“Some of my friends are race riders and pound for pound they are one of the strongest athletes, but also the least flexible,” said Kathy Fremes, an EC certified competition coach who began practicing yoga in her teens. Whatever your discipline—English or Western—this is an activity that can produce desirable qualities for riders such as suppleness, body awareness, balance, alignment, flexibility and relaxation. The last quality is probably the most important one for people taking up horseback riding for the first time.

Like yoga done on a mat, the rider needs little equipment except a riding helmet, comfortable clothing, and a boot with a heel. And for those who are embarking on the sport and don’t own a helmet one is supplied and there is no need to buy fancy riding boots because all our saddle have safety stirrups.

A travel destination piece about Middleburg, Virginia spa ran recently in the Globe and Mail and it mentioned that yoga was offered on horseback. But the good news is you get the same experience close to home. “I find that once people try it, they are surprised to see how easy it can be—it’s relaxing and beneficial for new or nervous riders or even for those who have never been on a horse before!,” says Kathy.

This environmental award-winning horse farm offers the ideal place to decompress and it’s only a quick 40-minute drive northeast of Toronto or take the Go train/bus to Stouffville from TO and ask for the shuttle service from the station to the farm. Consider a rejuvenating retreat to Country Hill Farm in Stouffville soon–or ask for a yoga session to be booked into a custom rider retreat vacation (minimum 2 night’s stay).