Horsemanship is an art that can be practiced and refined for a lifetime.
Design your own retreat, stay at the ranch and refine your horsemanship skills with Ariana Strozzi, lifelong horsewoman and founder of Intuitive Horsemanship™. Learn a whole new way of understanding horses that is universal to any method of horsemanship. Re-discover the magic and lightness of being with horses.
“Ariana is the most gifted horsewoman and intuitive leader I have met. Her example and feel for horses (and people) have worked the most profound changes in my life and my approach to horses.” Eileen O’Connor
“Ariana is amazing-magnificent-and a mastermind in horsemanship and communication.” Jackie Nowell, Tevis rider
“Last weekend was wonderful! I feel so relaxed and refreshed and have a new found confidence in myself that I have never felt before. I feel so open and free, and I have a connection there with my horse that I never want to lose. I also want to thank you for helping me realize the connection that one can have with their horse and that it actually is reasonable to find a connection that includes both respect and compassion for one another.” Karen Overby 2004
Horses, like wild animals, have a very keen sense of intuition and an uncanny ability to sense what is not spoken. Because of this they can often see things about us that we may not even be aware of. They are great teachers for us in the domain of intuition and intention. I find that the most interesting and effective way to learn universal horsemanship principles is to become a student of the horse. Our job is to lead them effectively, their job is to tell us when we are being effective and when we are missing the point. Yes, learning this way sometimes takes longer than applying a whip (or carrot stick), but the equestrian learns a universal way of working with horses that they can apply to any horse in any situation. The equestrian learns to respect the horse as a somatic being, a unique mind/body/spirit.
Intuitive Horsemanship™ trains the equestrian to think for him/herself and to develop a deep understanding o fthe horse’s true nature. It relies on a relationship built out of trust and respect in which the horse is an equal partner. Learning how to leverage each horse’s unique gifts and personality creates a team that can move as one with beauty and grace.
One of my primary goals in the program is to encourage participants to open our minds and bring forward our curiosity and learning-self so that we can see horses in a new light. Once we let go of what we know, a whole new world opens up that I am still fascinated to discover, as I imagine you will be too. By opening our minds, we can also bring forward a childlike playfulness, which allows learning to happen faster and more interactively with horses. When our mind is open, we are better able to understand when we are sending a mixed cue, which we otherwise would never notice. And, one of the most valuable and important consequences of an open mind, is that we can let go of self judgment and become like the horse, a non-judgmental, free spirit.
The emphasis is not on how much riding we do, but rather on learning about horses from the horse’s perspective, building a foundation for effective communication and finding balance and harmony with horses and with ourselves. It does not matter how much riding experience you already have or what style or techniques you have been trained in. All that matters is that you want to learn more about horses and yourself in relation to them. If you are stuck in a particular area with your horse or in your own horsemanship practice, this is a great place to learn what is actually stuck and we’ll get it unstuck and back in a flow.
• Horse body language-learn how to understand how the horse is feeling and what it is really trying to tell us
• Human body language-learn to align you mind/body/spirit so that the horse can trust you
• Balance-learn the principles that create balance in your heart, on the ground, in the saddle
• Herd dynamics-learn what we have in common with horses and what they need from us when we are in action with them.
• Learn what ‘being a leader of the horse’ really means?
• Energy-Horses communicate and coordinate by qualities of energy including, intention, direction, confidence, commitment, and follow-through. These qualities transcend our tools and techniques. Energy is the horses’ primary source of communication. By studying and practicing these qualities you will learn to solve your own miscommunications with the horse and not have to rely on specific instruction, tools or techniques.
• 3 levels of cues- Learn more about refinement of cues.
• Timing-learn about horse time and how it creates balance.
“Ariana – I love your new DVD. I’ve watched it many times and while doing so feel as though I am back at SkyHorse Ranch. Meeting you and participating in the class and being with the horses was such an uplifting, defining and pivotal point in life for me. Each time I watch the DVD there is a calm that comes over me and time seems not to exist and towards the end of the DVD I get excited and feel a deep desire to know more. My sense is that there is so much more to learn. It is all so intensely rewarding.”
HISTORY OF INTUITIVE HORSEMANSHIP™
I learned early on that each horse is a unique individual, just like people are. Some horses learn better with one techinque while others learn better with different tecniques. I learned that it is hard to have a defined set of rules of how to work with horses that applies to the various personalities of different breeds and their environmental circumstances. At each stable I worked at there was an implied, ‘This is the way you do horses and if you don’t do it this way you don’t know anything about horses’. Being a young person who wanted to know everything about horses, I stayed open and curious. I learned quickly that the masterful horsewomen and men were using different techniques and tools, but they were getting the same results.
I threw theory to the wind, and began to look at the universal principles that lay beneath the art of horsemanship. What were these masterful horse trainers doing behind their tools and beyond their terminology. I began to see energy and qualities of being present. I saw intention, focus, patient resolve, direction and right timing. They had developed an intuitive ability to know when to reward a horse and when to create heirarchal boundaries.
Over the years, working with english and western disciplines and different breeds, I learned that these qualities of presence were fundamental. The tools we use as equestrians are just extensions of ourselves and are really only necessary as a last resort. These tools c an be easily misused if the equestrian is not responsible for what they are energetically asking of the horse. For example, many beginner equestrians ask the horse to go faster by kicking the side of their rib cage, and yet they are inadvertently pulling back on the reins. The horse becomes confused and irrated at the mixed cues of their rider and start to get tense and resist. If the rider is not being self-responsible he/she thinks there is something wrong with the horse. The more effective reflection is what is the rider doing that is causing the resistance? 99% of the time a horse is not doing what a rider is asking, it is not about the horse, but rather what the rider is doing or not doing that is causing the conflict.
The most efficient way to become a better rider for the horse is to be honest, just like they are, and to be self-reflective. The horse is a mirror of our inner thoughts, beliefs and possibilities (or not). To be self-reflective is to open the sensate part of ourselves that is still an animal. As humans, this biological birth right is often rusty and uncared for. It is taught out of us at an early age, simply through ignorance.
When & Where
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Our SkyHorse team of coaches, leadership trainers and collaborative partners offer a wide range of skill to accomplish this task.