My life with horses is not just a career, but a burning passion and mission that is sparked from the very core of my being. From the time I can remember, all I wanted to do was be with a horse and to this day that is still my desire.
I began riding and working at stables in my home country of England before I was even a teenager. I won stable management and riding awards, belonged to Pony Club and remember spending endless hours learning about the care and training of a horse, but there was a gap for me. That gap was that I wanted to understand the horse from the inside out. To know him emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally. From that day my quest, along with my desire to ride, train and compete, was to understand all I could about the why’s and how’s of the horse’s mind, function, movement and responses, and today I am still learning from the horse, with the horse and about the horse. My business “Equine Self Expression, Understanding the Horse from the Inside Out,” reflects that deep soul calling that I still have within me.
After high school I completed my BHS training exams then travelled to Europe and spent several years as a working student, then apprenticing with several masters who had themselves trained under former classical masters such as Nuno Oliviera. I watched, I learned, I listened and I rode and that is what I have been doing my entire life and continue to do so. I am a perpetual student, first and foremost of the horse and second to the Masters who hold the highest regard for our noble equine teachers.
My earlier adult years were spent competing and training throughout Europe in both the dressage and show jumping realms, although 3-day Eventing was my discipline of choice. I had represented the UK as a Junior Event Rider yet the dance and flow of dressage was to me the foundation to all riding. In the 80’s I was invited by an Olympic showjumper rider to come to the USA, where I continued to ride and work on the international circuit, until I ventured out alone and started my own training and teaching facility, competing through upper levels in 3-day eventing and dressage.
Throughout this journey my soul calling to discover more about the horse from the inside out continued to push me out of my comfort zone, exploring avenues of horsemanship that I had not previously explored. Over the course of several years I spent weeks at a time out in the wild exploring, tracking, following, and learning from wild horse herds. The journey was as much an exploration of my own inner landscape as it was an inside view of the inner workings of the bands that I tracked. From orderly grazing to what appeared to be disorder at the water hole, I learned that it was all order; their order, balance, protection, harmony and loyalty. They changed how I trained, taught, rode, thought and lived my life. They taught me what I most needed to know about myself so I in turn could develop deeper bonds within the horse human relationship and work with them in their language.
My training and teaching changed with a deeper understanding of their natural environment and emotional rhythms, and was reflected in my work teaching from the inside out which took on another level as a rider and trainer. I began studying in the field of Quantum Energetics, followed by Cranial Sacral School and eventually Equine Osteopathy School, continuing to fulfill my desire to know the horse from the inside out. With the emotional awareness of the herd combined with an awareness of the biomechanics, viscera and nervous systems, my teaching, training and riding once again expanded.
Today I teach riding and correct posture in clinics around the globe and assist horsemen and women to recognize that not every issue is a training issue. With a deeper knowledge of the equine body and postural system, my students learn how to support their horse whether at the highest levels of competition or as a back yard companion, incorporating into horse care and training a deeper awareness of the mind and body balance, and our effect on the entire nervous system.
My passion and mission is to educate horse lovers, both professional and recreational, sharing the knowledge that I have been so fortunate to glean over the course of my career. A very important aspect of my programs is supporting students with their own personal growth, learning and healing through a series of workshops with the horse as facilitator. Finding our own personal balance and shedding the story that no longer serves us allows us to be more present both in our life and with our horses.
I have an educational facility in Indiana where I continue to learn and train based on the classical teaching of our great masters. I offer a multitude of lectures, clinics, functional support and body work for horse and rider based on my philosophy of teaching from the inside out. Harmony, balance, relaxation and emotional safety are the building blocks for all that I do and teach with both horse and rider.
Deborah’s 2023 Presentations
The Hidden Meaning Behind the Pyramid of Training Concepts.
The Pyramid of Training represents a well-known standard of systematic and progressive learning with all concepts and levels of the pyramid interrelated.
Evaluating and Working With Thoracic Region Discomfort
In this video, Debbie is working with a 10 year old mare that has an undiagnosed condition in the thoracic region. No pathology has been diagnosed by the veterinarian but she did have a muscle injury to her pelvic region as a 4 year old.
Changing Weight Bearing Postural Patterns Through Transitions In Hand
In a static posture it is not uncommon for a horse to have 'on-the-forehand' tendencies, which affect the quality of the transition, as well as the gait that follows.
You Are Being Breathed So "Be What You Need to Do"!
We spend a lot of time focusing on our horses emotional and mental body as well as posture and balance, yet it is equally important that we consider those same concepts within ourselves.
How the Riders Nervous System Informs the Body Posture
In this video, Deb works with a rider on a saddle and saddle stand to evaluate not only the rider's posture, but the riders nervous system in that posture. Assessing the rider's comparative posture in the saddle allows the rider to recognize any adaptation of correct or incorrect posture relative to the function of the nervous system adn therefore the body.
This is video number 6 and is relative to human posture and the tension and strain on the rider when the spine is not supported.
So What About The Weight Bearing Posture of The Rider?
In consideration of the comparative parts of horse and rider, Deb discusses the efficiency of passive muscles in the rider's back versus the core postural muscles and the similarity in the systems of both horse and human.
So How Do I Release My Pelvic Floor Anyway?
The correct function of the equine pelvis determines the correct balance, stabilization and locomotion ability of the entire horse. This is part of 'self-carriage'. But, did you know the first muscles of engagement of the horse are the same first muscles we engage when we ask our horse to move? What are they? .... the psoas and the quadriceps!