Core Conditioning for Horses

Yoga-Inspired Warm-Up Techniques: Increase Suppleness, Improve Bend, and Unlock Optimal Movement

Visconte Simon Cocozza



Every equestrian wants to know: what is the difference between the horse that “dances” when you are on him, and the one that doesn’t? According to Visconte Simon Cocozza, Trainer and Examiner for the La Fédération Française d'Equitation (FFE), it all comes down to the horse’s posture. The horse’s ability to use the powerful mechanisms already built into his body relies not upon the strength we can see on the outside but the strength on the inside. This invisible and complex arrangement of internal “core” muscles control the horse’s posture, suppleness, and agility. Their good condition is the key to the dance.

Equine core muscles are very difficult to isolate with the traditional training techniques common to horse sports. However, by examining what we do with the human body when faced with a weak core, we can find new methods for conditioning these areas of the equine body. Visconte Cocozza has taken principles of the human practice of yoga and used them to develop novel ways of reaching deep within the horse’s body and gently “unlock” areas that may be a little “rusty,” improve core fitness, and even relieve pain related to conditions such as kissing spine. In this book, he provides step-by-step instruction explaining easy mounted exercises that enhance the horse’s posture, and boost his confidence in his body and movement, making him easier to ride, and ultimately, the dance partner you’ve always imagined.

Additional Information

Author: Visconte Simon Cocozza

Format: Hardcover

Page Count: 296

Illustrations: 234 color photographs & illustrations

ISBN: 9781570768040

By Visconte Simon Cocozza

Visconte Simon Cocozza spent his childhood in Rome, Italy, but was educated in England. The family passion for horses inspired him to study for the British Horse Society's BHSAI, followed by the Instructor training of the Advanced National Certificate in Equine Business Management at Warwickshire College of Equine Studies. Following his return to mainland Europe, Visconte Cocozza became the first non-French national to obtain the Brevet Professionnel and become a Trainer and Examiner for the La Fédération Française d'Equitation (FFE). As a performance coach specializing in biomechanics and riding ethics, he now writes articles and books on better training practices, as well as lecturing at universities and conducting clinics internationally. After many years based in Normandy, France, he now lives and teaches in England (

Horse & Hound Says:

"Whether you have a horse that is tense, stiff or has been diagnosed with a back problem, or you simply want to expand your knowledge of your horse’s anatomy and add fresh training methods to your toolkit, this book is worth every penny. I think it should be on every horse owner’s book shelf." 

Horse Journals Says:

"This informative book is helpful, not only from a practical point of view but from a philosophical one, to guide horse owners in the best course of action as it relates to their horses’ individual needs."