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The Whole-Brained Rider

Riding with Relaxation Techniques including Brain Gym and Reflex Integration


Heidi has studied Brain Gym since 2000 and is also a Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor and has coursework in Energy Medicine, and Rhythmic Movement Technique. Brain Gym is an educational program that uses simple movements to impact whole-brain learning and to integrate the developmental reflexes (the movements babies work through in order to learn new physical and mental tasks). When you move your body, you move your brain and can create new ways of thinking.


Whether you have a fear of riding after a fall, or just want to make riding easier, combining Brain Gym with riding can help you accomplish your goals quickly and easily as described in The Whole Rider sessions, materials and coursework. You can learn the exercises that will help you and therefore your horse. Melocco teaches how you can gain control of your body and make your riding cues more effective no matter what your experience or discipline.


Teaching Aids/ Photo Sets


Help your riding students remember calming exercises or use movement as you ride. The set of over 20 photos come spiral bound so that you can have a new exercise handy as you ride. 4" by 6". Choose from photos of the movements shown on horseback or shown on the ground (photographed at Red Rocks, CO). Quantity discounts available when you order more than 15 sets--email for details.

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1 set: Whole-Brained Riding Photo Set

Set of 21 photos (horse/ rider) price includes shipping, $24.50

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15 sets: Whole-Brained Riding Photo Sets 

Set of 21 photos (horse/ rider) price includes shipping, $300

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1 set: Movements at "Red Rocks" 

Photo Set

Set of 26 photos (Red Rocks), $24.50 includes shipping      

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15 sets: Movements at "Red Rocks" 

Photo Set

Set of 26 photos (Red Rocks), $300 includes shipping      

 Classes and Session Offerings:


Private Sessions


Which of these reflexes are "active" for you as you ride? TLR may encourage your arms to draw up when you look down, causing you to easily feel unbalanced in the saddle. ATNR may make it difficult for you to apply right and left cues at the same time, causing you and your horse to feel frustrated! Riding with the reflexes means being aware of what your body is doing by "default" and learning ways to relax and choose to move with precision and fluidity. Melocco can introduce you to the balance process before you ride, observe your body postures in motion, then help you work toward your riding goals. Mounted observation sessions at your barn are combined with on-the-ground sessions in Melocco's office. You'll learn tools to help you prepare for riding and achieve your goals on and off the horse.


1 hour observed in saddle time followed by 1-hour office session, (travel fees to your arena may apply outside of Boulder County, Colorado), contact for pricing and availability.  





Balance Your Mind, Body, and Horse


First presented at 2003's Ohio Equine Affaire, this indoor, horseless clinic invites participants to notice their balance using exercise balls and balance equipment. Participants will learn how their balance impacts their horse and learn Brain Gym techniques they can do at home and before riding to improve their balance and relax. 


2-3 hour intro, limited to 10 people




Focused Riding: Brain Gym for Riding Instructors


In this discussion, riding instructors and coaches will learn how they can add Brain Gym teaching techniques to their weekly lessons. Students can learn what they can do to help themselves--relieving teachers from barking repetitive commands. Learn how to help riders establish goals and keep working toward their goals between lessons. Participants will learn how to use and teach the 26 Brain Gym techniques to students as they ride.


2-3 hour intro, limited to 10 people




Two-day Intensive Intro


Learn how Brain Gym relates to the developmental reflexes—and what happens if reflexes are active while riding. You'll gain insights to help you achieve your goals, relax in the saddle, and get to the next riding level. Learn how Melocco has applied the Brain Gym process to riding lessons and training sessions. Find out how the movement of the horse matches the three-dimensional way your brain takes in and processes information. Learn how a horse responds to your body's changing position as illustrated by your movements on an exercise ball—your "mount" for the class. This class is held indoors and doesn't include riding. You won't ride, but you'll observe and learn to watch body positions of riders and have invaluable tools to add to your personal riding or teaching sessions.


2-day intro 


E-mail to schedule an intro for your riding club or group of instructors. Classes can be tailored to work with special needs/therapeutic riding.




Heidi Melocco, M.S., is a licensed high school teacher, horseback riding instructor (Path International registered instructor) and has been trained as a Brain Gym® consultant. Melocco started riding Ponies of the Americas at age 5. In college, she was president and later assistant coach of the Ohio Wesleyan University Equestrian Team. Keeping active as a rider and riding instructor, Melocco became a licensed Brain Gym® instructor—an international program based on whole brain and active learning.


At the same time she began her equine journalism, marketing and photography career (she’s an author of the Western Horseman Legends series and has stories and photographs published in Horse Illustrated, Horse & Rider, The Trail Rider, and America’s Horse through her Whole Picture business,


Melocco started using Brain Gym’s simple movements to help her 4-H horseback riding students relax and achieve their goals in the saddle. Melocco is now an instructor with the PATH International (PATH International®). Melocco is excited to share news with fellow riding instructors and horse owners—taking every opportunity to teach how solid horsemanship training and Brain Gym techniques can help any rider achieve any horsemanship goal. She has presented at the Path International Conference, Equine Affaire and the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo, as well as at the American Youth Horse Council's annual symposium.

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