SINCE YOU’RE ONE OF MY BEST FANS AND SO INSTRUMENTAL IN GETTING WINGZ INTO TOP FORM, I wanted to share this with you. The show season ends Sept 30th so this can change, but for now, Wingz is 3rd top Hanoverian in the country, Adult Amateur 3rd Level.  It’s pretty cool to see her listed here. Thank you for all you’ve done for her!!!! Rickie


I received your book and have begun reading it – while getting ready to leave for elk camp next week for 3 weeks! The book is TERRIFIC! I love the pictures, the illustrations, the way you describe things in layman’s terms, and how I can relate to what I saw you do first-hand. I am so excited for you, me and Aspen…. I am taking your book and will practice on Aspen at camp. I really like that the book is spiral notebook style so I can take it and use it in the field as it were. Amazing job lady! You will help so many people and horses.
Full report when I return and rest assured an extremely positive review.”
Hugs – Nancy and the “A” Team

Margret Henkels’ Is Your Horse 100%? instantly stood out to me as a valuable resource to those of us who engage equines in therapeutic or educational work.

Program horses are often in the second half of their lives and/or retired from more demanding performance careers, which often have had some long-term effects on their soundness and general physical well-being. In addition, these wonderful equines now rise to the challenges of therapeutic work, which may include carrying riders who are unbalanced, or who demonstrate high levels of anxiety or even unusual human behaviors at times. All of these factors can cause program horses to be uncomfortable on the job or to burnout, and as a program director, I am always eager to find accessible resources that can enhance the well-being of our essential equine partners.
Henkels’ conformation balancing and fascia fitness methods offer an affordable, do-no-harm, flexible body work option that the layperson can learn to do safely, hopefully maintaining or enhancing our program horses’ physical and mental well-being. In addition, Henkels’ approach is inherently hopeful – she reminds us “the body is not static” but always changing, for better or worse. With her methods, we can support our horses changes in the direction of fitness and competency. Henkels reminds us that as “horse people,” we are all always communicating with our horses, and she provides simple but brave advice for deepening our intimacy with our equine partners through evolved, deliberate nonverbal communication. All around, the words and images in Henkel’s beautiful book engaged my sense of our ever-evolving and deepening connection with the equine species. I especially appreciated her practical ideas for giving back to the program equines I know, who give so much to humankind.

—Karen Brittle, Assistant Professor of Equine Studies, Centenary University, and Director of Therapeutic Riding At Centenary (TRAC); PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL)

“I attended Margret Henkel’s SOFT RIDERS/SOFT HORSES clinic near Brattleboro VT. I had already read her book, Is Your Horse 100%? and watched her companion DVD. But there is nothing like in-person, hands-on experience.  Margret demonstrated a technique – we then performed it on our horse.  We were able to practice all the basics on multiple horses thus having a range of experiences. Centered Riding with instructor Dorothy Crosby demonstrated how to be “Soft Riders”. The instruction was very good with exercises and images given to help us all find our centers. A good time for all.”  Elizabeth V, NY

Reprinted with permission from July/Aug 2019 Horse Around New Mexico

Fitness for Horse & Rider
Riders like riding better. Riders like their horses moving better and happily. Combining rider awareness with improved horse fitness can help accomplish both. Here is an introduction to Centered Riding® and Conformation Balancing which can help riders accomplish these goals.
Many of us are familiar with Centered Riding, developed by Sally Swift. It focuses on “use of self,” enabling the rider to stay soft to enhance and not impede their horse’s performance.
Centered Riding brings rider awareness back into their own body.


Here are the four basic concepts of Centered Riding:
• Be centered in your body by having
balance, energy and control.
• Focus on and be aware of your breathing to breathe correctly which will bring about relaxation and softness.
• Know and practice basic building blocks which puts your body in a balanced position for best functioning.
• Keep your eyes soft which will improve awareness of self, horse and others.

Conformation Balancing
Conformation Balancing is myofascial bodywork that teaches riders to relieve stuck adhesions, which helps their horses move past athletic and trauma pain.
What is myofascia?
Fascia, myofascia or connective tissue seems like a hidden world. It is the body’s unseen internet, a linked system that connects all the parts. It’s the vital link to the horse’s athletic ability. Horses are master compensators; any strain might not
be apparent due to the horse’s ability to hide the injury in numerous ways. Compensation works until it doesn’t.

The poll is another area that often contains myofascia adhesions.
If the horse has rigid fascia adhesions and compensations from old injuries, he can’t move smoothly nor respond willingly to tasks. This is the source of “resistance” in horses; it’s a can’t, not a won’t.

Four areas to check on your horse:
Conformation Balancing shows very simple, basic ways for riders to melt stuck fascia adhesions in horses, maximizing results for better riding. It addresses
four areas: stance, top line, head and tail.
Riders can look at these areas for vital clues to their horse’s condition. Do this check daily when you visit you horse:
• Stance: Does he stand squarely, easily
and often?
• Top line: Are there dips, dents or lumps?
• Head: Is head posture relaxed and is his poll soft?
• Tail: Does it hang loosely and evenly? Is it flexible?

Riding with these two tools- Centered Riding & Conformation Balancing- is an experiential shift, rather than a goal. We raise our receptivity with our horses, enabling us to work from where we are. The horse feels this shift immediately. This emotional connection with the horse is a big reason why people still ride horses. Horses are not just transportation anymore. The horse-rider partnership is a freedom for both sides. | July/August 2019 | HORSE AROUND 2



How the combo began
Margret Henkels and Dorothy Crosby have combined their expertise and established Soft Riders/Soft Horses,
a horse healing and human coaching method. The two met as presenters during Equine Affaire 2017 in Massachusetts.



Hands on Healing by Rebecca Didier

Horse Network (

What if I told you that with patient, conscientious placement of your hands on specific areas of the horse’s body, you can bring about profound change in his physical and mental well-being? Want to know the secret? The internet-like web of fascia beneath the skin. Continue reading…


“Looking to medicine, rehabilitation, exercise and ineffective gimmicks & gadgets for the solution has been ineffective for so many people.” Sue Hitzmann, “The Melt Method.”

“The fascia system is responsible for misalignment, imbalance, chronic pain and disfomfort.”

“Unlike muscle, Fascia doesn’t receive input from the brain or nervous system to adapt to our movement. Fascia works independently to organize, stabilize and protect the body for its movement. When there’s pain, the Fascia system has to be treated as a whole.”


“I’ve just finished reading your book and first I want to thank you for writing it. I loved it!!! I’ve had Reiki healing for many years, reading your book added so much to me. It was finding the missing piece. I feel more complete, strong and self assured in my bodywork. Also my horses who are used to my hands on have had many and long still points and strong releases. It will be an adventure to follow them in future changes.”  Kia, Sweden

OUR HORSES DESERVE TO FEEL THEIR BEST BECAUSE THEY GIVE US THEIR BEST:  After her first session, I noticed a difference right away. She had more energy and was eager to canter for a long time. After the second session,  she was much more balanced and willing to shift her weight to her hind end. This resulted in  smoother and cleaner canter departs and our lateral work was much easier. After her third session, she has more energy again, like the horse I never knew I had. She is living up to her bloodlines and is starting to show great promise in the Dressage arena. Thank you for unlocking her potential for a bright future and giving us a chance to become better partners. Our horses deserve to feel their best, because they give us their best. Your bodywork is money well spent.  Marcia S