June 2017 - Arlyn DeCicco – Balanced Equine Training
Written by Martha Weckel
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 05:18

Traumatic brain injury leads to revelations about human & equine balance that have helped many horses and riders.

by Martha Weckel • photos by Alfred DeCicco

On June 6, 1997, a riding accident changed hunter/jumper trainer Arlyn DeCicco’s life forever when she suffered a traumatic brain injury. Despite this serious condition and unaware of her deficits, six weeks after her head trauma she was riding again. Arlyn had to adapt to new ways of training horses due to her compromised condition.

Summer at Thermal

Verdana at Magnolia Farms

Arlyn instinctively began her new journey as a trainer to learn to allow her horses to work with her, because she could no longer make them work for her. Arlyn had to retrain the entire left side of her body. As she learned how to walk again, she attached a set of reins to her treadmill and when she picked up the reins, she realized she had not been closing her fingers correctly all these years. This became an integral part of her new awareness and she now understood that famous quote from George Morris who always says “close your fingers.” She realized that training one side of the horse at a time allowed her to develop a better balanced horse. Eventually this taught her to become more in tune with both sides of her own body, which translated into a greater awareness of how the horse’s body worked.

With this new knowledge, Arlyn began to develop a program called Balanced Equine Training (BET) which evolved into a system that would allow her horses to ultimately “dance” with her.  Most riders are usually right or left-handed and have a dominant side that carries over into their riding. As part of BET there are several different stretch, supple and strengthen exercises that can help the rider and their horse accomplish this goal of being balanced on both sides.

Arlyn always says, “What is best for your horse is best for you.” Every day creates a unique situation, which keeps Arlyn’s craft at a high level. She trains and teaches authentic and accurate anatomy to help horses and riders achieve their best performance.

Sun Cal's King at San Juan Capistrano

Now, 20 years later, Arlyn is grateful to have been able to help riders and horses of all levels. As she says “I feel blessed every day that I have been able to get up and do what I love doing. I am grateful to my husband of 39 years, Alfred for sharing this journey of creating Balanced Equine Training with me. I want to thank the many horses and riders and the equestrian community that helped me develop my program over the past two decades.”

Mandy Porter & Summer (PCHA Grand Prix Horse of the Year 2006), Darren ‘Dagwood’ Roberts, Joie Gatlin & Sun Cal’s King, Alicia Saxton – Oceancrest Farms, Dr. Heather Mack & Curtis, Liz McIntrye & Black Jack – Concord Equestrian Center, Sally Black – PHS, Alix Kendall – Angels Landing Farm. Martha Weckel & Tully Mars, Chris van den Raadt & Splash, Dream Place Farm, Julie Weisz – Elpis Enterprises, Cameron Griffin, Judy & Jane Berry, Mia Beckham, Karen Randall and Chris Hajjar.


For more information on Balanced Equine Training please visit www.balancedequinetraining.com or contact Arlyn directly at 760-535-3352.