My name is Jenny Pim.
The biggest insight I have about Equestrian Tai Chi is how quickly horses sense that something different is happening – on a different energetic level – and how they are magnetised to connecting with it.
How I created Equestrian Tai Chi
I adapted Equestrian Tai Chi from the normal standing and moving Tai Chi. It cultivates relaxation, natural movement and a strong flow of internal energy.
Each movement of Equestrian Tai Chi has a name, and specific energy patterns that belong to it.
The very first time I practiced Tai Chi on horseback, I felt like I was suspended somewhere between heaven and earth
Not having to stand while you are practicing Tai Chi really let’s you appreciate the beauty and serenity of the movements.
The more I practiced the more peaceful, confident and relaxed I became.
Develop True Connection With Your Horse
I also developed a strong connection with my ponies when I practiced on them. They appeared to really enjoy it, lowering their heads, licking and chewing, etc. (All signs that horses are relaxed and happy.)
This connection continued when I was not on horseback as well and the relationship I had with my ponies changed. The look in their eyes when they saw me from then on was different, it was as if they were recognising that I “got” them.
I decided to put together a teachable plan, so that what I and my ponies had felt together – true connection and freedom – could be enjoyed by horses and humans alike.
The History of Equestrian Tai Chi
I originally thought of the idea of Equestrian Tai Chi in 2005. It came about by chance really. I’m a Tai Chi Instructor and to save time I’d often prepare for my evening classes when I was riding during the day, by running through the Tai Chi movements on horseback.
I noticed that the ponies I practiced on really enjoyed it, showing many of the common signs of relaxing. So I began to develop Tai Chi purely for performing on horseback (not just the Tai Chi that I was preparing for my evening classes).
I created the Equestrian Tai Chi Form (when you see people practicing Tai Chi, they are actually performing a sequence of movements which is known as The Form).
When I began to teach Equestrian Tai Chi, what surprised me the most was that people who had been practicing for a very short while, managed to have a calming affect on their horse when they practiced.
Here are my other insights from Equestrian Tai Chi:
- Many of the horses that I work with visibly enjoy their riders practicing Equestrian Tai Chi.
- Even horses who do not lead (what we would think of as) stressful lives, clearly relax.
- Riders can build deeper partnerships with their horses by connecting with them at an energetic level by practicing Equestrian Tai Chi.
- Horses can appreciate us on different energetic levels.
Jenny Pim is a Certified Tai Chi Instructors registered instructor with The Tai Union for Great Britain. She’s been teaching Tai Chi since 2002. She’s won silver medals in the British Open Tai Chi Championships. She’s a Certified Riding Coach registered with Horse Sport Ireland.
Jenny focuses on teaching Equestrian Tai Chi and teaching special interest groups, such as those with sensory and physical disabilities, and children with Autism. She has owned and bred many wonderful Connemara ponies.