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Horses Inside Out in Qatar

Gillian Higgins with Horses Inside Out at Al Shaqab Equestrian Centre, Doha, Qatar

ghAl Shaqab Equestrian Centre in Doha, is part of the Qatar Foundation and has the most impressive equestrian facilities we have ever seen. The centre itself is currently split into 3 departments; Endurance, Breeding and Show and the Riding Academy. The show jumping, dressage and main veterinary centres are still under construction. Each department has between 100 and 210 horses and their own grooms, state of the art air conditioned stable blocks, sand turn-out pens, swimming pools, treadmills, spas, individual veterinary departments, exercise tracks and  arenas as well as 3 or 4 eight horse gh qatarhorse walkers per department!


Al Shaqab is home to the largest indoor arena in the world with seating for 6,000 spectators! For our demonstration we cordoned  off an approximately  60x40m area in which we still looked and felt lost in the vast overall space!

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We enjoyed a wonderful 3-days at the Centre. As well as getting to know how the centre functions, we put on a  full Horses Inside Out demonstration for members of the public and Al Shaqab staff . This was followed by a  Ponies Inside Out session with children from the Riding Academy which was thoroughly enjoyed by all with some spectacular results!



During our stay, Gillian also worked with the Al Shaqab endurance team – one of the best in the world. The day began with a seminar demonstrating how an understanding anatomy can help to reduce the risk of injury and improve performance. The emphasis was on understanding posture the structures and mechanisms that help to support it. In the afternoon we held a practical session where the endurance grooms and riders appreciated and practiced exercises to help develop core muscles, suppleness and flexibility.

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The visit was thoroughly enjoyable, hard work and a great success.

We are really looking forwards to returning and working with Al Shaqab again in the future.

By David Higgins




Horses Inside Out at the WAHO Conference 2011, Doha, Qatar

Arabian Horse at Al SamariyahHaving left England in the pouring rain early Friday morning we (David and Gillian) arrived in Doha, Qatar to find a hot and humid evening!

Arabian Horse Showing Al Samariyah Equestrian Centre It was great to join in the World Arabian Horse Organisation Conference on their tours of the Arabian stud farms in the desert. We got a real flavour of the Arabian horse industry in Qatar. The larger Arabian and racing studs we visited were incredible, the stables were air conditioned fly free zones with all the best for comfort, areas of the desert were watered to create grazing paddocks for the horses, great facilities including solariums, treadmills, spas, swimming pools and gallops.

Gilian with foalEach stud did a presentation of its best horses which gave us an opportunity to appreciate different breeding lines and types of Arabian horses and an insight into the way horses are shown and handled. The hard stand- up and shanking were something new to me and something which, in my opinion, really goes against conditioning the muscular skeletal system for health and correct posture. During these tours it was interesting to talk to the delegates of the conference, who represented so many nationalities including British, Australian, American, Iranian, Qatari, French, German, Spanish, Italian and so many more. It was good to learn that these people also felt quite strongly against the use of shanking and that both the hard stand up and spinning has been removed from the requirements of showing Arabians in the UK.

Claire with Mozart Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club

Held at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club My presentation, focusing on back posture and how maintain it, was well received and appreciated. We painted up 2 horses one Arabian and one other, both from Al Samariyah Stud. It was great to see the Arabian painted up with his skeleton move as it was really quite different!

Hopefully will soon get a copy of the video! The entire conference proceedings are available from

Painted Horses







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