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Because of Horses

Oct 4, 2019

Elise’s guest today wondered about the difference between the horse that moves so beautifully it’s like dancing vs. a horse that doesn’t… or possibly can’t. He recognized that it’s all about the horse’s inner strength and balance and that the way to help the horse achieve this difference is through applying yoga principles, designed and intended for humans, to our equine partners!


After 30 years refining his work with some of the finest equines and trainers in Europe, as well as his own horses, Visconte (Viscount) Simon Cocozza wrote his book, Core Conditioning for Horses: Yoga-Inspired Warm-up Techniques: Increase Suppleness, Improve Bend, and Unlock Optimal Movement. Simon is also a performance coach and examiner for the French Equestrian Federation, a British qualified trainer, and one of Europe’s leading bio-dynamics researchers. He has made it his life’s work to apply a scientific approach to the principles of equitation with the goal of helping each horse to become the healthiest he or she can be!


In this fascinating episode, Simon is joining Elise from his equestrian center in Normandy, France, where he trains and, as he says, enjoys far too much cheese.


Tune in to learn more about Simon’s philosophy and approach about core conditioning for horses and learn how you can utilize it for yourself as he walks listeners through the ideal warm-up, the benefits behind his approach, and all you need to know about what goes on in a horse’s body!


Topics of Discussion:

[:25] About today’s guest, Visconte Simon Cocozza.

[1:22] How do yoga-inspired warmup techniques increase suppleness, bend, and optimal movement in our horses?

[2:25] Simon describes the core muscles in horses and explains what can cause them to become stiff or painful.

[5:22] Why does Simon think that most people tend to interpret a horse’s body language as stubborn rather than being in pain or discomfort?

[8:44] The importance of finding out what is causing your horse’s discomfort or point of pain.

[12:02] Simon explains why it is so crucial to understand where a horse’s discomfort is coming from and why we should address it as soon as possible, as well as the reason behind why he wrote his book, Core Conditioning for Horses: Yoga-Inspired Warm-up Techniques.

[15:25] How can a rider differentiate between a horse experiencing discomfort vs. simply not having the talent for a particular discipline?

[18:15] How can riders utilize Simon’s approach and philosophy throughout their training and not just during warm-up?

[20:50] Simon explains the differences between fitness and elasticity in horses.

[27:15] Simon walks listeners through an ideal warm-up to employ when they first begin using his techniques.

[31:10] The incredible purpose that Simon’s yoga-inspired warm-up technique serves.

[33:27] How does a rider know when they’re successful in helping their horse’s core muscles become more conditioned?

[35:02] The positive outcomes of using Simon’s technique.

[37:44] In talking about releasing tension in our horses’ bodies, how can we release tension in our own so we’re not bringing that to the barn?

[40:32] Simon explains how he first made the connection between yoga principles and horses and provides some examples that illustrate the improvements he has seen in applying yoga principles to horses.

[43:18] Simon reflects on his childhood and growing up in Rome, Italy, with a family who was passionate about horses.

[45:24] When Simon thinks far into the future, what would he like his legacy to be?

[47:57] About next week’s episode of Because of Horses!

[49:04] Where to find Simon’s book online and learn more about his approach!


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Mentioned in this Episode:

The Hampton Classic

Core Conditioning for Horses: Yoga-Inspired Warm-up Techniques: Increase Suppleness, Improve Bend, and Unlock Optimal Movement, by Visconte Simon Cocozza

Visconte Simon Cocozza’s Website (

EquestFile (Use coupon code: BOH10 to receive a 10% discount for two months off your subscription)


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