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Hanna Somatics Applications for the Equine Manual Therapist CPD

October 4 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm


Equine Hanna Somatics (EHS) is a recently pioneered modality that reawakens and reeducates the brain’s control of muscles.   Adapted for the horse by Dr Eleanor Criswell Hanna, co-creator of Hanna Somatics for humans, she discovered that it works just as well if not better with the equine body and mind.  Like humans, horses accrue restrictions as a natural consequence of stress and this manifests in the body as chronic muscle contractions, which affect movement and cause pain.  Over time chronic muscle contractions, which are also known as tension or tight muscles, become the norm because the brain has forgotten what the natural resting length of the muscle feels like.   EHS works with the horse’s brain to reset these dysfunctional muscle firing patterns and helps the horse achieve optimum efficiency, balance and range of motion as physical and psychological comfort, posture, functionality and well being are improved.   

Based on true partnership and trust between horse and practitioner, this unique natural method requires the horse actively and voluntarily participates in the process.  During “ Somatic Movement ” the horse uses a particular part of their brain called the Voluntary Motor Cortex to control the muscles.  This is achieved with the practitioner inviting and guiding the horse through a protocol of natural movements and it is this mindful voluntary participation that is key to the horse effecting the changes from within.  Every time a horse does EHS it is a learning experience because they are connecting many neurons in the brain. This is what makes EHS an educational process with therapeutic bodywork effects.  It embraces the mind and body not being separate.  There is no pressure, manual manipulation, massage or stretching etc.  Instead EHS taps into nature’s way of resetting excess muscle tension, which is a natural brain stem reflex that all healthy vertebrates do called pandiculation.  

EHS is gentle and suitable for all horses at any age or stage of development and can be a session on its own or incorporated with other modalities and techniques.  It is not unusual for horses to become very fond of the practitioner doing EHS with them, so it can also be foundational work ahead of other modalities, especially with horses who have experienced trauma or abuse. 

The course will start with theory followed by a demonstration and then hands-on practice with horses. Students will also be guided through some Hanna Somatics exercises so they can begin to understand what the horse experiences.   It is a full day including: 

  1. The history and principles of EHS 

  2. The neurophysiology of EHS 

  3. Motor Sensory Amnesia 

  4. Posture, movement and palpation assessment  

  5. EHS protocols for different postures 


This CPD course is run by Ilse Kemp, Equine Hanna Somatics Practitioner, Equine Massage Therapist, and a teacher with over 20 years experience.    

It is an introduction to EHS and aimed at all equine practitioners wishing to broaden and enhance their skillset. 



October 4
9:30 am - 4:00 pm


Jo Rose
07989 505264
View Organiser Website


Village Farm
Emmington, OX39 4AA United Kingdom + Google Map
07989 505264