top of page

The Whole Horse Classical Immersive

Celebrating the Horse-Human Bond

Universal la Devesa, PRE stallion, in piaffe.

The horse worked well is a well horse...
Classical dressage principles for preservation of soundness and prevention of unsoundness.

Since a young age, it has long been the mission of Dr. Babits to combine classical dressage principles, work, and practice with veterinary knowledge, examination, diagnosis, and prevention to better the lives of horses. Too much of the modern sport horse world is based on diagnosis and maintenance after the fact, after a diagnosis, instead of working the horse in a manner of preservation and prevention. We need to look at working the horse from a point of development, a perspective of enhancing strength and suppleness to ease stress on joints, tendons, ligaments. We need to have the perception of our work with the horse as being rehabilitative to the natural movement of the horse, but with the addition of the rider. With that perception, we need to consider that working the horse should have therapeutic benefits, and in so doing, we break the cycle of chronic, repetitive wear and tear to the horse's physique as well as mental and emotional state. 

We need to look at working horses as treatment. We need to look at working horses as prevention. 

Behaviors and patterns of habituation in the movement and mental state of the horse are most of the time rooted in physical difficulty, discomfort, or outright pain, in addition to a lack of communication or well-understood "thought-to-action" processes. 

One cannot address symptoms. One must address causes, root causes, and causes to the root causes, often on multiple planes, multiple facets of the horse's being, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

One must address that working the horse is a CONNECTION of human and horse, and TOGETHER they can only both be elevated if there is freedom of mind and movement. 

Classical dressage principles--straightness, strength in suppleness, sending forward in rhythm, and stabilization of the equilibrium--are the tenants for preventative strategies for improving and preserving the horse's soundness. 

Classical work for Prevention.
Classical work for Therapy.
Classical work for Rehabilitation. 
Classical work for Connection. 

In The Whole Horse Classical Immersive, considerations are given to the Musculoskeletal System (any lameness or neurologic deficits), podiatry (hoof balance), dentistry, GI system (EGUS, colitis, inflammatory processes, allergies), as well as other biological systems as the need arises. Communication with the horse is paramount in that we LISTEN to what the horse is communicating to us through behaviors. In this light, we learn to observe, to listen, to respond appropriately and in an understood manner, and nurture the horse's mind. The Whole Horse Classical Immersive considers the entire horse's state of being, and lessons and homework are derived based on WHAT THE HORSE NEEDS, not what the human ego wants. 

We must work the horse based on what he needs, not we want.
 The work must all be based in a continuum of equilibrium, a state of balance, the dichotomies of which base their essence in the ever-changing state of the horse's desire to be in equilibrium in himself and his world. 

Such Equilibrium is dependent upon HUMILITY.


Marinero Brillante, PRE stallion in canter pirouette right.

Modalities Used in The Whole Horse Classical Immersive

1. Examination
2. Work in Hand
3. Work in Long Reins
4. Work Under Saddle


The Whole Horse Classical Immersive is an exclusive and intensive 5-Day workshop focused on using classical dressage principles integrated with equine veterinary knowledge to establish patterns of positive development physically and mentally for the horse and the rider. It is designed for the serious rider looking to truly understand the language of the horse, how to better communicate and understand each other, and how to develop the physical and mental aspects of the horse in accordance with classical principles to preserve soundness and prevent unsoundness all while focusing on a deeper level of connection and based in the theories and practice of classical lightness. A focus of this study in lightness is based on determining the base of resistances, decontraction of them, and solutions for maintaining freedom in lightness. 

Your Instructor: Dr. Elizabeth (Bessie)  Babits, BVSc, DVM, a practicing equine veterinarian with 20 years of clinical practice, and over 30 years of work in classical riding, starting of young horses, work in hand, and long rein development.

The workshop is 5 days of intense instruction and examination, using work in hand, long reins, and  work under saddle. The Instructor may opt to ride your horse to help cement certain concepts and to appropriate the necessary feel  of lightness for the horse.

Participation is limited to a maximum of 5 participants.

The Whole Horse Classical Immersive will be given four times a year, in spring, summer, fall, and late fall/early winter. The facility is located in a palette for the soul, a land so stunningly beautiful, it literally is breath taking. The area is intensely spiritual, and the sacred Cerro Pedernal keeps watch over the horses and riders. 

Sessions include twice daily 1-1.5 hour sessions with individual horses and riders for 5 days.

Cost: $2,000 USD, which includes 6 nights of board for your horse at our facility. Feed and feeding, cleaning of stall is provided by and performed by owner of horse. 2 bags of shavings are provided for use if desired. 

A $250.00 non-refundable reservation is required to book and hold your slot.

Auditors are welcome; $55.00/day.

Contact: Dr. Elizabeth Babits



Facility: Willow Creek Stud

                Yeguada de Cerro Pedernal

                3990 State Road 96

                Youngsville, NM 87064

2024 Dates
April 8-12
June 17-21
August 12-16 (Santa Fe Indian Market)
October 14-18

bottom of page