How to Win Like a Top Trainer – with Lynn Ashby and Karin van den Bos

Energy and healing work and how it helps our athletic horses

LynnKarinafterrace-01354 May, 2016, USA ~ Part Two of the Two-Part series on Lynn Ashby – working with Karin van den Bos.

On the first day of April 2016, Ashby and van den Bos worked on Thess Is Awesome before his race entry the next day at Santa Anita. Thess is Awesome, favored at 41-1, won the $100,000.00 Santa Anita Stakes race. Horsereporter spoke to Ashby and van den Bos after the race about their energy work. This is what they did:

Lynn Ashby speaks
I really want people to know what goes into this and how helpful energy work is for our athletes,” said Ashby after the 2 April race. “First I want to help you understand about what Karin was able to do for me through the grounding that we briefly did in the barn before we worked on the horse. I still had so much blockage from the chemo I endured and for the first time in a year and a half I was able to get some relief again, which helps the healing flow that everyone has and can tap into. I think that you noticed it during our interview. It is an energy that is easily read and surrounds you when in the positive. I had been blocked for a time. I was grateful for the release and healing that Karin gave me.

“On the day before the race, Karin and I started working on my two entered race horses, Thess Is Awesome and the filly Royal Richess. Trainer Eric Lemartinel came around and was watching what we were doing. I noticed that Eric was receptive and I told Karin to do a grounding on him and we took him in the stall where we had just done Awesome now looking very relaxed after his treatment. And while she was clearing Eric, Awesome started helping, licking her pants and legs and smelling Eric all over, getting into his aura, even getting slightly between the two. The energy in that stall was so palatable that I could feel my hair standing up and Eric’s face had become very flushed. Then Eric started following Karin’s instruction and we did a few points on Awesome and then went to the filly’s stall. Eric followed and we got some good results with her. She had done something to her tail and upper SI joint in shipping, making a large hair rub spot above her tail and we didn’t want to fire it up, so we concentrated on her lower rear hocks and shoulder. I think Eric was very amazed and he was able to feel the flow of energy and her pain points, which we cleared.

“Both horses the day of the race were very confident and calm. The filly got a bit more excited during saddling which is normal for her. Awesome is always pretty calm and gets up once he gets the rider up. His warm up was good and in the race when he broke clear and made the lead by the first turn I started getting excited. The filly was keen to go to the lead but I had told her jockey, Kirsten, to settle her and make her run from the quarter pole. As she dropped down to the rail she got hit by a clod in the left eye, and that just put her off the drive.

“I am so proud that Karin does this work and that there may be an interest in learning about this energy work and applying it to our fabulous racing Arabians. I now use Magna wave and chiropractic work with my Thoroughbreds and Arabians. Add to it this energy work for diagnosing and you do have a positive race advantage.”

Deborah Mihaloff, owner of Thess Is Awesome, Cre Run Farm

“I believe strongly in the forces of spirit as does Karin and Lynn. I introduced them to each other because when I met Karin I knew Lynn would love her spirit and knowledge about horses. They respect each other. I also believe what they did to our horses the day before the race helped.”

Karin van den Bos accepts International Darley Best Trainer Award 2014

Karin van den Bos accepts International Darley Best Trainer Award 2014

Karin van den Bos arrived from Velsen-Zuid outside of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where she lives and trains near the coast.

“Of course the horse was well prepared. I joined my dear friend Lynn at her stable location at Santa Anita track on Friday morning, one day before the race [Friday 1 April] to see how she was working with her horses. The goal was to share some things and to see how we both work.

“Most important before you start to work on a horse is to ground yourself. If you don’t learn how to ground and do not do this you will get the problems of your patient into your body. You will feel tired after the treatment, which you shouldn’t feel if you are doing it in the right way. I did a session on Lynn herself for grounding. In this case it relieved all of the negative energy and pollution etc. After this session, she felt new and energized and very relaxed. You can see it in the face of the person after the grounding.”

Session on Awesome

“First thing to mention is that we were with Lynn Ashby, her groom Rose, Eric Lemartinel who showed up first watching then later learning and helping, and myself,” said van den Bos. “First I grounded Lynn and Eric, then I started to diagnose Awesome and to find out which issues he had.


All photos students working on horses in training

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Doing handholds


Holding the tail


Spine massage softens the muscles after training

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Other strokes

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Releasing the spine

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Soften quarter muscles














“Because it was one day before the race I could not do all that he needed to be done. With my experience I know how to release him from spinal block without harm in the short time we had for his next day of racing. We used horse yoga for releasing his spine. I teach horse yoga to every workout rider. It relieves the horse of soreness and makes them looser in their bodies. Riders immediately feel the difference in their horse. A horse with a released spine is freer in the gallop action so it is of utmost benefit and shows in the race of the treated horse.

“With Awesome, we released his back and quarter muscles and they were soft and free of all tension. Awesome loved it and was licking and yawning and coming around with his head to us all the time to thank me. We did some hand-holds together to soften his other sore and stiff muscles. Awesome was staying with us and being so nice and letting us do anything we wanted to do on him. After the session Awesome looked like a different horse. I let Lynn, Eric, and Rose do some of this horse yoga to learn and feel what difference it makes for the horse.

“The next day, when Awesome was walking in the paddock just before the race, Rose told me he was so relaxed and different and more loose. She had done some of the yoga I taught her to do. Awesome came to me into my arms and put his head close to me and I told him to finish the job which he could do much better now. I told him to have confidence. And guess what, he did. He won with odds 42-1 on the wagering.

“This was my first success for another trainer and owner, and my first success in another country overseas. This is another proof for holistic bodywork success for racing and for many other horse sports. Awesome had a quick start thanks to his realigned straight hips which helped him jump out of the gate quickly.

The Bodywork

“Most horses are not straight,” continued van den Bos. “What I do and teach to those who take classes with me is to put horses completely straight – back to the way they were born. We do this in three sessions. This takes a while for the horse to get used to the adjustments in their renewed body. After three sessions, you will find a different horse moving extremely loose and feeling very well. The horses always thank me during this sessions with their heads coming round in many ways and being so gentle.”


“All problems in a horse come from the front,” van den Bos continued. “With all respect due to chiropractors, doctors and therapists, nearly all treat only the evident problems, the side effects, without knowing where the real problem is coming from. For example, if the hips are not straight people only treat the hips. But the pain and problem return because there is another problem that causes this problem first. Hips that are not straight can cause back and spine problems and other side effects. People bring in a Veterinarian to inject the hocks or SI joint [the sacroiliac joint or SI joint or SIJ is the joint in the bony pelvis between the sacrum and the ilium of the pelvis, which are joined by strong ligaments.] Horses treated in this way only get worse and finally they are no longer able to do a good job. Horses can’t tell the trainer or rider were the pain is, and it is only if you can look really well and listen that the horse will and can tell you. The issues do show but only if you have the eye. Often the first ribs under the shoulder-blade are out, on one or both sides. Due to this, the shoulder will lose some of its flexibility and cannot completely stretch as it used to do. It is a matter of 100 percent movement for optimal performance.

“You see many horses hanging in a race or in the training. This is already telling you that something is wrong in the body. No horse should hang in training or racing. During a race often horses get bumped from other horses and this causes a problem or injury. If we don’t know how to solve it people have no other way than going to the Veterinarian. The horse will protect themselves and won’t give the optimal performance because they will be in pain after a race. You do have horses who run with their hearts and want to do it, but these horses don’t last long in racing.

“Human athletes can tell their therapists and doctors where it hurts but horses cannot. This is where my team and I will help bring back the horse to sound condition. It is pure Holism [looking at the system, the body, as a whole, not a collection of parts] and we do therapy on the horse only with our hands with that in mind.

“My goal is to help all horses and have more people understanding and using Holistic Therapy. I am happy to have others learn with me and spread the news.”

See Part One of this Two Part Series – Horsereporter Speaks with Top Trainer Lynn Ashby

Lynn Ashby is an eight-time Darley Top Trainer Award winner and 2015 winner of the Darley Best Trainer International Award. Karin van den Bos won both the 2013 and 2014 Best Trainer International Darley Awards. They were happy to share their hands-on approach to diagnose and aid their charges. Thank you Lynn Ashby and Karin van den Bos.

By Pamela Burton