About Katherine Harberd

I am passionate about movement; rediscovering the pleasure in movement for people and horses, allowing them to work individually and together harmoniously. My wonderful husband Jack gives me unwavering and generous support and encouragement for which I am eternally grateful.

Sometimes life takes us on surprising journeys in our wonderful world of possibility, beauty and exciting challenges.

From people …

As a Feldenkrais Practitioner I work with people to find easier ways to function; we explore habitual patterns, facilitate change and seek efficiency. It is about realising potential: less effort more elegance. People come to me because they have pain or dysfunction and they are looking for relief … learning how to change habits of movement, realigning the skeleton to be more balanced & self-supporting which relieves muscles of the effort of over-working. Some people seek help in improving their physical skills (a masseuse wants to work without exhausting herself, a runner wants to be able to run further & faster, a rider wants to know if the asymmetry in her horse’s movement can be adjusted by changing her own patterns).

Moshe Feldenkrais said “When you know what you’re doing, you can do what you want”. It is easier to change when we become acutely aware of what we do. When we are in ‘the zone’ we can learn more easily what it is that we do. Then, when the nervous system is shown alternative options, it will choose those which are better, easier, more efficient and effective.

… to horses and riders

During the 4-year Feldenkrais training programme I realised that I wanted to work with horses in a similar manner. A horse will not voluntarily change their modus operandi even if poor self-organisation is causing pain. Horses are born with natural balance and self-carriage. If something distorts the natural balance, the horse will suffer and remain stuck in an unnatural, inefficient and potentially painful stance and gait. The horse cannot change unaided and will only adjust the way he functions if he experiences an alternative approach and feels greater ease. How can we help the horse to experience the alternatives? He must feel the benefit to convince himself to change. This can only be done slowly, without gadgets and with understanding.

Using force to demand something different from the horse is ineffective because the horse must be contemplative, calm and receptive to convince himself that a different way is better. Finding ways to communicate effectively with the horse has led me to become a Masterson Method™ Certified Practitioner and a Connected Riding® Practitioner-in-Training. I have also begun learning since 2020 that actually a horse’s natural way of moving is not the best locomotion to support himself in fulfilling our requests. In nature a horse has no need to consistently maintain a straight line or a circle nor any requirement to understand how best to do that without sustaining shearing forces that damage his anatomy. Liz VanRoss has created AlignmentHorse, an approach that teaches a horse locomotion skills enabling high-level performance without damaging himself.

Working with horses informs my work with people and vice versa.

The challenges of horse management and horse & rider training encourage me to explore a multitude of modalities, products and approaches … plenty of fodder for my blog. Reinventing the wheel can sometimes be revolutionary! Close examination can be a time-waster but I have also found that standard practice is not always best practice. Then I am happy to follow my instinct to question the status quo.

Anyone wishing for a more comfortable and energetic life can change their ineffective habits for new more efficient, better balanced movement patterns – more energy, less effort, more ease, more elegance.

My aim is to help people to remove whatever blocks their progress and to find the happiness of a healthy horse … by offering opportunities to learn efficient movements patterns, dissolve tension and improve performance individually and as a team. I am passionate about uncovering the full potential in both horse and human being; the kind and compassionate route to well-being … Aligned – Balanced – Connected.