The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
It is currently Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:35 am

All times are UTC+01:00




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 91 posts ]  Go to page 1 2 3 4 57 Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:55 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:03 am
Posts: 1351
Location: Washington, Maine USA
Hi all,

The other day Hannah suggested to me that we start a new riding topic about Centered Riding (CR). I have seen folks mention CR in their diaries, etc. and others that have asked questions about the CR method. So this will be a good place for those of you experienced with CR, just learning about CR (ME!!), or those of you that want find out what CR is!

I am still a beginner, taking lessons for a local certified CR instructor, trying to remediate all the bad habits I still carry from childhood riding!! So I may not be able to answer the more technical questions so I hope there are others out there who can!!

There are two books published on CR that I know of:

Centered Riding by Sally Swift

Centered Riding 2...Further Exploration by Sally Swift

Here is an excerpt from the book jacket of CR2:

"Centered Riding is not a style of riding as are dressage, hunter seat, or western. Rather it is a way of reeducating a rider's mind and body to achieve greater balance in order to better communicate with the horse. Founder Sall Swift revolutionized riding by showing that good use of the human body makes a world of difference on horseback.

In her early work, she established what she calls the 4 basics: centering, breathing, soft eyes, and building blocks --which, together with grounding, are the main tenets of her method. When a rider learns and maintains these basics, then harmony between horse and human is possible.

<snip>

...Sally also concentrates more on the horse than she did in her earlier book, and she explains in great detail how through the use of Centered Riding you can improve your horses' musculature and way of going -- and consequently his comfort and performance. This is the intent of Centered Riding--a successful horse and rider partnership, in which they work efficiently together in joyful harmony.



So that's it for now! Look forward to learning more and hearing about other's experiences with CR!! Let us know if you have tried this method and what you have learned from it!!

Brenda

_________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Lucy04574
http://www.youtube.com/user/Jack04574


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:17 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:03 am
Posts: 1351
Location: Washington, Maine USA
Hi all,

I have been taking CR lessons of and on for about year, mostly when the weather is good. I wouldn't say my progress has been speedy but it certainly has been enlightening!

I take lessons with Jack, my QH, who I am working thry many issues with. So in order not to compromise jack, we spent most of our early lessons walking and talking, which was good for me too! And until I worked thru some of his issues, especially physical ones, we weren't going to make much progress anyway.

And then there was my body!! Argghhhh!! I was in terrible shape when I started, with many old injuries and habits, and am better now, but still am needing to constantly work on my core strength and flexibility, especially in my hips and ankles!

The first thing my instructor did was to check my saddle, and it needed work! Mostly because Jack has a HUGE shoulder and even the most straight cut dressage saddle touches the front of his shoulder. So now we have a different saddle (a Wintec Isabel with changeable gullets) that, after a little balancing, seems to be working tho she recommended that I get it reflocked by a professional for long term use. She also recommended that I use a sheepskin pad for Jack, which of course I did even tho it was $$$!! He is moving better these days so these changes as well as wearing boots and pads, have helped tremendously!

My instructor is very cool and is open to clicker training and bridleless riding! And I think I have sold her on barefoot so AND will just be the next logical step, eh??

Anyway, over the last few months since I have started up my lessons again and I am in better shape now so that we have progressed quite bit! We have been working thru my body, joint by joint, mostly my hips, knees and ankles. I will report back on my most recent lesson later today...

Brenda

_________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Lucy04574

http://www.youtube.com/user/Jack04574


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:44 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:03 am
Posts: 1351
Location: Washington, Maine USA
I had a CR lesson a few days ago on Jack and here is some of what we worked on and what I am learning. The lessons are low key, just walk and trot, LOTS of talking, and Jack gets LOTS of cookies!!

Over the past month or so, I finally began to 'feel both sides of the horse'. This is soooo big that I feel like I have been reborn or something!! This means that I am able to feel the alternate lifting of Jack's large back muscles as he lifts his back leg and subsequent hip.

We constantly work on me relaxing my joints, mainly my hip, knee, and ankle. I tend to tense and rise off the saddle instead of sitting deeper into the saddle (old habit!). When I am relaxed, and my core is engaged, I can feel the up/down or side to side motion of the horse moving. And all those joints feel like they are oiled, instead of rusty!!! And if I let them relax, I can dissipate the energy caused by the motion of the horse, instead of just bouncing along <G> and it feels so comfortable!

We reviewed sitting trot, which I couldn't do for beans a few months ago, and Jack is moving more using his back, head long and low so that has helped! But it's the concept I described above that had really clinched it for me!!

We started a bit of rising trot too. My instructor explained to me that if I notice how on the up phase, if I naturally twist just a tad to the right, then I am on the left diagonal?? and visa versa. I think I've got that correct?? It's new so I have to go back out and practice with my eyes closed!!

I have 5 targets (so far!) that I need to keep tabs on when I ride.

1. My imaginary 'back pockets' need to feel the saddle behind me (so sit up and back)

2. My calf needs to rest comfortable against the horse (feel his barrel swinging as he moves)

3. The INSIDE of my foot needs to put more pressure on the stirrup than the outside of my foot (so more toe out than pigeon toed in)

4. My knee needs to alternately roll on and off in rhythm with Jack's motion (rather than gripping)

5. And the newest one is to target/tuck my chin inwards towards my neck, instead of dropping my head forwards, so I align my head, neck and spine, ie sit up tall!!

And we started to talk about hands/reins, as up until now Jack usually just goes on the buckle, long and low. In hindsight it was a good thing, for him and me, so that neither of us were too overwhelmed!!!

The coolest thing that this is helping with is to relax Jack on the trails! I have had the BEST rides over the last few weeks, mostly cuz I am sitting tall and relaxing so much better in the saddle, and that is telegraphing right down to Jack!!

Well, there is so much more but enough for now!

Brenda

_________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Lucy04574

http://www.youtube.com/user/Jack04574


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:24 am 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:40 pm
Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
Hi all,

I was asked to write something here too, as most of you know, I am a certified centered riding instructor.

I did the course to have more understanding of the influence of the rider on the horse from a more biological and passive point of view.

I have to say though, that I only use a few things of centered riding. The breathing low for instance. But I used that already from my meditating back ground.

Next to that I use certain other things as indeed mentioned here, the swinging barrel, but also creating the feeling like your feet are on roller skates is an excellent one.

I think that is is a very good thing to focus on everything centered riding has to offer for a while to get to know one's body and the influence of the body on the horse.

But... (is there not always one?)... after a while, in my experience, it is better to simplefy things back to 'just riding'. Or else one is going to mis a lot of what is happening with his horse all the time.
Because, well let's face it, eventhough riding is a lot of working on the rider, the goal is to train the horse.
So, after I work on the rider, I focus back on the horse, on his training, telling the rider what to do from reading the reaction of the horse.

By trial and error the rider learns what to do and what not. I let the rider make mistakes on purpose and then tell him what to do, and FEEL the difference. You need to feel 'what have I done, and what was my horse's reaction'.
And it won't work thinking about keeping your toes in for instance, if you know what I mean.

The key ingredient in this is bitless/loose rein/cordeo riding.
For only then can one get a clear and true answer of the horse, in my view.

So, in conclusion, centered riding is one of the best ways to learn how to 'be on a (moving) horse'.
When you get the basics, you have to start actually training though.

When the horse rewards certain behaviour of you, you will learn what do to.
But you have to learn first, what the 'reward' feels like :)

If any questions, shoot!

Warm regards,

Josepha

_________________
www.equusuniversalis.com


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:02 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:25 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Minnesota, USA
Thank you Brenda! (And Josepha, for being open to questions!).

Could someone elaborate more on the CR 2 book? I've tried to find more info on it but am having a tough time (other than what you quoted, Brenda, in your first post). What is different in it than in the first book?

I have to say, CR has been helping me so much. I actually had time this weekend (being out of town) to literally sit down and read the first CR book from cover to cover. It took forever :wink: but it was WONDERFUL, and I really think it's going to transform my riding. I tend to be a little too tight and grippy and not just let my riding flow. I've already noticed that Caspian will go better when I start focusing even just on the Four Basics.

Keep us updated on your lessons, Brenda!

_________________
"Do you give the horse his strength?"
~Job 39:19a

www.cambriahorsemanship.com


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:38 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
Posts: 1983
Location: provincie Utrecht
cr 2 give you more info and "things to do" with your own body. So you understand what happenings during riding with your own body.
and how you can train some things on the ground before sitting on your horse.
a very short description :wink:


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:19 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:25 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Minnesota, USA
Ah, thanks, Inge!

_________________
"Do you give the horse his strength?"
~Job 39:19a

www.cambriahorsemanship.com


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:40 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
Posts: 1983
Location: provincie Utrecht
my pleasure :D


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:14 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:03 am
Posts: 1351
Location: Washington, Maine USA
inge wrote:
cr 2 give you more info and "things to do" with your own body. So you understand what happenings during riding with your own body.
and how you can train some things on the ground before sitting on your horse.
a very short description :wink:


Hi Inge,

I haven't read either book completely, so are those things like sitting on a ball, and using a trampoline, stretching, etc??

My instructor demonstrated the trampoline exercise when she was here, at the walk, trot, and canter and I filmed her, so I will post that as soon as i get it edited! The canter, which I am not ready for yet, it soooooo cool!!!

Brenda

_________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Lucy04574

http://www.youtube.com/user/Jack04574


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:32 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:03 am
Posts: 1351
Location: Washington, Maine USA
Had another lesson today! And it wasmind blowing for me!!

Last week we started to work on posting trot. This week we covered 'feeling both sides of the horse' while posting and it was fantastic! Not only for me, but also to balance Jack, as he tends to fall into the center. Of course mostly my fault cuz I'm probably falling in too!! So we try and fix me, eh?

I will try to explain what we did.

Start in a sitting trot, feeling the side to side rhythm, joints loose, sitting tall. Pick up posting trot, feeling the outside diagonal (torso twists a bit to the inside of the bend). I'm getting better at being able to feel the chosen diagonal!!! Yeah!

As you rise, your weight goes to the outside, outside leg goes a bit back and down, IOW, that leg lengthens along the horses barrel. The inside leg is soft and loose, especially the lower leg, with your calf resting against the horse. As you sit, everything relaxes again. Also, we worked on me rising taller, and opening my hips at the top before descending.

Anyway, Jack responded beautifully to this, more round, not falling in, and MUCH more impulsion with each stride!!!

This is just so cool, it FEELS great in the saddle, and it makes so much sense, as I saw in Jack's response!!

Jack may not have been the best choice of a horse for me, but because he came so screwed up, I can see the change even more dramatically when I do something better!! So he is turning out to be the teacher I wanted!!

Totally psyched to try this with Lucy, get it right from the start!!!

Brenda

_________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Lucy04574

http://www.youtube.com/user/Jack04574


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:34 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:25 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Minnesota, USA
Brenda wrote:
As you rise, your weight goes to the outside, outside leg goes a bit back and down, IOW, that leg lengthens along the horses barrel. The inside leg is soft and loose, especially the lower leg, with your calf resting against the horse. As you sit, everything relaxes again. Also, we worked on me rising taller, and opening my hips at the top before descending.


Hmm, I'm trying to visualize this... do you mean that when you post, you're kind of posting at a SLIGHT thought of an angle, sort of like you're moving over the horse's outside shoulder? (Keeping the upper body upright)

_________________
"Do you give the horse his strength?"
~Job 39:19a

www.cambriahorsemanship.com


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:53 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:03 am
Posts: 1351
Location: Washington, Maine USA
Hi hannah!

Hmmmm.... More like your body twists just a tad to the INSIDE, which is natural cuz of the swinging movement of the horse's barrel???? I think?

Then, as you rise, your weight goes into and down your outside leg, but your torso twists just a tad toward the inside of the circle or bend?? and your inside leg stays soft, so overall it feels so balanced? And you are able to cue the horses hind end rhythmically, side to side, which is a major bonus!

This is my first day practicing...tomorrow I will examine it in more detail when I ride again!! I will also ask my instructor what book she go the idea from? it wasn't CR, but it compliments it really well.

Brenda

_________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Lucy04574

http://www.youtube.com/user/Jack04574


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:12 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
Posts: 1983
Location: provincie Utrecht
Brenda wrote:
inge wrote:
cr 2 give you more info and "things to do" with your own body. So you understand what happenings during riding with your own body.
and how you can train some things on the ground before sitting on your horse.
a very short description :wink:


Hi Inge,

I haven't read either book completely, so are those things like sitting on a ball, and using a trampoline, stretching, etc??

My instructor demonstrated the trampoline exercise when she was here, at the walk, trot, and canter and I filmed her, so I will post that as soon as i get it edited! The canter, which I am not ready for yet, it soooooo cool!!!

Brenda


i think you can compare it with that, but Sally tells it in her own way. There are samples of two people who "play" with eachother one push the other or feel with the other to try if she can follow the person. Using a chair...
i don't know how to write it down in a short way.
It is all about knowing your own body and how it moves. I think yoga, philates etc will help to.
Each person have their own way how to explain things...you know..


Top
   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:54 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:25 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Minnesota, USA
Thank you, Brenda! That makes perfect sense.

_________________
"Do you give the horse his strength?"
~Job 39:19a

www.cambriahorsemanship.com


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:47 am
Posts: 2
Location: Wales
I`ve just been reading about your centred riding training really brilliant, and it`s great to see more and more people riding like this. I`ve always ridden like this and didn`t know there was a name for it 8) I remember people always commenting on the way I ride, toes out rather than in and feeling my beautiful horses with my calves etc etc. It`s all great for our equine friends :D


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 91 posts ]  Go to page 1 2 3 4 57 Next

All times are UTC+01:00


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited Color scheme created with Colorize It.