Confidence on the Trail with Farah DeJohnette

A lot of people get into riding and see themselves riding fearlessly in the wide open fields, trails, beaches and woods. The actual reality of this can strike fear and panic in some!

One of the tips Farah has for people who are feeling unconfident riding out, is take baby steps. Only do as much as is calm, relaxing and fun for you and your horse. If you are feeling extra confident, then you can try raising the bar a bit with no expectations or pressure on yourself or your horse.

The goal of this clinic is to prepare you mentally and to establish a connection with your horse so you can go out on the trail safely and have fun. Farrah's point is that the timid riders have not got their FUNdamentals established firmly enough and are setting themselves up for potentially bad, unnecessary experiences because they do not think about what can happen on the trail. Did you know having your Fundamental basics and good communication and connection can not only help you have fun on the trail but it could be the very thing that keeps you safe in a potentially dangerous situation.

In this clinic Farah will teach several exercises every horse and rider should know to keep safe and communicating even during stressful experiences. Before you take your horse out of the ring, be sure to establishy our Connection, Communication and FUNdamentals on May 4th with Farrah and the team at Windhorse International.

Some comments from the attendees of our recent clinic:

Dear Sharon,

Thank you so much, first, for the photos, a very  happy surprise, I really appreciate that.

 I can see in the mounted example where my balance was, and as Farah said, defensive, and it changed....

I really needed to go through an all day experience, with an excellent clinician.  So many  good ideas and happy experiences came home with me.

Your beautiful  farm, you  and  your staff were a huge component of a very successful day for me and Nimbus.

with gratitude,   V

Dear Sharon,

What a great great clinic and I love Giorgetta.
Thank you for all you do - this was a warm beautiful fulfilling experience and I met such wonderful people and a most beautiful horse.
  L - Germantown, NY

Position and Seat Clinic with Bettina Drummond


This very special clinic consists of two parts; Beginning in the Windhorse Yoga room, Bettina will analyze and review each persons body position, and its weakness' and strengths.  She will then present a series of simple, riding specific, stretching exercises that will adjust our way  of moving and help us strengthen our bodies so we can better work with our horse.   

The afternoon session will build on the work done in the Yoga room, taking it onto horseback.   In two groups of up to 4 riders Bettina will then review how to establish the better position we learned in the morning session while mounted.


Jason Wright helps people change both how they use their bodies and teaches self-care through exercise and stretching.  He integrates his understanding of the structure, function, and adaptiveness of the human body with sound assessment and treatment approaches, which include bodyuse reeducation, manual bodywork, corrective exercise, and strength and conditioning.  Jason maintains his massage therapy licensure in the state of Connecticut, his certification as a structural integrator with the International Association of Structural Integrators, and his Personal Training and Corrective Exercise Specialist certifications with the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

He has trained directly with Tom Myers, Stewart McGill, and Aaron Mattes, and his work is heavily influenced by the writings of F.M. Alexander, John Douillard, and Paul Chek.

Jason and one of our Windhorse trainers will view your short riding video prior to the event (please submit video showing walk, trot and canter on the circle and going straight.- No more than 5 minutes please).  Using this information Jason will walk the group through a series of stretches and strengthening exercises designed to help your body work in harmony with the horse.  Jason will be available for individual consultations after the group morning session, and will be available on a monthly basis for check-ups as needed.

This event is also open to non-riders that are interested in increasing their body awareness and strength and condition exercises, Jason will analyze your sitting and standing/walking postures and accordingly address your needs.

Great Reviews for our August workshop!    

The clinic was a great success! Bronson and I enjoyed the  enlightening lecture, learning more about our bodies, the exercises practiced to enhance proper spinal alignment, and much more. I particularly loved learning about my lower half on the large ball. I hope for a trial ride on Cal this week using Bettina's suggestions. Bronson is looking forward to working with Jason again. He looked more relaxed after his bodywork!
Please pass our thanks on to Jason and Bettina. The only suggestion I can make is to have Jason print out highlights of his presentation. You might like to make individual movies of riders "on the ball" with Bettina's individual instruction. Good for those of us with over 50 memory impairment!
Thanks to all for taking the time to make the morning possible! Have a feeling Cal will be grateful too.

Ms. Drummond and Tando

Ms. Drummond and Tando

Example of a past Retreat held at Windhorse International

Windhorse International, in conjunction with Bettina Drummond and Wendy Murdoch, is pleased to invite you to our third Retreat Weekend. This retreat, using time established techniques designed to balance horse and rider's mind and body, will be held June 22, 23 and 24, 2012.
Each day will begin with a short, professionally led, meditation designed to settle the mind and enable the student to better "hear" what the teacher has to offer. After the Friday morning meditation session Wendy will guide participants through a 3-4 hour session of mat exercises using her unique system, the "Murdoch Method®", which develops the functional awareness of horse and rider in both their mounted and unmounted environment. The Method emphasizes the human body as the primary vehicle for self-learning and communication with the horse, expanding possibilities for movement, enhancing inter-connection and improving performance.
On Friday afternoon, Wendy will watch while Bettina puts each horse and rider pair through a pre-established sequence of training movements that are the essential platform for classical training. These training sequences will help identify where the riders balance points are challenged as well as any physical blockages. This knowledge will help Bettina and Wendy guide each horse and rider towards achieving their chosen goals.
On Saturday morning, after meditation, using the information gathered in the Friday sessions, Bettina will assist the rider with in-hand exercises designed to work through their blockages, and Wendy will conduct one hour table sessions using the Feldenkrais Method® to reconnect each person to their natural abilities to move.
On Sunday Bettina and Wendy will work together. This overlapping session will begin with Bettina putting the horse and rider pairs through more advanced classical training patterns. Mid-session Wendy will help to unblock the rider thereby ensuring the best possible results when, at the end of the session, there will be a second opportunity to ride the training patterns with Bettina.
On Friday and Saturday there will be a lunch featuring local foods prepared in house by nutritionist Elizabeth Caruthers, who also will talk to us about the nutritional needs of the dressage athlete.
Windhorse International offers a tranquil setting for focusing one's energies and learning joyfully with like-minded people. We hope that you are intrigued by our thought-provoking agenda and that this retreat will take you and your horse to new levels of understanding. In order to maximize opportunities for one-on-one instruction, we are capping the available spots at ten. If you are interested, please contact us as soon as possible to make reservations.
*For more information on The Feldenkrais Method® visit the mind/body page of our web site

Photos from past Retreats and clinics


Wendy Murdoch Clinic - June 25th, 2011

Wendy Murdoch, author of "Simplify your Riding" will offer an all day clinic at Windhorse International on Saturday June 25th.  Wendy's unique system, called the Murdoch Method, develops the functional awareness of horse and rider in both their mounted and unmounted environment. The Method emphasizes the human body as the primary vehicle for self-learning and communication with the horse, expanding possibilities for movement, enhancing inter-connection, and improving performance.

Wendy will touch on a variety of modalities (auditory, kinesthetic and visual) that will help riders to understand how their whole body cooperates in any movement, the Murdoch Method encourages them to express themselves more clearly to their mounts, allowing them to ride with increased comfort, efficiency, and pleasure. Enhancing the student’s knowledge of bodily cues and facilitating communication, the Murdoch Method can have long-lasting positive effects on both horse and rider.

This clinic is open to riders of all ages and in any discipline. The principles Wendy teaches, while applicable to every riding style and skill level, are customized to meet the needs of each student, whether they are a weekend pleasure rider or a competitor at the highest level.

Wendy holds a Master’s Degree in Equine Reproductive Physiology from the University of Kentucky (1986). Her background includes intensive study with Linda Tellington-Jones, Founder of TEAM®; an apprenticeship in 1992 with Sally Swift, Founder of Centered Riding®; Dr. Joyce Harman, holistic veterinarian and noted authority on saddle fitting; Bettina Drummond, the only authorized representative of the Nuno Oliveira School in North America; Jon Zahourek, creator of Zoologik® Equiken® Anatomy in Clay, system for learning anatomy; and Dr. Hilary Clayton, recipient of the McPhail Chair at Michigan State University to study biomechanics in dressage horses.

Farah Beach.jpg

FD Horsemanship One Day Demo and Playshop

Join us for a fun day of Liberty demos and playshop at Windhorse International.

Demonstrations will include a Liberty Dressage demo and how to add unique, fun, simple, connection building exercises to your practice with your horse. Learn how to problem solve everything from manners, spooking, impulsion and technical problems through fun Liberty and Ground work while inspiring your horses desire to participate.


Hotels in the vicinity of Windhorse International

The Curtis House Inn
11 miles (20 minutes)
Located in picturesque Woodbury, Connecticut (CT's antique capital), in the foothills of curtis house inn lobby Western Connecticut's beautiful Berkshires, The Curtis House Inn is Connecticut's oldest inn and an exceptional venue for relaxing, lodging, dining, and/or celebrating those special events. We offer a variety of quaint guest rooms, spacious dining/banquet rooms, a warm and inviting pub and a rich history. The Curtis House has been kind enough to offer discounts to Windhorse International clients so be sure to let them know you are a part of our group.

The Heritage Inn
15 Miles (26 minutes)
The Heritage Inn was built in 1870 and transformed into a beautiful Bed and Breakfast in 1988. This traditional New Milford hotel was selected for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 right after its opening.

Located in shining New Milford CT, the restored 100 year old tobacco warehouse has 20 spacious guestrooms with a hot breakfast included each morning. Within walking distance to quaint shops, restaurants, cafes, spas and New Milford famous town green.

Rocky River Inn
17 miles (30 minutes)
Nestled along the rippling Housatonic River in New Milford, Connecticut, Rocky River Inn exudes boutique charm with modern flair. Our quaint hotel, which features newly renovated accommodations and two new wings, is surrounded by 10 verdant acres for a peaceful weekend getaway or an extended stay. At Rocky River Inn, you'll enjoy plush comforts, modern amenities and exceptional value.

The Homestead Inn
15 miles (26 minutes)
The Homestead Inn was originally built by John Prime Treadwell in 1853, as his private residence which housed three generations of Treadwells until 1915. It was then owned by George T Sperry until 1928, when it was established as The Homestead Inn.
Located at the top of the New Milford green in the heart of the Litchfield Hills, this quiant fourteen room Inn has been owned and operated by Bill & Sherry Greenman since 2003.

The Newbury Inn
22 miles (37 minutes)
The Newbury Inn is an affordable yet luxurious hotel located in the business district of Federal Road in Brookfield, CT just a few minutes from Danbury, CT and New Milford, CT.