phoenix internationale philosophy

Drawing by Kara Netterville***


phoenix internationale philosophy


phoenix internationale phioosophy

Academia de Phoenix Internationalé is committed to the horse in the classical sense. By intensive study and application of the knowledge of the pre-1860  classical masters, coupled with today’s modern cutting-edge equine psychology, modern sport horses can be progressively trained with minimal resistance. Freedom of movement, suppleness and engagement becomes the norm. When modern sport horses want to interact, training and competing become a positive, forward experience.

Philosophy of Phoenix Internationalé

Shinobu teaching and letting Scratchy think his way through a problem

Philosophy of Phoenix Internationalé

Shinubo and Scratchy. Kinesiology and cortical thinking create willing and happy partners!

Academia de Phoenix Internationalé also specializes in human sports psychology. When an athlete understands how to train, they “believe they can”.  When a horse’s mind is engaged and the rider’s mind is engaged, a proper training process is created.

“The Mind Leads the Movement”.

Focus is placed on “Process” not outcome. Proper Process leads to a predetermined outcome.

The team at Academia de Phoenix Internationalé is comprised of subject matter experts. We not only teach, we compete, internationally. We practice what we preach!

Academia de Phoenix Internationalé is committed to all sport horse disciplines. 
A desire to learn “Why” is all that is required.

Philosophy of Phoenix Internationalé

Here cortical thinking exercises, are combined with the historically and physically correct jumping position. This "Dressage Horse" can now walk to a meter twenty-five jump, and clear it with confidence! The mind leads ALL Movements!

Philosophy of Phoenix Internationalé

Walking into a meter twenty-five jump, with confidence! The secret is Cortical Problem Solving!

Philosophy of Phoenix Internationalé

Another example of Cortical Problem solving! Teaching problem solving and symbiotic muscle recruitment create confidence and success!

Philosophy of Phoenix Internationalé

Cortical training... Step over from one to the next!

Philosophy of Phoenix Internationalé

More Complex, Cortical training.. Balence on two wobbly logs and walk front and back legs. Soon only one log.. Four legs, motor neuron pathways, micro fascia, All working as one! Amazing, as this will "bonk" out a horse faster than a Gallup!

Philosophy of Phoenix Internationalé

Product of Cortical Training! Wanting to communicate, wanting to train, wanting to please!

 Philosophy of Phoenix Internationalé

The outcome of hours of Cortical Training, relaxed, forward, -Symbiotic- Partner!

The Philosophy of Academia de Phoenix Internationalé is based on tradition and simplicity. Most riders and horses struggle because  the complexity of what is being asked is too much or the horse and rider don’t have the physiology  developed to support the movement being asked for. We strive to break down complexity so that the horse and rider can understand simple elements; these elements are then built together over time to create the complete movement. In other-words: process over outcome.  Movements are built by building the proper processes. What we teach and do in our workouts mirrors in the show arena. If we think in terms of process in the training site, then we think in terms of process when riding a test or jumping a course. We believe that proper process-based teaching and training leads to understanding. With understanding, a student or horse begins to need the trainer less and less, which leads to our second ethos. “Our job is to work ourselves out of a job.”

What are the Elements that are needed to have a successful partnership and execution of the task being asked?

1) Modern Cutting Edge Equine Psychology:
Modern Psychology has come a long way in defining how a horse learns, communicates and understands. There are many different types of Equine Psychology available today and Phoenix Internationalé has on sight experts to teach the elements of a movement. By breaking down correct movements into their simplest elements, horses can also begin to understand “Process Oriented Learning”.  The intensity of aids can be described in a escalating manner of Hair, Skin, Muscle, Bone. As the horse is taught the elements of a movement, corrections can be made more and more at the “Hair” level and reinforced with reward. Horses then seek to work, seek to be rewarded, become willing and forward partners; they are on the path to success.

2) Equine Physiology and Kinesiology:

We believe that if a horse does not have the correct muscles developed (synergistic muscle groups) to perform a movement,  the horse will  recruit incorrect muscles (antagonistic muscle groups) to get through the movement. Just as an athlete will go to a gym to slowly develop correct sports specific muscles, a riderless horse must also be taught what synergistic muscles to recruit in order to perform a movement correctly. Once the correct synergistic muscle recruitment is understood, the horse is still not ready for the rider. These sports specific synergistic muscles must be strong and supple so the horse can perform the movement without the rider. Only when a horse can perform the movement correctly is a competent rider introduced. Care is still given that the rider does not interfere with this correct movement; attention is given to make sure the rider does not have a negative influence on the quality of the movement. This is accomplished through a progression from a simple lead line and halter all the way up to long lining.  Phoenix Internationalé  takes advantage of melding old world masters techniques and new cutting edge equine sports science to accomplish this task.

3) Equine Sports Nutrition:
Phoenix Internationalé has team meetings where each horse’s progress is monitored. This includes world class veterinarians,  equine sports massage,  soft tissue and nutrition experts. All of this team input leads to soft, supple, willing minds and muscles that are ready to train.

4) Human Sports Psychology:

Members of Team Phoenix have competed at the world class level in many disciplines. We have worked with and have access to the very best sports psychologists in the world!
We teach with the rider’s mind and understanding as our focal point. We keep up to date on the latest techniques from the clinical world and from the experimental world. A rider must learn how to recruit new grey matter and how to tie that grey matter to the synergistic muscles for proper and timely movement.

5) Human Sports Specific Physiology:
All humans are born with a dominant  side. Without correction the dominant muscles will have a short term and long term negative impact on a horses physiology. Our team will address area of weakness.  World class physiologists are available is needed. If a rider really wants to be in union with their horse, proper physical conditioning must take place. Part of this intensive process is the age old practice of lunge lessons. The key to this sports specific physiological training aid is to be lunged on a horse that is “correct”. If a rider is lunged on an incorrect horse, they will create an incorrect horse. Phoenix has correct moving lunge horses available.

6) Human Sports Nutrition:
One of the key factors we experience with riders is they don’t treat their bodies as high performance athletes would. Riders are high performance athletes;  proper hydration and energy must be available for  the rider to have mental focus for learning and AT’s for strenuous, correct sport specific synergistic muscle recruitment. Again, if Team Phoenix can’t answer the questions raised by its riders, we have access to a world class sports nutritionist.

7) Process Oriented Training Program:
The above listed requirements  show the daunting problem of being an effective rider. All world class athletes are faced with these issues and how they manage them day to day. At Phoenix we help break down, plan, and attain goals.  Goals are broken down to each ride so that “Process” becomes the focus. As all successful world class athletes will tell you, focus on proper process is how success is achieved. Process, not outcome, is the focus of any world class athlete. That is the Team Phoenix philosophy. All we ask our athletes is to come each day with a willingness to try. We provide everything else!

“Process Over Outcome”

Our job is to work ourselves out of a job.


*** Horse muscle drawing by Kara Netterville, please visit her sites for more wonderful imagery!