Linda Guanti and Lewis have worked together for 12 1/2 years.
More recently, the duo’s understanding of one another has deepened, and the pivotal factor is yoga. Although a lot of yogis contribute the exercise to bettering their lives, Lewis may be one of the few horses in that category.
“Just like us, they start to know that it feels good,” Guanti said.
Guanti’s love for horses and yoga came together six years ago. After a good ride, Guanti would put Lewis in different poses to stretch his muscles. The experience was eye-opening, she said. She was able to understand where Lewis was sore, if he had been worked too hard and pinpoint his weaker areas.
“You enhance your relationship and knowledge of how they are doing,” Guanti said.
Before long, Guanti found herself stretching at the same time as Lewis. Once the two passions melded, she hasn’t turned back. Based out of Pemberton, Guanti offers yoga-with-horses workshops throughout the Sea to Sky Corridor and Lower Mainland — the last one in Squamish on Saturday (May 26).
“There is a lot of interest in it,” she said. “Anybody who has done it really likes it.”
Participants don’t have to own a horse to join in, nor do they need a background in yoga. During some of the poses, the horses are used as props — for balance or to further a position. Guanti then goes over stretches for the four-legged partners.
“Horses begin to understand,” Guanti said.
Just like people, some horses are more flexible than others, she noted. Tasty green grass is distracting, so when possible, Guanti tries to hold the classes in riding arenas. A lot of the yoga positions are standing or using chairs.
“It kind of gives you a different perspective on yoga,” Guanti said.
At 18, or approximately 53 human years, Lewis is a regular yogi.
“I’ll show him a treat and he’ll go into a pose,” Guanti said.
Guanti plans to come back to Squamish, as interest in the workshops grow. For more information visit www.yogawithhorses.com.