Your Instructors

Eleanor Criswell Hanna - Ed.D, Creator of Equine Hanna Somatics®

Eleanor is the Co-Founder and Director of the Novato Institute for Somatics Research and Training, Co-Creator of Hanna Somatics and Creator of Equine Hanna Somatics and Canine Hanna Somatics.

Alissa Mayer - BS EHSE-C

Alissa is a certified Equine Hanna Somatics Educator, Co-Instructor of the Equine Hanna Somatics Professional Training Program, International Clinician and Creator of A Somatic Approach to Horsemanship™.

~ EHS Certification Program ~

The EHS Professional Training and Certification Program is a 3-module annual course, offered each Spring in Novato, California.

Instructional Video Download

It takes years to become a Certified EHSE - with this introductory instructional video, you can learn to do a basic EHS Session - and start helping your horse today!

Video: BEFORE Hanna Somatics (2014)

Felicitas von Neumann Cosel riding Tonico do Top, a very successful 15-year-old Lusitano stallion, in his last season at Grand Prix. He was not a big mover by nature, therefore it took years to develop him in an athletic way so he was able to flow with cadence and jump. He always had to work hard to stretch his physical limitations and I was always looking for ways I could help him.

Video: AFTER Hanna Somatics (2015)

As much as HS was helpful for me, I was very doubtful how it could work with a horse. But curiosity and intrigue won over doubt, so I ordered the DVD for EHS. Watching it, I was still very skeptical, but since I had taken it that far I thought I might as well give it a try. It took me exactly one round of lifting his legs and I could not believe how much it reflected everything I felt when I rode him. (From An Introduction to EHS, Dressage Today Jan2018)


"Real science, real elegant solution..."

"...profoundly affect my horse’s ability to accept connection..."

"...profoundly affect my horse’s ability to accept connection..."


This is an elegant solution to many "training" and "behavioral" problems. Although it may look like other techniques it is at it's core very different.

I have studied other modalities, and have worked with horses for over 40 years. IMO this method gets to the real problem and allows the individuals system to re-balance. How beautiful is that?! No force. It is also physically easy enough for me to help my horse, since I have had many injuries, aches and pains over the years... now I do Hanna Somatic movement too!

Thanks for sharing your wisdom and passion to help horses all over the world.

Dizzy - horse owner - Aiken, SC

"...profoundly affect my horse’s ability to accept connection..."

"...profoundly affect my horse’s ability to accept connection..."

"...profoundly affect my horse’s ability to accept connection..."


As a rider who can compare how my horse feels both before and after EHS work, what I find is that the sessions do seem to profoundly affect my horse’s ability to accept connection through his or her body as well as to access areas of tension that exercises under saddle have failed to alleviate.

The study and practice of EHS allows the body and mind to build awareness and explore range of motion in all four legs, the spine and in the major muscle groups of the hindquarters, back, shoulders, neck, poll and jaw.

Learning EHS has also increased my awareness of where the horse’s body may not be cooperating or available and given me tools to help my horse access those parts.

Sarah Martin - USDF gold medalist and Certified Instructor through Fourth Level and USDF instructor/trainer faculty member.

"...a mind-blowing healing modality that really works..."

"...profoundly affect my horse’s ability to accept connection..."

"...a mind-blowing healing modality that really works..."


This is a mind-blowing healing modality that really works for horses (and humans). Although no single modality can reverse all flaws and problems, every horse can benefit from optimal use of their muscles and release of habitual tensions that cause postural modification (usually misdiagnosed as conformation flaws).

We would have sold a horse whose subtle, but cumulative issues caused his behavior to be too difficult for a beginning rider. Because of Equine Hanna Somatics, we have the horse we paid for — and don't have to say goodbye to our family member.

Gwen & Jim - Lost Creek Llamas & Norwegian Fjords - Oregon

What is EHS?

EHS is Natural, Non-invasive, Science-based and Safe. This revolutionary method teaches us to help horses reset chronic muscle tension - easing stiffness and pain immediately with results that last.

EHS is way beyond bodywork, instead using a unique movement-based training that works directly with the part of the horses brain that controls voluntary movement and resting muscle tension.

EHS is extremely effective in improving posture and easing discomfort - working with nature and proven science to create a foundation of relaxation and suppleness in all types of horses.


Beyond Bodywork: An Introduction to Equine Hanna Somatics

An article by Alissa Mayer, Certified EHSE

First appeared in Dressage Today Magazine January 2018

EHS is an adaptation of Hanna Somatics®, a proven, natural and safe method of pain relief and sensory-motor training for humans. Like humans, horses experience stress and develop chronically contracted muscles that restrict movement and cause discomfort. Over time, these chronic, low-level muscle contractions, which can also be described as “tension” or “tight muscles,” become incorporated into the horse’s habitual posture. This is known as Sensory Motor Amnesia (or SMA—more on this later).

Once this happens, performance and comfort are reduced, and the new postural patterns are difficult to change with physical training or manipulation.

Both the body and the brain adapt to stress as a survival mechanism and these adaptations can become integrated into the brain’s autopilot system. A horse may show adaptations like chronic stiffness, crookedness, weakness or fatigue, a short or uneven stride, a poor attitude, negative behaviors or loss of peak performance. Although SMA cannot be cured by drugs, treatment or surgery, it can be controlled consciously after the relearning process facilitated during an EHS session.

The role of EHS is to help a horse recognize inefficient and unconscious muscle contractions so he can regain conscious control over his own muscles and, therefore, also regain access to his full range of motion, strength and endurance... Read the complete article>>

horse brain

Eleanor Criswell Hanna, co-founder of the Novato Institute, co-creator of Hanna Somatics and creator of Equine Hanna Somatics, has applied the proven method of Hanna Somatics to the horse and discovered that it works just as well, if not better, on the equine body and mind.

Easy, step-by-step instructions and a list of guiding principles for the work make the introductory video a wonderful, easy to follow teaching tool.

Designed for you to watch and try your first session on the same day, bringing the gifts of Relaxation, Suppleness and Ease to your horse ASAP.

Contact Us

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Equine Hanna Somatics®

Criswell and Mayer Productions LLC

1516 Grant Avenue #220, Novato, California 94945, United States

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