Program Overview


Training For Optimal Balance™ © 2009 – 2016 Kirsten Nelsen Training for Optimal Balance is the system I developed, use and teach with all types of horses from rescues to performance. The entire training program is mapped out in the table below to provide more detail about the concepts, theory and skills involved. You... 

Services Overview


Professional Services Below are the services I offer and various ways you can get hands-on help with Training for Optimal Balance. Prices fluctuate depending on location and number of participants. Click HERE to contact me. If you would like to know more about what I teach; the theory, concepts and skills, then visit “Training... 

Wexford Training Facility


My training facility is currently hosted at Summerwood Stables, in Palm City Florida. Summerwood Stables is a full-service facility on 20 acres.  It includes a 16-stall barn, covered arena and local paths for safe and scenic riding, with access conveniently adjacent to the farm property.  Contact me if you are interested... 

About Training-For-Optimal-Balance


Training For Optimal Balance™ is the training program I developed and use with all types of horses from rescues to performance. The primary goal of the program is to habituate ideal emotional, mental and physical balance in both horse and rider. Training for Optimal Balance focuses on developing a high degree of quality in the “basic” skills. Blending theory from a variety of training ideals such as Natural Horsemanship and Classical Dressage, this training program utilizes essential, universal fundamentals to achieve the desired result. Whether your goal is simply a safe, enjoyable trail ride or your aim is a competitive edge in performance... 



Change: The Story of Grace

During certain stages of my life, I remember thinking, “I am too old to make this big of a change.” This thought has crossed my mind every decade from teens, twenties, thirties and even in my forties. At least now I can recognize that self-defeating thought and have learned from experience that it is never really true, it is only a belief.  I know I am not alone in my struggle to override the “I’m too old” bomb because I hear those very words come out of my students regularly. If it is... 


Horse Bio-Mechanics

Some of the common indicators that people use to determine if a horse is moving correctly include: An arched neck with the head on the vertical Lengthening the stride so the horse is over tracking its front hoof prints Light or no rein contact Fast speeds or exaggerated movement The fact that the horse “can do” a maneuver or job None of these common indicators however prove or disprove balance. They may be present once balance is achieved, but the presence of any one of these peripheral indicators... 


Tom Dorrance and Horsemanship

Tom’s book – The only image I can provide legally. You can google ‘Tom Dorrance pictures’ for more photos. The day I accidentally met Tom Dorrance was a really important event in my life. I knew of him by reputation and was surprised to find him at a Ray Hunt clinic in Gustine, CA. While Ray Hunt was teaching, Tom was working on the sidelines with a big, dark Thoroughbred mare I had seen before at several Buck Brannaman clinics. A lady named Iris owned this mare and I had... 

Upcoming Clinics

Can't find a clinic in your area? You are welcome to host a clinic or seminar. As a host, you receive a free clinic slot. Click HERE to request information about forming one.

Improving Balance & Function For More Effective Riding – Workshops

Sat Oct 29 - Sat Oct 29, 2016
09:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Summerwood Stables 3333 SW 66th Avenue - Palm City Florida

Maryland Clinic

Sat Nov 5 - Sun Nov 6, 2016
09:00 AM - 06:00 PM
Graham Equestrian Center 10301 Harford Road - Glen Arm, Maryland

Virginia Clinic

Sat Nov 12 - Sun Nov 13, 2016
09:00 AM - 06:00 PM
Clifton/Middleburg/Nokesville – Virginia Clifton/Middleburg/Nokesville & Surrounding Area - Clifton, Virginia

YouTube Videos


A couple of fun videos taken with my GoPro.  The first is my horse Prima playing in the pasture.  The second is Gala and my other horse Jasper doing work in the round-pen.

Equine Imbalance

...."Many problems (of the horse) can be caused by unbalanced patterns of tension in the body"........
....."Uneven tension will often result in uneven body use, difficulty carrying a saddle and rider, stiffness generally 'through the back' or the body as a whole, behavioural problems etc..... " Gavin Scofield D.O.
Founder of Equine Postural Training &
Official Osteopath for the British Endurance team


Photos Contributed by:
Jim McCleary - McCleary Photography
Christianne Gentile - True by Christianne
Sarah Wengernuk - Essence Photography

Quote Of The Day

Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school
~Albert Einstein