or maladaptive movement habits that you have. And instead, what we do in the Feldenkrais method is I, we kind of take away the reason why your brain wanted to shorten that muscle in the first place. And by that I mean, when you move in a really organized way, an efficient way,

your brain won't be trying to shorten muscles, you know, unnecessarily. They'll be short when they're needed to contract, but then they'll go back to a healthy length. And I can tell you this from experience, I was a stretcher. I'll say, you know, I was, I had my little stretching routine before I came across the Feldenkrais method, and I did it religiously.

And yet despite that, I had back pain, I had very bad hip pain, I had problems with my, my neck. I mean, I had severe carpal tunnel syndrome that resulted in nerve damage. I mean, I had a whole bunch of things and I was in my late twenties at the time, okay? So when I came across the Feldenkrais method,

I remember being really resistant with my teachers to this idea of not stretching at f you know, at first until, and then I thought, well, okay, I'm here. I am committing to this. Let me, let me give it a go. And I found out that I didn't need to stretch anymore. It was really interesting. And so I can still do all the things,

you know, touch my palms to the floor and all that, if that's important to you. I still feel very flexible, but I'm no longer dependent on that. And I think what was happening with me is that those stretches were actually just exacerbating my inefficient movement habits. And I see this with a lot of people. So again, stretching is another project,

if you will, another area that's, that's not something we do. The other thing about stretching, you have to be careful about. I'm not saying never to stretch. If stretching is something that you like to do, there may be reasons why you want to do that, but within the Feldenkrais lessons, there may be times where you do feel like that lengthening.

There's definitely times where you feel that, but we make sure that you're using your entire self in a healthy way when you do it. Okay? So it's different than just isolating stretches. So I don't wanna get into a whole big discussion about stretching here, but the other thing that's interesting about it is that sometimes when you isolate muscles, they've done some studies with this,

that the muscles actually can be 30% weaker afterwards and more prone to injury. So we gotta be careful about the stretching. So again, I'm not, I'm not saying stretching is horrible, it's just that in this approach we tend not to go there. Another reason is when you're stretching, your nervous system is so like preoccupied, if you will, by the sensation of stretching,

that it kind of drowns out other sensations. It's the same way that we encourage you not to go through pain, right? To not do things that are uncomfortable while you're doing Feldenkrais. Because again, that's kind of noise for the nervous system. It's distracting to the nervous system. So you don't pick up all the nuances, all the, all the sensory stimuli that can help you improve your movement.

Okay? So those are some really important reasons not to like push into a stretch. Certainly not when you're doing the Feldenkrais lessons anyway, okay? So it's a different approach to to, to flexibility than maybe you're used to. Okay? But it's, it's amazing how it works. It's actually kind of really fun. So another thing we talked about, so we talked about,

you know, flexibility. Now let's talk a little bit about balance. You know, and, and feeling out of balance can happen at any age. It can happen because of injuries. It can happen because of disease processes that maybe are affecting your B, your ability to balance, it can happen as you age. It can happen even from stress I've heard,

can actually cause people to feel out of balance. So there's a lot of like physically I out of balance. So there's a lot of reasons for it. And in the Feldenkrais method, again, when you start to really get an awareness of what you're doing, of how you're standing, how you're walking, how you're lying on the floor, how you're sitting on your horse,

you start to, and again, there's, we have very specific gentle awareness exercises to help you with this. You start to distribute the effort of moving, of sitting, of standing or riding more equitably and your balance naturally improves. Okay? And again, then when you start doing is you start laying down these new neural connections that help you integrate that.

Okay? So again, it's a very different way of approaching balance. And we do use like some challenges. So in other words, it's not all, oh, you're lying on the floor and meditating or anything like that. You can ask my students, my current students and the move with your horse online program that I have, which I will be opening up the doors to that soon,

which super excited about. But we have some challenging lessons as well. But the beauty of the Feldenkrais method is you can even take a challenging lesson and modify it to your level. So maybe you've had an injury, maybe there's just a lot of wear and tear. Maybe there's, you know, d different reasons why you need to modify it and it can still have tremendous benefit for you.

So that's really cool. So I wanna emphasize it's not just all about lying on the floor. Matter of fact, one of my Feldenkrais teachers, the late, the late great Dennis Leary said, you know, the people that think like Feldenkrais is just about lying on the floor, like being aware of yourself. He said you would just end up being a skin bag full of sensations.

Which I thought that was kind of a funny way of saying it. But what he's saying is it was about action. Moshe Feldenkrais who originated the Feldenkrais method, he was a, you know, he was a scientist, he was an engineer, he was a very, very, what's the word I'm looking for? But he was a, a wonderful skilled martial artist,

okay? And by the way, so was Dennis Leary. And it's about act, it's about action. It's about how you can act in the world. So worrying, you know, just thinking it's about lying down and just feeling yourself. That's not the way Feldenkrais works. However, we do come back to that over and over again because I'll be honest,

lying on the floor is a great way to start getting in touch with yourself. Like, in other words, you can feel when you're lying on the floor, and I go over this in the, in the previous episode, episode 63, when you're lying on the floor, different things will like pop out at you. Like, oh wow, I have a lot of space on the right side of my lower back,

not so much on the left. Or I feel my pelvis is twisted or my left leg is longer. Or, you know, my right shoulder touches the floor differently than the left. So you really can get to know yourself that way. So lying on the floor is great, and we come back to that a lot in the Feldenkrais method. Like we take these little mini breaks during a Feldenkrais lesson because it's also an opportunity to not only notice the differences,

which is really important for your brain, but also to give yourself a little rest so that your brain can kind of upload the information, if you will. Okay? So that's how that works. So now let's, let's talk about strength. I touched on this a little bit already when I talked about the distribution of effort. So in the Feldenkrais method,

we think of strength again in a very holistic way. It's not about isolating muscles and making them stronger. And again, there's nothing wrong with working out. I think working out is fabulous, but it's so critical that you do it in a way that is going to be the most beneficial for you. And by to do that, your whole self has to be organized in a way that when you do pick up that kettlebell or that dumbbell,

or go on that way weight machine or use your own, you know, body weight as resistance or TheraBands or whatever you're using, is that you do it in a way that you're not overly stressing other parts of yourself. Like maybe joints or maybe really stressing some muscle more than you should. And not stressing, you know, not not giving enough resistance to another part of yourself,

cheating, if you will. And it's not just about form. People think, oh, it's about form. Yeah, that, that plays a role. But form comes, you have to have the all the parts coordinated well to be able to use proper form in a healthy way. Okay? So it's not just about like pulling in your stomach, tucking your tail or something like that.

It's about doing it in a, again, this wholeistic way. So we go through a whole thing actually in the Feldenkrais method of, especially when people are dealing with injuries or just coming back into working out, maybe they wanna lift some weights, even small ones. I will often suggest that they start out with doing the movements without anything in their hands and actually doing them in different positions.

But, okay, so I'll give you an example. And we talked about this in one of my Q and as that I do, I do these q and as within the move with your horse group. So you get live coaching, you get live coaching, by the way, in all of it, in the Feldenkrais lessons and the equine classes. And then we also have q and As.

And a woman asked about working out, and she's in her early seventies and she wanted to get back into that more. And how could she do it safely? 'cause she has a lot of neck issues, or she had a lot of neck issues. And so what we talked about was this idea that if you take some movements that you want to do,

I'm for the sake of simplicity, I'll just talk about bicep curls. 'cause people know what that is, right? And you can just feel how you do them without anything in your hand. Then what I suggest is that people actually do that same movement, but in different positions, standing up, lying, you know, sitting down, lying on your side,

lying on your back, you know, think of all the different positions you can do that in. And there it's different for the brain in every position. And you feel like, how do I do it on the right, the left side compared to the right side? You know, you just like play around with that. You start noticing, am I tensing my neck the second I do that?

And a lot of us will do that if we have a habit of tensing the neck and the shoulders. Even just doing the activity without the weight can often elicit that. And this is what's so important because once you pick that weight up, you're not gonna be as sensitive. You won't be able to feel these things. So you have to do it in,

in, in, in the preliminary stages, if you will, before you pick up a weight. Okay? Okay. So now say you've done that and you've figured out, and again, through the Feldenkrais method, I guide you through how you can let go of that habit of tensing, but walking you through this workout, if you will, this sort of pseudo workout.

Okay? So now say, okay, I, I figured out thanks to some Feldenkrais lessons, how I can do the bicep curls without eliciting that old habit I have of tensing, you know, unnecessarily you wanna tense the muscles that need to work. Of course, then what you can do is you can pick up something that's really light, but maybe kind of approximates the shape or the width of what you'd be holding.

So for some people, I say get a a paper towel roll, like the cardboard paper towel roll, or even a toilet paper roll or something. Like, I've worked with people that were artists, for example, and I found that just putting a very small light paintbrush in their hand could actually elicit that habit of tensing when they don't need to. Okay?

So start that way. So now, okay, so now your hand is around something. Well, that's going to change how you're doing the movement, even though it's not heavy, right? A paper towel roll or whatever, you know, just the inner tube of the paper towel, all right? It's not heavy, right? But it can change how you do it.

So you play with that a little while, and then you start maybe adding something that's a little heavier, okay? But something still fairly light, like maybe a pound. And then you keep playing with this. And again, you do this in the different positions and you walk through it and you, you know, and of course you'll be doing this with more than just the bicep curl,

but we're using that example. And it's really interesting how that can help, like, kind of like reshape or how you do the movements and give you the opportunity to do them in a healthy way. Okay? So, and again, and eventually you'll build up, you'll build up some people pretty rapidly. They'll build back up to whatever weight they really want to to be at as far as lifting or whatever resistance they're using.

Again, whether machine or TheraBand or their body weight or whatever. But we have to remember that the, we, we improve by noticing differences. That's how we improve. So you can't notice differences if you're going right away to a heavy weight. You, you can't, your, your brain can't discern that. But if you do small, slow, gentle movements,

your brain can tell where you're tensing unnecessarily and how you can let that go. So it does take a little bit of patience in the beginning, okay? I'm not gonna lie to you. It's, you know, you have to be comfortable getting more familiar with yourself, noticing when you tense and remember this, how you do one thing is how you do everything.

So if you can be kind and compassionate to yourself and take the time to go through some lovely Feldenkrais lessons, for example, that feel really good, or just take the time with this. If you're not in the program or you know, really feeling yourself, right? That's going to pay big dividends, huge dividends, not only for your own physical and,

and mental health and wellbeing, but also how you approach other things. How you approach working with your horse, for example. Because the same concepts that apply to you apply to your horse, okay? That your horse's nervous system has to feel the difference between things to know which one to choose. And if you, when you back off and you allow your horse,

the space and the time to do things small and slow, right? Then their nervous system has the opportunity to choose the healthier option and how they move. Because they have maladaptive habits as much as we do, okay? And they have more things to contend with. They have, you know, maybe tack that didn't fit correctly, maybe unbalanced riders. 'cause that's super common.

You know, poor training methods, environmental things like maybe they're not allowed to be social with other horses or have enough freedom to move, you know, all those things that horses in our present life have to deal with. So it's the same thing. So taking the time to develop these skills with within yourself of slowing down, you know, doing less so you can feel more will pay huge dividends for you and for your horse.

And by the way, the way you show up more balanced, more flexible, stronger will of course help your horse as well. So, and, and remember, it's that underlying sense of ease or effort, right? You want an underlying sense of ease so your horse can respond to that. 'cause horses do we shape our interactions with our horses, how we breathe,

how we move, you know, how we direct our attention are all felt by your horse, and they all shape the interactions you have with your horse. So your horse sense that underlying feeling of either ease or effort that you bring to them, okay? So the more you pay attention to yourself, the more you can kind of tune into yourself, recognize where you're holding unnecessary tension,

right? That's gonna pay big dividends for you. But the Feldenkrais method, because it's such a holistic approach, and again, it really recognizes that body mind connection, it can help you so much with your body awareness so that you know where you are in space. You know, when you're sitting on your horse, oh, this seat bone is a little heavier than that one.

Let me see how I can change that. Or, hmm, I'm noticing that my right leg is climbing up a little bit, you know, creeping up. Why is that? Oh, maybe if I do something with the ribs on my left side, or whatever it is, right? It's, again, it's that holistic approach and the body awareness is huge.

And you'll even be able, if you're working with a trainer, an instructor, you'll be able to understand that person better because you'll, you'll, your, in other words, your trainer will be happy to Feldenkrais because you'll be more aware of yourself. And so you can listen to their instructions. You can follow their instructions, okay? Because a lot of times we want to do what their instructor is,

is suggesting, but we just don't have the body awareness to pull it off. Well, the Feldenkrais method, because you're tuning into yourself and exploring on this deep level, it really gives you that body awareness, okay? And so this is, we do so much of this in the Move with your horse program that's coming up. So what I would say as far as your,

your actionable items, if you will, is if you haven't listened to episode 63, you might wanna go ahead and listen to that. And I'll put a link in the show notes for that because the, the URL might be hard to remember if you can't write this down right away, it's mary Debono dot com slash blog forward slash h like in horse,

but it's a lowercase H six three. And that's the show notes. And you can, you can get that one or just look at whatever podcast episode was in front of before this one. And, and then the other thing I would suggest, if you haven't already go do my Rider masterclass, I mean, it's completely free. And that's mary Debono dot com slash rider and they'll of course be a link to that.

And then the other thing is you might wanna consider joining the wait list for the Move with your Horse program, because I'm super excited about it. There's no obligation you could be on the wait list. It doesn't mean you have to join, but you'll get the added perks and bonuses that I'm giving, and you'll be the first to know when the doors officially open and,

and get all the good stuff. So you can go to mary Debono dot com slash join horse. It's all one word, all lowercase. And again, that will be in the description of wherever you're watching or listening to this episode. Okay? So I would love to hear from you, what, what would you like help with? Whether, again,

you're, you're a mature rider that is noticing that you're kind of losing a little bit of flexibility or, or balance or strength and you want to improve that, or maybe you're a much younger rider, but you want to continue to improve, you want to fine tune your, you know, your flexibility and your balance and your strength, or you're coming back from an injury maybe.

And by the way, I wanna point out this is not just for riders, in other words, yes, the, the, the classes that I teach, we definitely, you know, it's about equestrians, but there, there's many people that don't ride. They're still horse people, but they don't ride, they work with their horses on the ground.

Maybe they do a lot of what I call liberty play. That's always been a big favorite of mine. For example, maybe they run and hike with their horse like I do, or I did my, my Horse passed away unfortunately a few months ago. But there's so many fun things you can do with horses that don't involve riding. So, yes,

while I do work quite a lot with riders, don't be put off. If you're not riding your horse, whether temporarily or forever you don't wanna ride your horse, this still applies to you because you're still bringing that same, you're still bringing yourself to your horse, to your interaction. So all the things I spoke about apply to you, whether you ride your horse or not,

okay? And we would welcome you in the program whether you ride or not. So anyway, feel free to reach out to me, mary@marydiano.com if you, and please tell me, please tell me what challenges you're dealing with, what you'd like me to cover on a, a future podcast. And I'd be happy to, to look at that for you.

So thank you so, so much for being here. I just treasure and appreciate you listening and means the world to me to share this work. So again, I appreciate you, you caring so much about yourself and your horse that you're willing to do that. So thank you again, and I look forward to talking to you real soon. Bye for now.