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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:15 am 
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Location: Quebec, Canada
I have found a trainer who is willing to read up on Centered Riding and may be interested in learning. She asked me what Centered Riding was and I couldn't explain it to her.
I do want to buy Sally Swift's book and the two DVD's that are out. But before I do, can someone give me the most important differences between riding using Centered Riding and traditional (I did tell her that I did not want to ride a horse with a bit).

Thanks for your help.
Jocelyne

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:20 am 
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Hi Jocelyne, I think Centred Riding is the same as GOOD traditional riding of any discipline. That is, the rider is balanced and has an independent seat, and is riding from her core, with clear intention and light cues. Doesn't matter whether you're riding English, Classical, Western.. Bareback.. the same basic principles apply.

The difference is in the WAY that Sally Swift teaches it. Because of her own battles with scoliosis when she was young, she had to learn to understand the movement of her own body very well.. and she took horseriding lessons in order to help straighten herself. She then sharpened what she learnt during that time during her whole lifetime, so she has a wonderful ability to put the concepts of good riding into language that anyone can understand and use - something very few of even the best riders can do, because most are doing it naturally, without thought. She mostly uses analogy and visualisation to help riders get their bodies working effectively for them. I use lots of her teaching ideas when I'm coaching, with great success. I have a few clients who've been having lessons for years in traditional stables, but in just a few sessions I can help them to feel very much more comfortable and effective in what they do on a horse.

I highly recommend you get her books and DVD, whatever sort of riding you want to do. :D

Cheers,
Sue

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:22 pm 
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I certainly second that, Sue. Ms Swift had a touch of true genius at connecting with people at every level to help them become aware. I trust she is with all her beloved horse companions.

I can only hope to reach my students in the wonderful way she did. Such an inspiration.

Donald, Nettlepatch Farm

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
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Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
http://www.centeredriding.org/2column.a ... 0025,10043

Josepha is a Centred Riding Instructor.

Other things that may help to include are Pilates and Alexander Technique.
The benefits of investing in good teachers, through books, dvd's and in person, is better posture and body awareness in other areas of life as well. (or at least it should work that way.)

Somewhere, probably a box in the loft, I have Sally Swift videos but of course we have a dvd player since the video machine went into meltdown.
You will love her, good, sensible, clear advice to help you as a rider be an easier passenger for your horse to carry, able to follow and flex with movement.
Sylvia Loch does good dvd instruction as well and tends to keep her vocabulary mostly jargon free so even people like me who have no experience of Haute Ecole can follow her teaching videos/dvds.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:04 am 
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Hi Susie I quite like Sylvia Loch too. Although when I watch I think she's not as good at really understanding and expressing what she's DOING as Sally Swift. My feeling is that there is some discrepancy between what she does when she rides (which is beautiful!) and what she SAYS she's doing as demonstrated by her students. That is I feel that her way of riding holds something subtly different to that which she is able to get from instructing others. Have you ever noticed that? Specifically for example: When she rides her body is upright and core active but she's quite loose and (to me) obviously activating her psoas. However it seems to me that her the emphasis she places during instruction on having her students achieve an "upright" posture actually has most of them hyperflexing their backs and therefore being much less supple and with the horse than she is.. less correct engagement of psoas. This then flows on to all sorts of other things. (I'm no expert.. this is just something I've been obsessing over as I look for good teachers so I"ve been picking it apart :D I have a lower back problem (as do many riders I think) which was more and more often giving me pain after riding so I"ve been trying to hunt out the way that my body can work better on the horse. Realising that for my body shape and natural posture I need to actively FLATTEN my lower back rather than lift up my chest and push it out in front has really helped me. My horse rounds up better too with my softer and slightly rounder posture. :) (Not to say everyone needs to do that.. for many lifting the chest forward is exactly what they need to counteract their own imbalances.)
Pottering..
Sue

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I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,

But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:29 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
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Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Hi Sue, it is ages since I watched my video's, I remember liking Sylvia doing what I do to teach kids, all fours to feel the movement and if their heads are up they hollow the back and have greater difficulty making a requested move.
How much fun when someone who rides so well, and can come across as serious, does what I did, flying changes on my own two legs.
You are so observant. I can't watch them without the video player. I know Sally Swift was superb and direct.
I found Mary Wanless good but often confusing. Sometimes the "Can Do's" are not good at explaining the "How" in an understandable format. Or the pupil is a little slow on the uptake.
I still have a brain which acts my shoe size, if my body could just be as flexible as my young teenage or twenties self, I could perhaps ride as subconsciously and flow better.
Sometimes analysis rather than doing can be an enemy, but maybe it is just time flies, the last 40 years were fun but a bit fast....
I can reference more and still not perform as well.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:26 am 
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Oh yeah! I love that stuff too. I was amusing my husband and embarassing my kids with my flying changes round the living room a couple of months ago. heehee. But it worked! And the all fours teaching.

I hear you on the aging thing...
Balance is key. Referencing and analyzing is our secret weapon that will keep us ahead of the youths.. as long as we keep up the yoga. :green:
So I like to think. But you're right. Sigh. All this analyzing now still hasn't got me back to my youthful abilities.. when I was a kid my favourite horse (a two year old I bought "green broke" :blush: ) could do the most superb flying changes school canter and piaffe.. so I guess that means I could do those things too...despite that I didn't even know what they were. :roll: Now I'm having to analyze even a trot to canter transition. :huh: But it's true.. nothing to do about it. Our brains and our bodies DO change as we age.. so we have to make the most of what we have now. :D

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I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,

But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:09 am 
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Haven't read the other's replies so if it's double, sorry :)

With centered Riding the emphasis lays almost completely on the rider, to fix the horse one fixes the rider. For every reaction the horse gives, there must have been a certain action of the rider first.
With the traditional riding the emphasis is mostly completely on the horse. His (re)actions are seen as standing alone and not as a result of what the rider is doing.

I can recommend it to your instructor really! It made me such a better instructor and rider!
:yes: :)

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:06 am 
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Location: Quebec, Canada
Thanks Josepha. That does make sense. I have ordered the two dvd's and I'll order her book after watching the dvds.

Jocelyne

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[Hug your animals everyday. You never know!


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