"My gelding has been with me for about 3 years now. When I acquired him, I knew he had "sticky" stifles & saw that he struggled to keep himself balanced & moving properly. I would often joke that he would do the "Phoebe run" - you know the one where Phoebe from Friends goes running in the park arms and legs flailing everywhere. We have been taking lessons consistently since the very beginning of our partnership and they have helped both he & I in many ways, but his Phoebe run always more or less remained.
When we added the body work from Maria, I really started to notice him becoming more easily balanced. He also seemed to stay balanced for longer during our dressage rides. He more often would pick up the correct lead when asked to canter (this had been a long standing struggle as well) and transitioned more seamlessly. Maria has also helped me get better in tune with him. I pay more attention to making sure his body is feeling good than I used to. I don't think I gave it much thought before, but after seeing the improvement in his balance, I realize what a difference it can make. After all, my body feels better after a massage and chiropractic work, so why should his body be any different? I'm very thankful to Maria for helping him feel and move better as well as educating me!"
As we age, our concerns about continuing to ride our equine partners changes. Now that I am in my 60s which is the new 50s (so studies say) my concerns and challenges differ from when I was in my 30s and 40s. Maria has a unique communication style and encouragement focus that address’s those concerns and challenges while still aiding the client with their equine partnership goals. Her ability to ride the horse in more difficult times provides an essential training tool for both horse and rider. Now pursuing human and equine body works, places Maria in an essential position for aiding in the success of the client’s goals. Cece and I enjoyed our time with Maria and wish her the best in her future endeavors.
Maria was just what my mare and I needed. I had lost my confidence from an old riding accident and wanted to start riding again at age 55. Maria was great at gding me and helping me find my confidence, she was the perfect riding instructor. She was also exactly what my mare needed to continue her training. We both benefited having Maria on our team. I recommend Maria for all your equine needs.
~Tammy & Miss D
Maria Lacasse truly has a gift. In an overview, I have been working with Maria as my horse trainer for almost 3 years. Maria has great personal and horse skills. She has the ability to “read minds” and speak for those can’t speak for themselves. She does not comprise her integrity and puts the horse(s) first. Maria is a firm believer in approaching the equine/equestrian relationship with a holistic view. Through our time together, she has helped me keep myself centered on what is most important, the basic skills of horsemanship.
My thoroughbred, Herfy, has the typical OTTB issues. Due to his size (almost 18 hands), he isn’t always the most coordinated dressage prospect. Maria and I have worked together to figure out the best approach to getting Herfy to become his best self. Herfy has natural “floaty” gaits and a canter that is smoother than a child’s rocking horse. Herfy can do a smooth canter to walk transition without missing a stride. Even with all these natural abilities, Herfy is still as uncoordinated as a toddler at times. We both attribute this to his size and being “locked up” in the chest and hips.
Maria has assisted in teaching me some of the horse yoga basics as taught by April Battle in her online videos. In addition, Maria recently spent a week with Herfy doing a holistic boot camp complete with training rides, lounging, lots of lineament, and bodywork. After I came back from my trip and hopped on, Herfy was night and day difference. I came back to a calmer, more flexible, and well rounded horse. He carried himself properly for longer periods of time without as many aids. We did two full circles around the arena at a perfect rocking horse canter. It was the best ride we’ve ever had together. Maria truly has a gift with horses. She and her magic hands, mind, and holistic approach make the perfect combination to take any duo to the next level."
Have you ever met someone who “got” you – who truly saw you, understood you, AND understood how to help you overcome your fears and anxieties? For many of us, that person might be our partner or parent, but if you’re particularly fortunate, you have another person who’s similarly on your side: a coach, educator, trainer, and friend who can help you make great strides while you’re bettering yourself at your sport. To be a successful horse trainer and instructor, one has to be equal parts skilled observer, equine advocate, diplomatic conveyor of important information, one-the-spot problem solver, and patient, empathetic teacher. Maria Anna Lacasse is all of these things – and more!
When I took my first lesson with Maria, I was a ball of stress. I was at a new barn, in a new arena, working with a new trainer, and I was picking up on something “strange” from my horse (Maria was the first to ask if he might have head shaking syndrome shortly afterward. He did, and he’s now rehabbing). My horse and I were feeding off of each other in the worst possible way. So Maria took us back to the basics. Patiently, kindly, wisely, she had us start with ground work and breathing. My horse and I were grateful for her calm demeanor. By the end of the lesson, we were riding quietly; we were both happy with our progress!
Several months later, I was trying to overcome one of my biggest hang-ups: the transition from trot to canter. Having had a serious accident years ago during this transition, it always brought my anxiety up. But Maria was patient, and worked with me over several lessons. She told me that it was okay that I didn’t canter that day. I didn’t, but I did the next lesson! But I didn’t just canter that day – because of her patience and problem solving, I also made significant progress with my anxiety about trot-canter transitions.
Maria’s holistic approach to training and lessons will provide horses and riders alike with the foundation that they need to excel at their sport, bond with one another, become healthier and happier, and learn about just how special the equine-human relationship can be. Any horse or rider who works with her is truly fortunate to have such a wise, observant, empathetic, visionary person on their team – someone who will truly GET and SEE them and their horse.
~Tracy and Smarty