Pilates and horses may not seem like they go together, but one resident has found a way to mix the two into a business expansion.
Tiffany Page recently added horses to her list of clientele for her pilates business, Pilates Mastery. Page's program blends equine pilates, equine bodywork and horse speak.
Horse Speak is "basically the way that you can figure out what’s going on with your horse," according to Page.
"They use microgestures, little small twiggles or twitches along their body (parts)," Page said. "So, for example, when a horse is running in the herd, you don’t ever see them bump into each other. They have little bubbles of personal space and they move by looking at certain body parts. That’s how they communicate with each other."
Using horse speak allows Page to form a better relationship with the horse, before moving into the pilates portion.
"We focus on balance and then separate from traditional bodywork, we put it into motion," Page said. "So, it's not just in the stall, it’s on the ground and eventually under saddle."
During a session, Page employs a lot of hands-on work and stretching to restore chemical, structural and emotional balances.
Page founded her pilates business in New York City in 2017.
"I did a lot of fitness pilates, and I got injured because I didn’t realize that the instructor wasn’t fully certified," she said. "So, I went ahead and got my own certification and launched Pilates Mastery."
The company now has four locations, including one in Aiken that launched in spring 2020. The horse element didn't come around until recently, however.
"I was visiting my mom on Long Island, and I saw someone get hit by a car," Page said, speaking about her inspiration. "I realized life is fast and anything can happen. So, someone said go do the things that you love, and I loved horses as a little girl. So, I got back into horseback riding as an adult and then it all fell into place."
While Page didn't invent the niche field of horse pilates, she did make it her own.
"My work is about a relationship, it’s not about training," Page said. "It’s about getting the human to learn how to pay attention to the horse so the horse can pay genuine attention back to the human."