Episode 20: Cathy Woods and Rider Yoga

Listen to Episode 20 with Cathy Woods

For this episode, Jec interviews Cathy Woods. Cathy teaches yoga to riders and has a book on this intersection of riding and yoga, called, you guessed it, Yoga for Riders.

We reviewed the book here.

Even if you don’t dive into horseback yoga movements, the conversation nicely reminds us that it’s all about awareness. Awareness is what makes us better riders. And it definitely helps us appreciate our time with horses.

We thank Lucerne Farms for their sustaining sponsorship. Lucerne is a forage company based in Northern Maine. Forage is chopped hay, an excellent option when you can’t have your horse on pasture or when you need to add calories and nutrients to your horses’ diet.

We also welcome back Redmond Equine to our sponsorship family. Redmond rocks and other offerings come straight from their mine in Redmond, Utah. It’s more sustainable and affordable than salt from a Himalayan company 8000 miles away and wwaayy better than factory salt.

We thank Kate’s Real Food and Patagonia WorkWear for their continued support. All ya gotta do is comment or suggest a podcast topic or send us a training question here.  You’ll be automatically qualified for our monthly Patagonia WorkWear giveaway.

Buy some rocks from Redmond Equine and check out our favorite flavor, dark chocolate mint, at Kate’s. Please follow these brands and buy their stuff as they support us and what we’re doing.

Listen to Episode 20 with Cathy Woods

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  1. From April via Maddy Butcher. April writes:
    Thank you so much for this podcast. I always learn so much when I listen. In today’s podcast, it really resonated with me what you said about being so hard on ourselves on the things we haven’t done yet with our horses instead of celebrating what we’ve accomplished so far. I am one of those ladies that got back into horses at 39, after almost 20 years of raising my family, and it wasn’t as easy as some people would tell me. “Agh! It’s like getting back on a bicycle again.” Well, is riding a bicycle really that easy to do again after 20 years? I haven’t tried it. But my balance is definitely something I struggle with. I have tried yoga in the past and really enjoyed it when I did, but I didn’t keep it up. I knew it would help me with getting connected and my balance, but I always wondered what am I trying to connect with? Is it myself? The universe? My inner spirit? And will the yoga help me not trip on my feet all the time? Is it rigorous enough to lose weight? Will it help me balance my mental thoughts as well as my physical-ness? I thought maybe the answer to all of those questions were yes and it could help me with all of those things, and at some point I even entertained the thought that it could help me indirectly with my riding. But in today’s podcast the “connection“ and “balance” became very tangible for me. What you and Cathy were saying really helped me become aware of how I could tangibly make some progress toward my being able to “feel” and get connected with my horse which will directly help me with my balance on my horse. Today I have a riding lesson with someone and it will be my first time back on my horse since December when I broke my back. There were a lot of thoughts going through my mind this morning, including canceling my lesson today, but listening to this podcast helped to put in the forefront “celebrate that I’m able to get back on my horse today.” Thank you, Jec and Cathy.

  2. I didn’t realize training and conditioning for endurance riding was so connected to yoga. Jec mentioned the ability to find “ease in her effort” when doing track workouts. Finding ease in effort is what is beneficial for both horse and rider when doing long conditioning rides. As crew for my wife I understood the pace at which she and her horse were riding along peacefully, mindfully and joyful. That pace was a 7 mph “working trot.” I could predict their mind set depending on how far off they were of this pace. On one endurance ride they were worryingly not into the check at the 7 mph average for that segment. Indeed there had been trouble at a bog and both horse and rider were not in a great place in their minds. On the other hand after the 5th day of a multi day ride, both horse and rider had settled into the “ease of effort” pace for the last 3 days. They both went about their “business” relaxed and happy. The horse’s heart rate at the final veterinary check was lower than it had been the entire ride, 24 bpm. While not labeled “yoga” many equestrians practice yoga unknowingly. Ride on!

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