ONE of the UK's leading experts in complimentary and alternative therapies for horse and rider will be at the Conquest Centre, Bishops Lydeard, on August 27. International dressage rider Lucinda McAlpine, from Culmstock, Devon, describes herself as a "marriage counsellor between horse and rider" and refers to her approach as "intuitive riding". She began exploring fields of alternative therapies for her dressage horses in the 1990s, when it seemed that their conventional training and competition regime was causing them stress. Her work has extended into the fields of diet, fitness, injuries and rehabilitation as well as behavioural work. Lucinda introduces the rider to a different working partnership with their horse, improving all aspects of riding as well as potentially increasing longevity and eliminating 'problems' and 'problem horses'. Her intuitive riding demonstration will include ridden work and free work. Lucinda allows her relationship and bond with the horse to dictate the true course of the session, so each demonstration is different from the last. Before Lucinda's demonstration, Nikki Routledge and Sarah Hedderly, McTimoney animal therapists, will address common problems associated with joints and muscles in the athletic horse. Whether a horse is a high level competition horse or a highly prized friend, his muscles and joints may become sore from time to time. Nikki and Sarah will explain how those problems can be eased to improve the horse's performance and well-being. The evening will start at 6.45pm and workshops will be run at the Conquest RDA Centre throughout Sunday and Monday, August 28-29. Riders can book to have tuition with Lucinda and to have their horses treated by Nikki and Sarah. Spectators are welcome to attend the workshops. Hosts of the event, Dean Woodward and Andrea Hicks of Saddle Exchange Limited, will be raising extra funds for the Riding for the Disabled Association by offering advice on saddle fit using impression pads. Tickets for the event are £7.50 in advance or £10 on the door. For further details of workshops, contact Saddle Exchange on 01934 626876 or 01934 415407 or email: [email protected]">[email protected].