“With the Centered Riding you will get help with HOW to apply the different aids, rather than that they only tell you WHAT to do”
The Centered Riding teaches in a different way the classical principles of riding, whatever the style of riding you do. With body awareness and a very creative metaphorical language, the founder Sally Swift came to open a whole new area when she published her first book “Centered Riding” in 1985. The new was in that she put a special attention on the rider and how his way of moving and think, influences the movements of the horse.
The Centered Riding was born out of the knowledge that Sally Swift learned in her struggle to control her body affected by scoliosis, which she was diagnosed as a child. With the help of coaches from different body techniques she could ride until old age and thanks to these studies she has been able to help many riders, from beginner level to an Olympic level, to enjoy a smooth and respectful riding for rider and horse . To ensure the continuity of this method Sally Swift created the non-profit organization Centered Riding Inc. The organization is responsible for the training of Instructors and continuous training of them, all to ensure the quality of the method.
“The ultimate goal of Centered Riding is not to be a discipline unto itself. It must go forward in its purest and least complicated form so it may be integrated into all disciplines of riding.” Sally Swift
The four basic principles and grounding
- Soft Eyes – Stimulates visual and physical awareness, better peripheral vision, and thus improves the ability to “feel”.
- Breathing – Using the diaphragm and breathing correctly improve posture, relaxation and energy.
- Balance or Building Blocks – Aligns the rider’s body to improve balance, fairness and ease of movement.
- Centering – Using the center of balance, movement and control, located deep in the body, gives quiet strength, harmony and power, as in the oriental martial arts.
These foundations – alongside the Clear Intent, to control direction and use of effective aid, and Grounding for stability and balance – promotes freedom of movement, trust and harmony between horse and rider and help to solve many problems.
The Centered Riding is applied very successfully for riders and trainers of all ages, interests and levels from the novice rider to competitors at international level and also in therapeutic riding. It can be applied to any type of horse or dressage. More than anything, it makes riding more enjoyable for horses and riders.
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