Horses Inside Out logo

Blog News, Pictures and Reports 2013

25th December 2013

Merry Christmas from everyone at Horses Inside Out!

A new video montage for horsey enthusiasts everywhere!

16th November 2013

Facebook feedback from Head and Neck Dissection:

Thanks to Gillian Higgins, Horses Inside Out and Hartpury College for another professionally lead and informative dissection day yesterday. We had great specimens and a fabulous time exploring the wonders of the musculature and skeleton of the head and neck including a guided tour of the brain. I believe these days are a must for all therapists, it is so important to get up close and personal to the structures we are working with- text books are good but don’t give a true impression of the ‘interconnectedness’ of everything!


24th October 2013

The last few months have been bursting with different demonstrations and courses both for professional equine therapists as well as riders and owners.

Click here for future courses

Taping Course
Kinesio Taping for Professional Equine Therapists

Finland AutumnHorses Inside Out in Ypäjä, Finland

Well! All we can say is WOW! What a fantastic experience. Write a list of all the superlatives you can think of and that is Finland!

The stunning Autumnal scenery was unbelievable. The colours were so vibrant and beautiful.

The Finnish people were so welcoming, generous, and quietly mannered. Nothing was too much trouble. Our lovely cabin was complete with Sauna and everyone was so pleased we had come to Finland.

We had been invited by the society of Hippotherapists.  Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational or speech and language therapy treatment strategy that utilises equine movement. It literally means "treatment with the help of the horse" and derives from the Greek word, "hippos" meaning horse.

TrottersYpäjä is the leading centre of vocational education, training and equestrian competitions in Finland. The tradition of education started in the 1930’s with the National Stud and the Cavalry School. The original cavalry buildings including the first riding hall is still in use today.

The college is working in close connection with the National Equine Research Centre located in the same premises. Amongst its many facilities is house a leading breeding research centre. The other important co-operative local partners are Ypäjä Horse Clinics, the Finnish Equestrian Museum and the National Equine Competence Association of Finland. 

The college, which covers about 320 hectares has five large stable blocks: three for sport horses, one for trotters and a stud for brood mares. There are five loose housing barns for foals of age groups between 1-3 years. The total number of horses is close to 400. Many are traditional finnish breeds. 

There are trotting, hacking and cross country tracks, outdoor riding and show jumping arenas. There are 100 members of staff and about 270 students.  There are 4 massive heated light and airy riding halls with tiered seating.  

We actually arrived at the centre very late and after a delicious evening meal we were taken to meePaintingt the horses and riders. 

The next morning we were taken to the stables at 6am. The horses were ready and waiting as were the students. All were bright and enthusiastic. The atmosphere was calm and comfortable. The horses don’t wear rugs as the stables are kept at a constant 8 degrees.  There is hot and cold water and everywhere was well organised. It was a pleasure to paint there.

Painting HorseAlthough organised by the hippotherapists the actual demonstration was open to all, riders, saddlers, farriers, coaches and students. It focussed on the musculo – skeletal system, movement, performance and how understanding anatomy and biomechanics can reduce the risk of injury.  Horses Inside Out is very popular in Finland and people travelled from all over the country.  The demonstration was very well received. 

The following morning we were taken on a tour of the centre. The students all work very hard at Ypäjä and have a wonderful work ethic.  The day starts at 6am and finishes about 8 in the evening. Each student is allocated a horse for the duration of Saddle_Lasttheir stay. They are responsible for every aspect of its welfare. They have a full timetable of academic and practical activities.

As one would expect there are a wide variety of courses but whatever their course during their first year all students must experience every aspect of horsemanship. As well as riding and driving skills they must master the basics of carpentry, metal work, farriery, saddle making and fitting and leather care. We didn’t have time to visit all the departments but one department we saw in detail was the saddlery school. There students firstly make a saddle last. 

They are then taught to make a head collar for their horse. The also make boots and mend all equipment.  hand made tack

No ‘throw away’ culture here! Finland was built on the back of the working horse so comfortable harness fitting is another important skill. We also were shown the centre’s museum. Everyone is very proud of and knowledgeable about their culture.  

The college is also part of an exchange programme with many other European centres of excellence. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Finland do and if you are a student and ever have the opportunity to go to Ypäjä, seize it!


The Applied Anatomy and Biomechanics Course October 2013Biomechanics Course

For this Autumn’s Biomechanics Course we returned to Moulton College in Northampton. This a fabulous modern venue with wonderful facilities and a real variety of horses. I always think it’s interesting to look at the demographics of the group. Out of the 30 people who attended, 10 had travelled from Northern Europe, 2 from Southern Spain, 1 from Scotland and the remainder from England. Horses Inside Out courses are definitely becoming well known throughout the world!

Another interesting statistic was that everyone was a rider and all but 4 worked with horses as therapists, dentists, coaches or saddlers. With such a mix of interesting open minded people, it was an interesting and thought provoking weekend.

Equine biomechanics is a wide subject and many interpretations can be put on the term. I look at and analyse the anatomical biomechanics of movement and focus on how this can can be useful to riders, saddlers therapists and other equine professionals.

Over the summer, the Horses Inside Out team had been hard at work gathering new material for the video talks. This resulted in much unseen footage showing horses using themselves in all sorts of different ways. I particularly like to consider the posture of the horse and compare stability, strength and suppleness.

On Saturday we looked at the spinal and appendicular biomechanics, posture and the effect of riding, movement and jumping. Sunday focussed on a comparison of 3 very different horses and riders. We looked at a young very green event horse, an older all rounder and a very enthusiastic and beautiful welsh cob. We also looked at and compared the conformation an range of movement of 8 college horses ranging from a 14 hand pony to a 16.2 heavy draught horse.

The group were also treated at a tour of the veterinary therapy centre where Jenni Stephens the resident therapist, gave us a demonstration of a horse swimming and using the water treadmill. Fascinating to learn more about this type of therapy. One interesting fact is that one of the first horses to benefit from water strengthening exercise was Red Rum who did much of his training on the beach at Southport.

After such a successful weekend we have already rebooked Moulton for October 2014!


26th September 2013

Reasons vs Excuses - Gillian Higgins and Adam Kemp at AM Dressage. A fascinating evening.

AM Dressage Horses Inside Out HIO AMD HIOHIO

11th September 2013.

Anatomical Riding Demonstration at Vale View Equestrian Centre

Over 200 people turned up at Vale View EC for the Anatomical Riding demonstration on Wednesday. We had 3 beautiful horses Marley a 6yo Registered Connomara owned by Steph Hensmen, Darcy, a very talented show jumper ridden by Chelsea Moult and Aristo, ridden by Sam Brown. Aristo is 18.1hh Hannovarian Grand Prix Dressage Horse. Sam and her Mum Bev drove down from the North East especially for the occasion. it was a real privilege to work with such a wonderful horse.

The evening can be summed up by Jackie Selby from the RDA who said,
“Just to say a big thank you to you and your team including the magnificent four footed members for some fantastic demonstrations. We all learnt a lot in a fun and relaxing way”.
Looking forward to the next evening demonstration with Adam Kemp on 26th September in Gloucestershire. This will feature Matt Frost riding his, grand prix dressage horse, Adam will look at training and I will be commenting on the anatomy and biomechanics of the movement.

anatomical Riding Demo hio hio Jumping jumping Skeleton Muscles dressage polework Dressage gh gp dressage

June 2013

As we move coolly into summer, we have had 3 fixtures all the most beautiful settings. Kingston Maurward College in Dorset hosted a demonstration for 100 plus riders in May. Demonstrations booked by students for the event modules of their courses are always good fun.

The next event was in Anglesey. Not just Anglesey but the very furthest point of Angelsey! As the chairman of the BHS commented, “We live at the end of a 120 mile cul-de-sac!!” Very successful it was too. Indoor schools are a bit thin on the ground on Anglesey and ‘Ned’s Shed’ could only seat 80! The committee had to close the doors with an additional 30 standing. The event was certainly a triumph for the organisers with people travelling from all over North Wales.  We had two superb horses – a glorious white stallion and a lovely moving intermediate event horse. Do have a look at the pictures on facebook!

Gillian Higgins in Anglesey with Jo Morris and Keith Hollingsworth from the North West Wales BHS

Gillian with Jo Jones and Keith Hollingsworth organisers of the demonstration in Anglesey

The third fixture was in Rotterdam. This ‘paint on show’ demonstration featuring the skeleton and digestive systems, was held in association with Lifeforce in a beautiful park with walks, recreational areas and swimming lakes. The arena was enormous, the show jumping spectacular and the dressage elegant.
Such a shame about the weather! Rain, rain and more rain! Not good for water based paint! See the video report here

Very exciting news! Horses Inside Out has become the proud owner of a brand new Go Pro camera. We are still getting to grips with the finer points of usage but we have already captured some really amaing footage, some of which I managed to use in the BHS North Western region video talk in Kidderminster. This brand new talk – Gymnastic Jumping will be part of the next winter series in Nottingham and Cirencester in the winter.

Next week – material collecting for new talks and, gathering footage the next biomechanics course. With the new camera movement will be captured from all angles! And , Leroy will be painted for the first time ready to make his debut as the second Horses inside Out model.

19th May 2013

Therapy Picture page added to the website. An opportunity to see pictures of Gillian at work doing Musculo-Skeletal Assessments and Sports and Remedial Therapy for Horses.

Click Here to see

Gillian Therapy

11th May 2013

Demonstration at the Scottish National Equestrian Centre, Edinburgh with Peebles Riding Club.

Scottish National Equestrian Centre Peebles Equestrian Centre Medium Dressage Trot poles Canter poles Jumping AnatomyJumping canter Equine Locomotionhorse landing from a jump

27th April 2013

Oakham Equine Vet Hospital Open Day

Freddie Fox made a guest appearance at Oakham Vets on Saturday. With a movement, pilates, digestive and jumping demonstration he loved being centre of attention once again. He also thoroughly enjoyed meeting the puppet charity horse!
Skeleton Jumping Freddie Jumping
Freddie's friend communicating

25th April 2013

Massage for Horses

Course for Horse Owners at Abbey Farm Dressage, Turvey, Bedfordshire.

How much Pressure? Pilates for Horses Massage for Horses
Manipulating soft tissue Improve Muscles Why massage

12th April 2013

Horses Inside Out Evening Demonstration for Chipping Pony Club

Over 300 people flocked to hear Gillian's lecture demonstration this March and were not disappointed. Two beautiful thoroughbreds from the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre were fantastic models. The event raised £1,000 for Air Ambulance, TRC and the RDA at an evening demonstration at Myerscough Arena. A great evening was had by all.

Equine Anatomy Gillian Higgins Horses Inside Out
riding more effectivley How horses work Why train horses Riding Position
behavioural problems riding horses training horses
training horses muscles Riding Well Improving posture

Equitana 2013

Photographs of Gillian performing Horses Inside Out demonstrations at Equitana in association with KOSMOS - publishers of the German versions of Gillian's books and DVDs.

Equitana HIO Equitana

HIO Equitana HIO at Equitana

HIO at Equitana .HIO at Equitana

HIO at Equitana .HIO at Equitana

HIO at Equitana HIO at Equitana

Biomechanics 2013Applied Biomechanics Course report  15th/16th March 2013
Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, England.

A mix of 20 therapists, riders, a breeder, a saddler from Germany and a veterinary anatomist from Egypt gathered at the Royal Agricultural College for this very popular course. Led by a lively Gillian Higgins , an engaging and knowledgeable speaker,  the course began by Gillian explaining how Edweard Muybridge, the father of modern equine biomechanics, using early  photographic techniques dispelled the notion displayed by early artists that horses ran with their fore legs straight out in front and their hind legs stretched out behind!  Based on scientific research and using wonderful slow motion photography, she went on to explain exactly how appreciating the finer points of the anatomy and biomechanics of the horse and understanding exactly how he moves how he moves can contribute to how we ride, manage and care for our horses.  The course covered an in depth study of anatomy, how muscles and tendons contribute to movement, the application of biomechanics to leisure riding, dressage and jumping. It touched on saddle fit, correct posture, correct positioning of the head and neck and how understanding back movement can contribute to correct way of going and the positioning of the hind limb. Gillian’s depth of knowledge, extensive bank of illustrative material and easy way of explaining even the most complex of content makes this course invaluable for professional and amateur alike. The next course is on 5th 6th October in Northamptonshire presenting an opportunity too good to miss.

23rd & 24th February 2013

5th Annual Horses Inside Out Conference
Assessment and Asymmetry

What a weekend! Inspiring speakers, fabulous horses and riders, so much information and new ideas.

***Click Here to Read the Full Report***

See the published articles page to read all the articles.

Many thanks to everyone involved.

Asymmetry Conference

Haydn Price, Dr Meike van Heel, Dr Lars Roepstorff, Gillian Higgins and Andy Thomas
Photo by

7th - 15th February 2013


Had a Brilliant time at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida. Click here for pictures and to watch the video report.

For more articles and videos from this tour see our published articles page.

Many Thanks to Helen Richmond
assisstant and Photographer:

Jumping Skeleton Florida

January 2013

There are only a few places left for the Horses Inside Out Conference 2013 on Assessment and Asymmetry Details

We are now taking bookings for the 2-Day Applied Anatomy and Biomechanics Course in Cirencester on 16th and 17th March 2013.

Asymmetrical Rider

January 2013

Horses Inside Out is a finalist for the
Equine Social Media Awards 2013



2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011| 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007



Equine &
facebook youtube
Sign Up to our Mailing List
tel: +44 (0)115 9212648 / +44 (0)7947 242 262
HORSES INSIDE OUT LTD Place of registration: England and Wales. Registered number: 06883026. Registered address: 11 High Street Ruddington Nottingham NG11 6DT. VAT Registration Number: 158 2456 92