Laura Christie has been a professional trainer for 30 years, training, showing, coaching and instructing from her facility in western Montana. Her showing and competition life took her all over the country, exposing her to many different styles of training.
As Laura became an established Champion versatility trainer in a number of different breeds, she realized one main theme held true for development of real rapport with horses and the building of equine athletes,-- RELAXATION.
Without mental relaxation, no physical relaxation. With no physical relaxation, you open the pandora's box to a host of physical problems, which opens another pandora"s box to a host of mental and behavioral problems. So, over the last 3 decades, Laura developed a system that really is a fresh perspective on age-old concepts. It is a blend of classical dressage techniques and traditional Californio-Vaquero methods. Laura rode with a vaquero master horseman as a girl, and has never forgotten the "lightness"
Lightness to the aids is the hallmark of Topline Horsemanship, achieved in a BIOMECHANICALLY correct manner. Competing later in life at Prix St. George level in dressage, Laura wove the techniques and feelings together and found a system that works for every horse, no matter how well or poorly built, no matter what job in life. Laura's method revolves around what she calls the "Topline Stretch", which is incorporated into a group of manuevers and excercises she calls "equinastics". It's a gymnastic methodology, almost like yoga for horses. The first "equinastics" are taught in hand, utilizing lateral and longitudinal bending exercises, both stationary and in movement. The horse can then learn to RELEASE under saddle, using the same exercises, both stationary and in movement. The focus on biomechanically correct EDUCATED balance of the horse through mental and physical release is key, with lightness to the aids the primary goal.
Laura's system is succinct, thorough and easy to learn. It rehabilitates injured horses and heals negative attitudes because it makes a horse feel good, usually immediately. Laura teaches horses to RELEASE what they RESIST, by showing them how to open their spines in the Topline Stretch, and how to maintain that relaxation throughout further training. This classical gymnasticing of the horses body leads to a healthy athlete and a joyful equine partner.