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Off to the Best Horse Practices Summit!

Anatomy in Clay® Learning System will soon make its long-anticipated debut at an acclaimed horse conference in Lexington, Kentucky.


The Best Horse Practices Summit (“The conference your horse wants you to attend”) is a two-day, yearly event that combines academic and arena presentations for horse owners of all disciplines.


The sold-out conference has a simple mission, according to director Maddy Butcher: to give its 200 students tools that improve their connection and their work with horses.



In Lexington, from October 29-31, professional riders, veterinarians, and university professors will rub elbows with recreational horse owners and other life-long learners in an intimate, dynamic setting at Spy Coast Farm’s Equine Education Center.


After more than a year-long, pandemic-induced delay, Butcher is excited to welcome a uniquely tailored, four-hour equine anatomy class into the educational lineup. At a conference that preaches hands-on learning, Butcher said that “building muscles on likenesses of horse skeletons will be brilliant for our audience.”


Jon Zahourek, founder of Anatomy in Clay® Learning System, will bring his expertise and equine skeletons for this custom-designed elective. Accomplished California-based dressage trainer Jec Ballou will be on hand to help students connect what they are building in the class to what they experience with their horses when riding.


Butcher first learned of the the Anatomy in Clay® Learning System after watching this video on YouTube.


“The whole learning concept resonated with me immediately,” said Butcher. “As a learner, I’ve always been pretty challenged. So low stress, hands-on processes work best for me. And as a conference director, I’m always looking to engage our attendees in ways that really stick. Building muscles on likenesses of horse skeletons with your hands—it will be a new experience for our audience.”


Zahourek, Butcher, and Ballou met over the phone several times to design a custom program, one that would be especially relevant to the summit attendees. The session will cover the topline, that is, the muscles and ligaments running directly off the spine, from poll (the top of the horse’s head) to tail.


The format, and especially the ability to work in pairs on an EQUIKEN® skeleton model, "is going to interface so well with what we're doing at the Summit," said Ballou, who specializes in teaching equine biomechanics and horse-rider movement.


The summit is long sold-out, but you can find video recordings of past presentations online.


Those recordings are currently available on the Best Horse Practices website.

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