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Early in November I was privileged to attend a 2-day clinic conducted by Nahshon Cook. My curiosity about how to better harness my own energy to improve my horsemanship brought me to Bridgewater, NH to audit and learn from the participants and their horses. In addition to learning some effective visualization skills, I was introduced to differences between French Classical dressage philosophy and Competition Dressage philosophy (a subject for another blog) as well as learning some great equine body-building techniques using poles and cones. Nahshon shared with the audience how different parts of the horse’s body are connected; stifle connects to lumbar vertebra, hip connects to thoracic vertebra, hock connects to cervical vertebra and sacroiliac joint connects to the poll and tongue. Demonstrating pole exercises outlined in Gillan Higgins book, Posture and Performance; Principles of Training from and Anatomical Perspective, we saw several horses transform over the two days. Nahshon recommends 20-minute sessions with frequent breaks. A gifted singer and poet, he enjoys working with his own horses, listening to a couple of songs while giving the horse a break and then repeating this sequence throughout his 20-minute training sessions. I think, seeing these easy ground exercises coupled with my joy of music, and my desire for a fit equine partner will be motivation to stay engaged throughout this upcoming Vermont winter.