The new discipline of Working Equitation is starting to grow and gather a new following in the horse world, and Lise Leblanc is on the front lines of that growth in Ontario. Lise, a long-time teacher in the educational system, joins the Hitting Your Stride podcast in this episode to talk about that and so much more.
Their conversation opens with Lise’s memory of a book called A Little Black Pony; that was the hook into the equine world for her and it’s been a tale of devotion ever since. Growing up out East, she got her first taste of horses from her grandfather and ‘was in heaven’ observing the relationship he had with his horse, Queen. Her equine love affair blossomed, introducing her to the joys of dressage and its wide-ranging teachings.
It was then that Lise connected another passion of hers to her growing work with horses, as she detailed the connections riding and training horses has with yoga. So while she’s a student of the classical method of dressage – having devoted much of her study to the works of Nuno Oliveira, Alois Podhajski, Walter Zettl and others – she talks extensively about how many aspects of the discipline are akin to the movements and practices studied in yoga. Lise goes on to talk about how yoga has helped redefine her as a horsewoman and how it plays a role in her own teachings in and out of the ring.
Admittedly, it hasn’t been an easy road for Lise to travel; she decided to follow her dream of working with horses and step away from the chalkboard at a time in her life where the pivot was both frightening and necessary. She says that almost losing her son was a real eye-opener, and advice from her sister helped make the decision – a bold choice that has led to dynamic change.
She’s working hard to bring Working Equitation to the forefront here at home, as she and Tracey talk about the benefits of exploring the W.E. discipline can have on other styles of riding. The passion pours out of Lise as she describes what Working Equitation involves and how it’s reaching into every corner of the horse world with positive affect. They wrap the conversation by looking ahead as Lise tries to answer what’s coming next for her … and she simply says she has to finish building the boat before she can sail it.
Lise Leblanc can be found online at www.lise-leblanc.com, which provides information on her lessons in French Classical riding and Working Equitation.
Listen to the episode here: