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Individual sessions, as well as Half & Full Day clinics, are available in-person at your barn.

All sessions include assessment, correctives, integration, and recordings for reference.

Breathe Better. Move Better. Ride Better.

As equestrians, we prioritize our horse's quality of life.

 

How many supplements, vets, alternative health practitioners, blankets, saddle pads, wraps, treatments, saddle fittings, and so forth have you tried for your horse? Probably a lot!

 

But what about your impact on your horse? What about the influence your aches, pains, imbalances, and inconsistencies have on how your horse moves and feels? These things may be natural, the result of injury, or due to chronic compensation patterns.

And that is OK! We are, after all, only human. But we do owe it to ourselves and our horses to try and optimize our stability, balance, and movement patterns.

 

Working with Ashleigh empowers you, the rider, to take care of yourself.

Your horse will thank you.

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  • Bodywork for Equestrians: An Introduction
    Based on the principles, protocols, and anatomy-focused practice of Immaculate Dissection (ID), I’m delighted to welcome you to Bodywork for Equestrians. Anatomically correct diaphragmatic breathing is the foundation of ID and HMT. Two of our biggest core muscles (transverse abdominis and internal abdominal oblique) are also involved in respiration. When we breathe correctly, we function better. There are four aspects that we address to improve breathing, build gut pressure, optimize core stability, and develop strength & coordination. They are Supine 90/90 Breathing, Prone Breathing, Spinal Load-share Flexion & Extension, and Pelvic Floor. It is vital to understand that recovery and conditioning are not actually linear - Supine 90/90 is our foundation, and the other three are goalposts. We go in this order, but we allow for the ebb and flow of daily life to influence how we progress through the modules. Your progress is strongly influenced by how diligently you implement the strategies into your daily life. I do my best to teach the material in a comprehensive way, and have created myriad support systems to enable your success. You will have my cell phone and email so you can send questions at any time. This is learning a new language and skill-set - you will have questions, and I will be here to answer. You will progress or regress is also based on what is happening in your life, things within and beyond your control. If you have never done this before, you will adapt slowly. Trauma, injuries, and chronic/acute issues will influence your path. Some goalposts will be more challenging than others. There is no right or wrong path; fast or slow does not matter. Quality over quantity every single time. My goal is to meet you, your body, your mind, and your horse where you are, and help guide you all to where you'd like to be. Please be gentle with yourself, enjoy the process, and trust that I will be by your side, helping and empowering you as much as you’d like.
  • Unmounted Workshop: Breathwork for Equestrians
    I've designed this workshop to introduce you and your barn to my work and me, in a fun, interactive group setting. It covers a brief "Why Breathing?" anatomy lesson, palpation guide, assessments, and at least three correctives. 60-90 minutes (depending on the number of participants and how much fun we’re having!) $50/pp Limit 20 people; recommended 5-8 and each person brings a buddy for assessment & palpation comfort. Setting: Riding ring or field or other weather-appropriate space. What to wear & bring: - Athleisure/clothes you would wear to the gym/yoga/grocery store. - Yoga mat - Water bottle - Notebook & writing utensil if that's your vibe
  • Bodywork for Equestrians: Single Session
    What it includes: One 60 minute session One virtual check-in, 1-2 weeks after the in-person session. Videos for reference Accountability sheet How It Works Riding assessment - usually 10-15 minutes during which we chat about your challenges, your horse, and what adjustments your instructor suggests you make. I'll be observing your position, loadshare, balance, transitions, etc. Hands-on breathing assessment and correction, including stability work, spinal loadshare awareness, and motor control movement therapy. Re-mounted integration of new strategies. Choose this individual session if you: Are curious and just want to test the waters Need a follow-up appointment Want to work one step at a time Are having trouble with core stability, tipping, leaning, sitting tall, breathing while you ride. Cost $175 until June 1st.
  • Bodywork for Equestrians: Part I
    Part 1: Supine 90/90 Supine 90/90 Breathing provides the gateway to core stability, gut pressure*, relieving muscle tension due to compensation, and creating balance. It illuminates primary breathing issues like one side filling less than the other, lower ribs not moving, too much belly/chest involvement; and is the most effective way to start optimizing the system. What it includes: Two 60 minute sessions, about 6-8 weeks apart. These include riding assessment, hands-on breathing assessment and correction, stability work, spinal loadshare awareness, and motor control movement therapy; re-mounted integration of new strategies. Two virtual check-ins, each 1-2 weeks after the in-person session. Videos and photos for reference Accountability worksheet How it works: Clients begin with Supine 90/90, and are guided through diaphragm release, corrective breathing, and applicable motor control movement therapy.** This can progress over our weeks together into core-specific and full-body exercises as the client’s body becomes ready. Choose this program if you: Are interested in a thorough, modular approach that progresses you at your own pace. Want lots of support and coaching Are having trouble with core stability, tipping, leaning, sitting tall, breathing while you ride. Want a discount! Cost $300 until June 1st.
  • Bodywork for Equestrians: Part 2
    Part II: Prone Breathing After we’ve started to optimize the front of the body and the core, we turn our attention to the posterior. Several of our biggest core muscles are also respiratory, and they attach at points on the back. Breathing isn’t quite 360 degrees, but we need the back to expand. This also allows areas of compensation (hello tight neck and shoulders!) to develop stability and retraining to focus on their own jobs. They don’t need to help respiration; they’ve just gotten stuck doing so. What it includes: Two 60 minute sessions, about 6-8 weeks apart. These include riding assessment, hands-on breathing assessment and correction, stability work, spinal loadshare awareness, and motor control movement therapy; re-mounted integration of new strategies. Two virtual check-ins, each 1-2 weeks after the in-person session. How it works: Clients lie face-down in a supported, active position and are guided through this new corrective breathing technique and applicable motor control movement therapy.* Prone breathing can progress to prone-popped, bird-dog, plank, dead-lift, etc as we continue working together. Choose this program if you: Have completed Part 1 and feel ready to move forward! If you're not sure, Ashleigh will be able to confirm you're readiness or may suggest additional standalone sessions to make sure you are on track. Are interested in a thorough, modular approach that progresses you at your own pace. Want lots of support and coaching Are having trouble with core stability, tipping, leaning, sitting tall, breathing while you ride. Want a discount! Cost $300 until June 1st.
  • Bodywork for Equestrians: Part 3
    Part 3: Flexion/Extension You’ve likely heard of cat/cow; this is the new & improved version! Instead of big, whole-spine movements, we focus on micro-movements to retrain stuck sections of the spine to move again. Areas that don’t move well cause the segments on either side to compensate and move more. This leads to overuse, wear & tear, injury, and, over the long-term, disc issues, pain, and increasingly problematic compensation (think of the bent-over, hump-backed older folks you see) What It Includes Two 60 minute sessions, about 4-8 weeks apart. These include riding assessment, hands-on breathing assessment and correction, stability work, spinal loadshare awareness, and motor control movement therapy; re-mounted integration of new strategies. Two virtual check-ins, each 1-2 weeks after the in-person session. How it works Assessment of flexion and extension to see where the body is holding tension and compensating along the spine. This is Part 3 because Parts 1 & 2 are designed to stabilize, optimize, and prepare the body for this element. Choose this program if you: Have completed Parts 1 & 2 and feel ready to move forward! If you're not sure, Ashleigh will be able to confirm you're readiness or may suggest additional standalone sessions to make sure you are on track. Are interested in a thorough, modular approach that progresses you at your own pace. Want lots of support and coaching Are having trouble with core stability, tipping, leaning, sitting tall, breathing while you ride. Want a discount! Cost $300 until June 1st.
  • Bodywork for Equestrians: Part 4
    Part 4: Pelvic Floor Think of your pelvic floor as the bottom of your house. Leaks, cracks, and issues in the basement eventually cause issues in the whole structure, and our pelvic floor is the same! Along with doing some rotation of the femur (thigh bone), our pelvic floor helps us maintain gut pressure and core stability. With a loss of pressure, you’re likely to get things like hernia, prolapse, painful sex, leaking, etc. This work is NOT internal - we address pelvic floor the same way we address core stability, gut pressure, and movement issues: breathing and motor control pendulums. What it includes: Two 60 minute sessions, about 6-8 weeks apart. These include riding assessment, hands-on breathing assessment and correction, stability work, spinal loadshare awareness, and motor control movement therapy; re-mounted integration of new strategies. Two virtual check-ins, each 1-2 weeks after the in-person session. How it works: Assessment of femoral internal & external rotation. Motor control pendulum for pelvic floor muscles Re-assess. Choose this program if you: Have completed Parts 1-3 and feel ready to move forward! If you're not sure, Ashleigh will be able to confirm you're readiness or may suggest additional standalone sessions to make sure you are on track. Are interested in a thorough, modular approach that progresses you at your own pace. Want lots of support and coaching Are having trouble with core stability, tipping, leaning, sitting tall, breathing while you ride. Want a discount! Cost $300 until June 1st.
  • Important Things to Note
    Yes, you must go through the method in order. We don’t rush through the protocols or skip a section as they build on each other. The Immaculate Dissection team designed this protocol to be the most effective approach to injury recovery, and I follow in their footsteps in adapting it for equestrians. The efficacy of the methodology absolutely requires active participation from the client! If you need more time or support between appointments, I would be delighted to fine-tune a program for you and can provide shorter, virtual check-ins to make sure you maintain your progress! Remember that recovery and strength-building are not linear, and we are on this journey together. *Gut pressure! A car tire works best when fully pressurized, yes? When it loses air, the whole car’s alignment can be impacted, as well as the tire rim and barrel. Too much imbalance of pressure and you get a blow out or a flat. Our gut is the same: too little pressure and our whole-body systems can become dysfunctional (think Sebo, stomach acid, blood pressure/circulation, and more); and unbalanced pressure can create blow-outs in the form of hernias, prolapses, etc. **Motor control movement therapy: I use a movement pendulum to retrain dysfunctional muscle relationships. A pendulum swings back and forth, and doing this with muscles reminds them of their whole range of motion. This movement is intended to take a muscle that is locked in a short position gradually into its long position, and vice versa. It is an active retraining, meeting a muscle where it is and taking it where it needs to be. Pendulums are better at rehabilitation than stretching because of this gradual approach: Stretching is just forcing a muscle into a long position with no thought to whether that muscle actually needs to be long. Have you ever stretched a rubber band too much? Keep stretching something, and it will eventually snap. Stretch something that is tightly wound and it’s also likely to snap because you’re forcing elasticity where there isn’t stability or because the structure can’t allow it.
  • Bodywork for Equestrians: Jumping Edition
    90 minute session co-hosted with a riding instructor; up to 5 riders per group. 30 minute unmounted anatomy and movement pattern lesson. Includes brief core stability exercises, movement subsystem cuing, and hinge/squat review. 30 minute mounted integration through flat-work warm-up. 30 minute integration over fences. $125 per rider (not including instructor fee; auditing options available) Videos for reference Choose this if you: Like group lessons Want a stand-alone option Or want a stand-alone that may lead to more session with Ashleigh Need to feel more stable and balanced while jumping; forget to breathe while jumping; have no sense of what your feet or leg muscles are doing.
  • Bodywork for Equestrians Clinics
    These clinics will use the Introductory/Standalone Session protocol; and then Ashleigh will individualize each rider's treatment plan for continued collaboration. $600 for Half-Day (Up to 4 consecutive riders) $1200 for Full-Day (Up to 8 consecutive riders) Promo price until June 1, 2024 Choose this if you: Are a barn owner/manager/riding instructor/great organizer Have 4-8 folks who need to improve their core stability, balance, position, and tension in the saddle Appreciate a discount Are interested in being a host barn (ring fee paid directly to you by riders, possibility for auditing) Can I audit? Yes! Auditing costs $50 per person per day, not including the ring fee if the host barn requires one to audit. Please pay Ashleigh directly with PayPal, Venmo, or cash.
  • How do you approach ring fees for the host barn?
    If an individual books a session or a clinic, Ashleigh pays the fee and provides a receipt. If the barn/instructor/owner books, they collect the ring fee from each rider.
  • What is your travel policy?
    Have massage table, will travel! Travel fees are based on the IRS mileage rate for 2024, $0.67 per mile. I apply these for any barn over 15 miles from Millis, MA. If you barn is more than an hour or 50 miles from Millis, MA , I require, at minimum, the Half-Day clinic or four riders. If your barn is three hours or 150 miles or more from Millis, MA (estimated without traffic) I require the Full Day clinic or 8 riders; as well as accommodations that are either provided or for which I am compensated. This cost can be added to the per-rider rate. If your barn is six hours or 400 miles or more from Millis, MA, flights, rental car/transportation, and accommodation must be provided and a minimum of two Full Day clinics must be booked. Flights will include checked luggage unless you have a massage table. These inquiries should be directed to Ashleigh via email: HowlandMuscularTherapy@gmail.com
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