Olivia Farm

Registered Norwegian Fjord Horses

© Olivia Farm, Inc. 2017, all rights reserved

Yoga Based Riding Instruction

Solveig riding Skogheims Viljar

Working with a student on the lunge

I grew up with horses but was never a talented athlete or an extremely dedicated rider.  I tried numerous competitive disciplines and never quite found the one that fit.  I gave up ring riding for trail riding and didn’t ever plan on horses as a career.  However, I knew my life would always have horses and as I grew up I developed more of a passion for riding, especially dressage.  Then Fjords came into my life.

 

After a few traumatic horse related injuries (not to mention birthing a few children, a traumatic experience for my body) I suffered from almost debilitating hip and back issues.   The road to recovery is not an easy one, no matter your age or fitness level.   I worked with a number of qualified professionals and did get back a lot of my physical ability.  My riding, however, had reached a plateau  and again I considered foregoing dressage for recreational riding.

Luckily I’m as stubborn as my beloved Fjords and became motivated to move my riding forward.   It was this motivation that led me to new instructors, books, alignment specialists, and helped me find my new passion in biomechanically correct riding.

 

This process didn’t happen overnight, and is an ongoing journey with my body and fitness.  However,  as I became more aligned and learned the skills to align my horse with my body, the riding became easier and easier.  As a result, my horses were happier and lighter.

 

In my journey towards proper balanced alignment and riding, Yoga became the one thing that made the biggest difference.  Taking my issues and weaknesses into my own hands and having a daily “treatment” became essential to my riding development, and also my health and happiness.

I love horses and riding, but didn’t become a riding instructor for these reasons.  I became a teacher  to help the riders plagued by body alignment issues (which is a large proportion, in my opinion), to help those who are recovering from injury, stalled out or frustrated with more traditional methods, or to help anyone who wants riding to be easy, pleasurable and non-forceful.

 

The secret to it all is body alignment, awareness and control.  There are many methods of developing these things, but Yoga was the right choice for me.   I completed and passed my Yoga teacher certification in 2015/16 with the intention of being even more educated and qualified to teach my techniques to current and future students.

 

I use Yoga techniques on and off the horse to help riders take control of their bodies and minds which in turn improves their riding and gives them better communication with, and control over, their horse.    I am non discipline specific although I align with classical dressage principals.  I subscribe to a “less is more” approach to riding and sometimes refer to myself as a riding minimalist.  Once you have balance and control it is amazing what a small degree of movement can do.  Riding can become almost effortless.  That is my teaching goal for you and your horse.

Testing the balance and communication riding bridle-less in a treeless saddle

Solveig is available for riding and yoga instruction at her farm in Clayton, Washington or can travel to clinics at your farm!  

 

             One hour sessions to multi-day retreats

 

             Your horse(s) or Lesson horses

 

             Consultation for body alignment issues              and exercise/asana suggestion