What is Structural Integration and CranioSacral Therapy?
Structural Integration therapy (Equine Natural Movement) and CranioSacral Therapy work together by releasing and reorganizing holding patterns in your horse’s fascial web (connective tissue). Returning your horses body to its natural balanced way of being and moving. The beauty of this approach, is that it has the ability to work through superficial layers of tension, gradually unwrapping deeper accumulated restrictions from discovered holding patterns in your horse’s body. The effects of this integrated bodywork are long lasting as it not only relaxes, but also re-educates the horse fascial system and nervous system.
What are the Sessions Like?
This balanced bodywork approach uses a very slow hands-on technique. Sometimes done as a 5 series. Each session will have a slightly different focus. The entire horse is always assessed by integrating the body front to back and side to side. Generally, this takes place in the stall, so they are free to move and express themselves while we are working together. If need be, the owner may hold the horse during the session.
How Can This Work Help My Horse?
This work re-educates the horses fascial system and nervous system. Helping establish more connection within the horse’s structure, resolving issues of imbalance and improving movement and attitude. By rebalancing and re-patterning the way the horse uses his whole body, your horse can begin to access their full potential!
Benefits of this integrated bodywork
More Graceful Movement
Optimal Overall Performance
Increase Suppleness, Energy, and Impulsion
Increased Freedom Through Transitions
Power & Strength Through Efficient Use
More Willing, Social and at Ease
I started riding and taking lessons at age 6. By the time I was 13 my parents agreed that I could have my first pony. Throughout my teenage years, my riding became quite serious. I outgrew my pony and soon found my Thoroughbred mare. She and I progressed together and found ourselves developing a passion for Combined Training. At the age of 16, I was successfully competing at Preliminary level under the guidance of my riding instructor Hank Hutson.
At the present time I ride and practice dressage on my own small farm with my goofy gray Thoroughbred gelding that I adopted in 2011!
Certified Equine Structural Integration, trained by Joseph Freeman with Equine Natural Movement School in Washington State.
Currently studying Equine Visionary CranioSacral Therapy with Tracy Vroom in Colorado.
Lisa is a Nationally certified and state licensed Massage Practitioner. She graduated in 1990 from The Potomac Massage Training Institute (PMTI) in Washington DC and has been in private practice helping people find their own ease and balance for almost 30 years.
In 1992 she was certified and trained in Jin Shin Acupressure by Michael Reed Gach, founder of the Acupressure Institute in Berkeley CA. She has also studied CranioSacral Therapy through the Upledger Institute in 1996.
"A true horsewoman does not look at the horse with her eyes; she looks at her horse with her heart"
'The challenge of dressage is not necessarily in having the best moving horse, but rather to get every horse we ride to move as well as it possibly can"
"I highly recommend Lisa, no matter the age of your horse or your discipline"
My main goal with my senior thoroughbred “Handsome” is to do what I can to keep him comfortable, relaxed and moving well in his body. In the year that Lisa has done body work with him, my trainer and I have both seen and felt a difference in terms of relaxation and reduced stiffness. Lisa has a keen eye and sensibility when evaluating the horse’s movement, and zeros in on areas of tightness, stiffness, holding and guarding and unbalanced mobility. It is gratifying to watch Lisa work on my and other’s horses. You can see the releases – to the extent that my horse will take min-naps within the sessions. I highly recommend Lisa, no matter the age of your horse or your discipline.
~ Judy Fortin
"For the discerning eye, Lisa's work is a pleasure to observe"
For the discerning eye, Lisa's work is a pleasure to observe. She effortlessly combines profoundly effective work with a calm and respectful way of being with the horses. Under her hands, the horses quietly and steadily transform themselves into the beings they truly wish to be.
Training Director & Founder of the Equine Natural Movement School
"She brings her energy, sensitivity, character and intuitiveness to her work"
I have known Lisa for over 30 years, as a friend and her riding instructor. Lisa has been an experienced practitioner of bodywork for over 20 years. She brings her energy, sensitivity, character and intuitiveness to her work and makes deep connections with people and horses. I have witnessed and experienced firsthand Lisa's work on horses that I have trained and deal with on a regular basis. I have noticed that the Structural Integration work has enhanced the horses connection and fluidity within their gaits. Lisa's ability to recognize areas that are blocked or restricted matches my observations about horses. Therefore, her work allows me to access and achieve a different level of training and connection.
~Hank Hutson, Dressage Trainer, Competitor & Instructor
"Lisa was able to help get Halo back to his old self"
I called Lisa to work on my 6 year old gelding Halo when I noticed his stride began to shorten and become irregular. Within 1-2 sessions I noticed that Halo began to feel more supple and his stride lengthened and became more regular. After completing the 5 series, Halo's stride had noticeably improved as did his transitions. By addressing Halo's immediate needs as well as working on areas where he previously sustained injuries, Lisa was able to help get Halo back to his old self.
~ Royce Evans
"I highly recommend Lisa and her Equine Natural Movement Series."
My mare is a young, very large warmblooded mare who despite being started late under saddle has significant balance and strength issues. She would often fall in the field when playing around, and after falling with me on a trail ride, I decided that she would benefit from the Equine Natural Movement Series. The improvement in balance was evident even after the first or second session with Lisa. She has now completed the series, and it has really helped her find her balance and use her body naturally when being worked under saddle. In particular, the series has provided a way for my young horse to let go of tension and holding patterns that was keeping her from her full potential. She is much more stable during trail rides, and I have not seen her falling in the field since the sessions started. She now over strides in the walk with several hoof lengths - before she was barely tracking up. The series also enabled my mare to pick up her left lead canter - something that she had struggled with both under saddle and on the lunge line. I highly recommend Lisa and her Equine Natural Movement Series to anyone starting and riding young horses, or with any horse with balance or movement issues. Lisa has a natural pleasant and calm demeanor that horses pick up on right away, and her knowledge of soft tissue is unmatched.
~Camilla Cornwel, Active PVDA member (show manager, volunteer coordinator), Mid Atlantic Hanoverian Breeders (MAHB) Board member, Paternal Gift Farm barn manager
"Now, I am pain-free and able to ride for as long as I like!"
Before I starting seeing Lisa, I experienced a lot of pain in my ankles during riding. After only a few visits, the pain was greatly lessened and I gained a wider range of motion in my ankles. Now, I am pain-free and able to ride for as long as I like! As an added bonus, Lisa works on the horse that I ride, Halo! I would definitely recommend an appointment with Lisa for any horse or human looking to improve their body movement."
"Lily was amazing after session one!"
Lily was amazing after session one! She was not as reactive and came out overall calmer. Her top line felt more solid and not as sensitive! She was able to transition into the trot with ease. Now after session four, I feel her coming up in her shoulder and flicking her toe out in front, in a good way! She also feels like her hind end is coming through and under like a dressage horse!
~Heather Dunkin, Trainer and Barn Manager of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County