Functional Equestrian Therapy

Functional Equestrian Therapy


Teamwork! Advanced Physio explaining the importance of a neutral spine to a rider and her trainer. Consistency and being able to replicate body adjustments are important in establishing new motor patterns so having the trainer understand how to communicate to the rider is so important.

Cristo - a German Riding Pony- was able to sustain clear and balanced downward transitions after HIS body work and the rider’s awareness.

I love seeing horses and riders transform during our Functional Equestrian Therapy clinics ❤️ Thank you to the San Juan Capistrano CDS chapter for organizing a wonderful and productive day!

We have available dates for Spring 2020 if you are interested in hosting us.

We are a physical therapy team that strives to create a more functional way for the horse and rider We are self-professed "movement dorks"! Why work with us?

We-Stephanie Seheult and Jodi Heaston-bring our experience and enthusiasm for movement to assist the horse and rider to perform at their best and injury free. We work together to assess the strengths and weaknesses, the balances and imbalances in the horse and rider under saddle. Individually, each of us works with either the rider (Stephanie) or the horse (Jodi) to strengthen and encourage more f

Operating as usual

Photos from Kinesthesia Equine's post 02/17/2020

Another productive clinic with the San Juan Capistrano CDS chapter! Thank you for inviting us 😊


A good read on rein tension in the Canter between horse and rider. The research is from 2015 and I hope they have started further research on the physiological stresses of the horse (cortisol levels, etc) from rein tension and how it changes as the horse and rider learn more advanced movements.

For those wanting to get into the mechanics of half pass, there is a very good explanation of the rider’s weight shift and pelvis during this movement.


A great resource for position and rider influence! Stephanie Seheult Advanced Physio collaborated with Amelia Newcomb Dressage on this smart and rider empowering series.

What makes someone a good Dressage rider? Do you aspire to become a better rider? Here are 3 things to work on that ALL the top riders in this sport (Steffen Peters, Charlotte Dujardin, and Catherine Dufor) have in common.

1. Your Seat - The main function of your seat is to absorb the motion of your horses’ movement. Your seat must stay connected to the saddle at all times and move in perfect harmony with the horse. All the top riders in this sport have amazing seats!!
2. Symmetry - Dressage requires that the horse be straight and symmetrical. This means that we too must be straight and symmetrical. It is unreasonable to expect the horse to be straight when the rider is crooked. It is absolutely essential that as riders we exercise and work on straightness and symmetry.
3. Independent Aids - To be an effective rider, you must be able to ISOLATE your aids. This means, give a leg aid without pulling on the reins. Or use your reins without locking up the seat. The ability to isolate and control your aids is essential.

If you’re interested in studying the details of correct rider position and learning specific unmounted exercises to improve your riding sign up for my online course - “Dressage Rider Position: A 6 Week Masterclass to Transform your Riding Position” Course Starts November 1st!!

Lateral movement of the saddle relative to the equine spine in rising and sitting trot on a treadmill 10/15/2019

We find this “saddle slip” a lot when we work with horse and riders together. It’s a little academic but the takeaway nugget here is the scientific research of rider pelvis imbalance impacting the hind limb function of the horse.

Lateral movement of the saddle relative to the equine spine in rising and sitting trot on a treadmill Saddle slip, defined as a progressive lateral displacement of the saddle during ridden exercise, has recently been given attention in the scientific press as a potential sign of lameness. The aim of this study was to objectively quantify the normal lateral movement (oscillations) of the saddle relat...

Neutral Spine 09/05/2019

Advanced Physio Stephanie Seheult

Congratulations on your first You Tube video! Stephanie is the human Physical Therapist of our team 😀💪🏽

Neutral Spine The importance of Neutral spine Instagram: Facebook: Advanced Physio Intro music by


Yesterday was a small milestone for us—-Stephanie Seheult and I held our TENTH horse and rider clinic.

It seems like yesterday when we first met and almost immediately started spinning the idea of merging human physical therapy work with dynamic equine body work. There were hundreds (perhaps thousands 😉) of conversations about the importance of functional movement and how sometimes the smallest of changes in the rider makes the greatest of positive changes in the horse.

And to see this dream be born into reality is humbling and exhilarating.

We LOVE what we do.

Every clinic there are moments of magic and AHA electricity when harmony improves and everything just clicks for the horse and rider team. Stephanie and I get goosebumps of joy every time we witness “that” smile a rider gets and the movement of lightness a horse gives.

Every. Single. Time.

Clinic #10 held personal achievements for both of us individually too: Stephanie (Advanced Physio) has helped over 400 riders become better 💪🏽 and I (Kinesthesia Equine) put my hands on horse #600 for body work 🙌🤗 We learn something new with each rider, each horse.

YOU make us better ❤️

Thank you to all the barns and trainers who have hosted our clinics the past couple of years.

We cherish every moment we have spent with you.


Wow- some really good ideas for stability and balance training here 😀💪🏽

Photos from Sara Mosqueda Dressage's post 07/08/2019

Thank you for having us out to work with your barn. Wishing all your Junior and Young Riders success next weekend at the Championships ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🐴!

Photos from Functional Equestrian Therapy's post 08/24/2018

We wish the Junior and Young Riders beautiful rides at Championships! We are honored to be a small part of your wellness and performance programs.

Finding Dressage Talent 06/12/2018

Finding Dressage Talent How the U.S. Equestrian Federation is fostering the next generation of dressage riders.


Where it all began ❤️ Two years ago we sat at this table and created a vision for merging human and horse physical therapy together. At the time we had no idea how or even if it would work...but it has. Our work continues to evolve with every clinic and private client.

Every time we work together we turn and say "I love what we get to do." We are truly blessed and grateful.

Thank you to everyone who was there in the beginning, believed in us and cheered on our dreams! (Lucia Rapalyea and Deborah Ann Polec special thanks, ladies!) Thank you to all the riders who inspire us to be better especially Karen Snyder who has been our role model/research subject for so many things!

And most of all, a huge thank you to all the Horses---you enthrall us with your movement and heart.

Stephanie Seheult and I look forward to what the next TWO years will bring!!


Happy Tuesday! The horse partner (Jodi) is working her regular day seeing horses in Santa Ynez Valley and the human PT (Stephanie Seheult) is in Burbank at Los Angeles Equestrian Center working with riders. We definitely cover Central and SoCal!

Photos from Functional Equestrian Therapy's post 05/12/2018

Thank you horse and riders with Lucia Rapalyea and Shadow Ridge Equestrian!! You are a gracious, talented and hard working group of equestrians. We learned from each and every one of you today.

It was a truly rewarding day!

Photo credit: Lucia Rapalyea

Horse & rider fitness training | Southern California | FET 04/18/2018

Here's our May and June Clinic schedule:

May 11, Friday at Shadow Ridge Equestrian Center hosted by Lucia Rapalyea

June 24 at McTalley Manor Warmbloods hosted by Emily Covington

Individually the first weekend in May, Stephanie will be working with equestrian athletes at the USEF Developing Dressage Training Program and Evaluation Session, and Jodi will be cheering on two eligible Kentucky Derby runners from her stable of clients.

Also at the end of May, we will be at the Flintridge Dressage Show and celebrating our two year anniversary!

Please visit our website for updates and more info.

Horse & rider fitness training | Southern California | FET We offer customized horse & rider fitness training and therapy. Whether you are an eventer, dressage rider, jumper or reiner, we can improve your performance.

Photos from EnviroEquine and Pet's post 04/13/2018

We will have these products at a few of our upcoming clinics in May and June! We love the smart and functional packaging of two front and two hind wraps. Check out these well made and effective products!

Timeline photos 03/28/2018

California Greening on such a Spring Day.


Arena is groomed and we are set up for the day! Let the joy begin😃


First ride goes at 9 am! Stephanie and I will be there at 8:30 am to give an introduction to the work and the structure of the day.

Provenance Dressage and Emily have been incredible organizers and hosts. See everyone in the morning!


We are finalizing the schedule and expect an 8 am start for any of you interested in auditing. We have seven horse and rider teams to present and work with throughout the day so even if you can stop by for an hour or two-we welcome you! This will be the first clinic Stephanie Seheult is presenting after earning her USET PT Athlete Performance certification at Gladstone under the guidance of Andy Thomas Physio, the UK and US team physiotherapist. She has so much to share to improve your fitness, balance and effectiveness in the saddle.

We are excited to present this clinic to Provenance Dressage~see you Sunday!

Photos from Functional Equestrian Therapy's post 10/14/2017

Congratulations Stephanie on your successful completion and certification as a USEF/USET Equestrian Physical Therapist! Stephanie went to the US Equestrian Team based at Gladstone, NJ this week to earn her designation. She is available to work with riders of all disciplines.


Stephanie is on her way (sort of*) to attend the USEF Performance Athlete Physical Therapy training at Gladstone. The program is taught by the Team USA and U.K. PT Andy Thomas. She is honored to be a part of this High Performance PT group bringing greater body awareness to equestrians.

*The devastating fires in Northern California are delaying her flight but she is trying to re-route so you can arrive in NJ on time for tomorrow. Please send her good thoughts for safe travel.


We are so happy to donate to this great fundraiser! Hope you can make it today to bid on some great auction items.

Horse & rider fitness training | Southern California | FET 08/18/2017

Our website is officially launched!

Thank you to everyone who inspired and encouraged us to join forces and work together. We are grateful and humbled to have your support. Special thanks to Carol Shearer for the website design; The Rock House and Liz Ard for logo design; and Karen Snyder Lucia Rapalyea Alanna Flax-Clark Para Equestrian Sarah Shearer for your kind words.

And most of all a heartfelt thanks to our families-human and horse-whose love nourishes our goals and dreams.

We are ready to move the world 🌎

Horse & rider fitness training | Southern California | FET We offer customized horse & rider fitness training and therapy. Whether you are an eventer, dressage rider, jumper or reiner, we can improve your performance.

Update: US Equestrian to Hold Next Human Sports Science Medicine Program (HSSM) Physical Therapist Network Course October 12 08/17/2017

We are honored to announce that Stephanie Seheult will be attending this program. We have both followed the incredible work Andy Thomas Physio has done with the US Team. We are excited to add this study and credential to our work we do in Southern California. Stephanie will be filled with new ideas and protocols once she returns from Gladstone in October.

So proud of her!!

Update: US Equestrian to Hold Next Human Sports Science Medicine Program (HSSM) Physical Therapist Network Course October 12 Lexington, Ky. - In an effort to develop the US Equestrian Human Sports Science Medicine Program (HSSM) and its network of physical therapists, US Equestrian’s High Performance HSSM Advisor Andy Thomas will hold his second course on Thursday, October 12, 2017.


While we may have been a little quiet on Social Media recently, Stephanie Seheult and I have been having a very productive summer and the best is yet to come! Stay tuned this week for the launch of our website, the Fall 2017 schedule of Events/Clinics and Stephanie's report from Gladstone as she attends the USEF program for Rider Physical Therapists.

Thank you to all our clients who are showing this summer, out there qualifying for championships and achieving personal bests: We are so proud of you!

Thank you to Carol Shearer of Akaula Web Design ( for our new website--you did great work and patiently waited for us to give you notes. Thank you to the super talented The Rock House and Liz Ard for the logo design---you delivered exactly what we wanted even we weren't quite sure how to tell you what we wanted😉 Thank you both for your talent and support.

Timeline photos 04/02/2017

Congratulations to Sabrina Silver and Callie on your first Dressage show! We are so proud of your accomplishments and seeing your disciplined work shine in the arena.

When do you do it again 😉?

Timeline photos 03/25/2017

Congratulations to Lucia Rapalyea and Amani on their CDI debut this morning. We love seeing your names on the big board! Thank you for letting Stephanie Seheult and me be a part of your experience.

We are honored to work with you!

Timeline photos 02/12/2017

Looking forward to having my talented partner and fellow movement geek Stephanie Seheult in the Burbank/LAEC area this afternoon to work with a horse and rider combo!

Timeline photos 01/04/2017

It seems that we are legally required this time of year to make resolutions and set goals. Making them is easy but developing and executing a program to create good habits to help you meet, achieve and go beyond your dreams...well that can be the step that stops you.

Now is the time to put your conditioning program in place. We are available for private sessions and clinics to help develop the following for both horse and rider:

•Dynamic assessment of strengths and weaknesses
•Conditioning assessment of heart rate, muscle tone/symmetry and respiratory function*
•Core development
•Improved suppleness
•Conditioning programs to develop stamina and to peak during show season
•Team goal development

Stephanie and I thrive on seeing our horse and rider partnerships achieve their goals and succeed beyond their dreams. Please contact us via phone, text, PM or email.

We are excited for 2017! Let's go FORWARD!

*We require medical approval/clearance so would like to have your primary vet/doctor on board with any vital sign testing we offer.

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