The Centaur Reflective Equine Osteopathy

2016-10-11_13_Internationnal-Equine-Summit_AZChristophe will share the « Centaur Reflective Equine Osteopathy » at the « International Equine Summit« , who will take place in Arizona from the 11 to the 13 October 2015 :


The Centaur Reflective Equine Osteopathy

The horse and rider are so intimately related so that the freedom of the horse’s movements also depends on the freedom of the rider’s movements.

However for the rider, riding without constraints is different from walking without constraints. The challenges and the posture are different. For the horse, the presence of the rider acts on its center of gravity, on its biodynamics and balance. Considering the horse & the rider togheter, we come to the concept of the “Centaur” : « The whole is more than the sum of its parts. »

I propose that we examine several points : balance & breathing, relationship & the emotional process, the position of the rider and its impact on the biodynamic of the horse, the anatomic link between horse and rider, and the assembly point of both.

We will explore this with the reflective-sensitive approach, “Centaur” equilibration and harmonic song, using the tools of the Eponaquest Approach and the somato-emotionnal body process.« Only the man who loves the horse,
who understands and feels it
 may have equestrian tact »

Michel Henriquet


The reflective-sensitive approach

The reflective-sensitive approach is a sensitive body care technique for the horse with direct action of the rider (or owner), accompanied and supervised by an equine osteopath trained at the reflective-sensitive approach.

CC_Christophe-Nel-Zahir_300-365Who ?

The reflective-sensitive approach was created by equine osteopath Christophe Dreyer following his apprenticeship training facilitated by horses in the USA. The reflective-sensitive approach arose from the encounter between the Eponaquest Approach® (learning facilitated by horses) created by Linda Kohanov, the »reflective riding » technique, developed by Rosie Withey, and the « animal onto-kinesiology » by Alfred Manuel. Christophe Dreyer adapted all of these approaches to the practice of equine osteopathy and create the reflective-sensitive approach.

Julliard-Lucinda-ChristopheHow ?

Using his body as a transmitter, receiver and amplifier, the rider perceives changes and tensions present in the body of the horse. Accompanied by the osteopath, the rider will become aware of his impact on the body of the horse. Then, placing his hands as directed by the osteopath, the rider becomes an actor of the release of tensions in the body of the horse.

This action is doubly beneficial : physical contact between the horse and the rider during the release and relaxation of tissues in the body of the horse allows direct and immediate information of the rider’s body cells. The cells can in turn adapt to the new situation.

The reflective-sensitive approach is based on several observations :

  • The person who best knows the horse is the person who lives with the horse, this may be his rider, owner or trainer.
  • There is a link between the human and his horse. There is a meaning for the existence of this couple : both can learn and evolve with the situation.
  • Releasing tensions in the horse in association with the rider allows the two bodies to be informed of the changes of the body situation.
  • The horse-rider relationship is strengthened by the active participation of the human in the care of his horse.
  • This practice increases body awareness of the human rider.

poney-enfant-calinFor who ?

For all riders and horse owners who want to be actors of balance and well-being of their horses.

Benefits :

  • The owner / rider is the one who carries out the procedure on the horse, consequently he can feel the releases occuring in the body of the horse step by step.
  • Horse and human benefit together from the releases and increased awareness.
  • The relationship and trust between the human and the horse is increased.
  • The traditional benefits of osteopathy sessionn are also experienced.


The equilibration of the « Centaur »

cropped-1010403_10152643315329762_284386770_n.jpg« Balancing a horse is one thing.
Balancing a rider is another.
The balance together a third. »

What’ is it ?

The equilibration of the « centaur » is to balance the horse’s body by considering the horse-rider duo as a single entity, such as a « centaur ». This work is inspired by the care of the Centaur created by Patrick Chêne.


The art of the osteopath is to balance and release tension in the body of the horse while having bareback rider on the horse’s back. This allows the rider to realize the effects of his position, his balance and the consequences of his stance on the movements of his horse.
The equilibration of the « centaur » is an enriching complement to the practice of the reflective-sensitive approach. The rider will be bareback on the horse. Gradually, as the body of the horse is freed of tensions, the body of the rider, in direct contact with the horse, adapts and evolves simultaneously.

Why ?

The equilibration of the « centaur » comes from several observations:
While the horse can be balanced and released by appropriate osteopathic techniques, some discomfort or tension may persist or come back very quickly after the action of the osteopath.
The rider is not always aware of his direct impact on the mobility and the biodynamic of his horse.
Balancing a horse is one thing. Balancing a rider is another. The balance of the two together, a third.
Unlocking the horse with the rider on his back allows the two bodies to be informed of the developments.
Human emotions affect horses’ behaviour.

Poney_Christophe-300For who ?

For all riders who want to contribute to the balance and well-being of their horses. It is however necessary that the rider feels comfortable and relaxed bareback on his horse with very little movement.

Benefits :

  • The overall balance of the horse-rider pair is improved.
  • The posture of the rider is stabilized.
  • The gaits of the horse are loosened.
  • The effects of the session are immediately visible and more stable over time.
  • The rider feels rooted in his horse as if he had four legs, like a centaur.
  • The rider is an active paticipant and perceives the releases taking place in the body of the horse during the session.
  • Horse and human benefit together from the releases and increase in awareness.
  • The relationship and trust between the human and the horse is increased.
  • The traditional benefits of osteopathy session also take place.

Harmonic song as a therapeutic approach

helices-smallWhat is it ?

This is a song in two tones that is also called “harmonic overtone singing”. The harmonics in the song create a vibration in multiple wavelengths. Each note has its own wavelength. Every organ, every cell, every tissue has its own wavelength. By approaching this wavelength, the practitioner performs an original sound vibration on the tissues allowing them to break free from tension more quickly. By combining the action of hands and overtone singing, the practitioner has two complementary tools to balance and release tension: this combination can also help him find where the constraints are located.


CC_Christophe-Dominante_200-143Who is Christophe Dreyer ?

  • Animal Osteopath
  • Onto-Kinesiologist
  • Equine Shiatsu practitioner and TCM
  • Eponaquest® Instructor
  • Total Perineal breathing practitioner
  • POH, Eponaquest® Leadership specialization

hc050908-175004-dscn1386« My place in the Herd »

« As a child, I spent my days with horses, my favorite place was in the herd »

Christophe Dreyer is a rider for over 25 years. In his childhood, the equestrian center was his refuge. Later in his life, he learned to live every day with the horses in breeding stables. From his passion, he initially developed his professional osteopathic practice with an innovative approach that associates equine osteopathy with harmonic singing.

« Osteopathy, a philosophy of life »

The basic principles of osteopathy according to its creator Andrew Taylor Still strongly inspire Christophe Dreyer :

« The fundamental principles of osteopathy explain the functioning of our body, a living organism at the service of life. For those who want to be healthy, it is a beautiful philosophy of life. »

During his studies, he was always seeking to understand what was happening, lookimg for the cause, finding the cause of the cause. His research led him to ask several questions to guide his way :

  • Why does osteopathic disfonction come back the same way to the same locations in the body just a few days after equilibration by the practitioner ?
  • What cause has not been addressed in the body that is leading to the resurgence of this “crutch” that the osteopathic dysfunction represents ?

To answer these questions, Christophe Dreyer studied various complementary practices of natural care: Kinesiology, overtone singing, traditional Chinese medicine and shiatsu.

In his practice of animal osteopathy, Christophe had the opportunity to serve all types of riders, in both leisure and competitive activities, including the French dressage champion Marc Boblet and his mare « Noble Dream ».

carte-emotion-corps_roger-fiammettiChristophe’s current research focus is the adaptation of Roger Fiammetti’s somatosensory emotional approach to horses.

© Christophe Dreyer, The Centaur Reflective Equine Osteopathy – October 2016, International Equine Summit, AZ, USA