Hatha, often synonymous with Yoga, is defined as the unity of the mind and body through physical exercises (or asanas). Through Hatha Yoga, humans can achieve emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual balance.
Applying the yoga ideals and principles to the way we interact with horses, we can find greater health, partnership, harmony and togetherness.
Towards this purpose, Hatha Equus combines the core principles of dressage, positive reinforcement and natural horsemanship with the essence of yoga, to develop calm, balanced and powerful equine – human relationships.
providing a safe, relaxed, fun environment to nurture happy horses and happy sidekicks (humans)
intrinsically inspiring our horses to move, love moving and be happy athletes
diving into mentally enriching activities and promoting two-way communication
bettering ourselves through soulful introspection, to support horses through their evolution
Elizabeth Riecks, Founder and Dressage Specialist
While Elizabeth dabbled in jumping and eventing in her younger years, she gravitated toward dressage because of the deep art and connection that it can build between horse and rider.
She studied dressage under the tutelage of esteemed international trainer and “O” judge, Anne Gribbons, and her accomplished assistant trainer, Tamra Brown. With their guidance, she gained an in-depth understanding and appreciation for equine biomechanics. Furthermore, she learned how to positively influence and support the physical development of horses.
Following her dressage studies, she delved into natural horsemanship, liberty, positive reinforcement and intuitive training. Over the last decade she has researched and studied the horsemanship practices of many natural horse trainers, but is influenced primarily by the systems of Karen Rohlf, and Klaus Hempfling.
Simultaneously, Elizabeth studied and practiced several modalities of yoga including Iyengar and Ashtanga Vinyasa, to great physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefit. With the help of some very amazing equine teachers (especially her beautiful geldings, Riggins and Jestoro) she made the connection that horse training and horses should have all of the benefits one can gain from an enriched yoga practice.
With this in mind, she experimented with and refined techniques that combine dressage, natural horsemanship, partnership, connection, communication and trust. The result…
Giorgia Ghizzoni, Positive Reinforcement Specialist
Giorgia believes that horses can be our best teachers, especially those who challenge us the most. She is convinced that the deepest possible connection with our equine partners is achieved through kindness, knowledge and awareness. From a place of authentic trust, nothing is impossible.
Giorgia used to ride hunter-jumper, then embraced a Natural Horsemanship philosophy. Her life completely turned around when she discovered Positive Reinforcement, as presented by Mustang Maddy’s Horse-Human Connection Academy.
Giorgia used to be a re-start trainer and rider for the Equine Rescue SERRA in Sonoma, California, and she is certified in Equine Assisted Learning through CBEIP through Medicine Horse Ranch in Tomales, California. In 2017, Giorgia was chosen by her mustang Sombra, and she said yes.
Giorgia’s mission as a Positive Reinforcement Instructor is to facilitate the creation of balanced partnerships, with equal joy and engagement for humans and horses. She does so by giving horses choice, and a voice.
Kirstin Xu, ‘Humans Learning About Horses’ Specialist
Kirstin grew up spending time with any horse she could! She did English and Western Pleasure but had the most fun at local 4H events racing barrels and just hanging out with her horse friends.
She re-started her horse education after meeting Elizabeth and Giorgia and fully embraced that it’s better to speak to horses in their own language via pressure and release and help bring two-way communication and understanding by working under threshold using Positive Reinforcement.
Her favorite part of teaching is helping humans to learn how to really listen to what their horses are telling to them and to build true friendship and partnership as a result.
Hatha Equus has found a beautiful home at Wildsong Ranch, in Longmont, CO! Our heart bursts with gratitude for this incredible place and community!