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The importance of breathing

When I met Andrea and her horse Pummi, they were both in a state of panic, not the best place to start riding for either party. She was most concerned about how safe her mount was Observing them together I became aware that Andrea was not breathing correctly and this is a natural reaction to being worried. The horse of course could also sense that there was something amiss and responded with discomfort Not long after creating awareness of the problem and demonstrating some relaxation techniques rider and horse were already showing marked improvement.

About Alexander Technique

What do Ronald Dahl, Aldous Huxley, Paul Newman and Sting all have in common? Not a lot may be a good answer, but they have all had lessons in the Alexander technique and have all spoken of the benefits they have received from the technique. This technique is subtly integrated into the Weightless Riding programme to enhance the riding experience. But what is the Alexander technique? The Alexander technique is often described as a breathing technique that involves the posture, but this is only a small part of it. It is much more about becoming aware of the way we use ourselves in every day activities. Without noticing, we all put an enormous amount of strain on our bodies and…

Shoulders

There are a lot of ways our shoulders influence our riding. If we think that we communicate with the horse by saying we want our shoulders to be parallel to that of the horse, that is only the beginning. In the accompanying video clip, you will see how the rider drops her inside shoulder when she wants to turn her horse. This is then followed by collapsing in her ribcage on the same side which then means she is putting more weight on the inside. The horse will follow suit by having more weight on his inside shoulder and then “falling” over that shoulder. The most automatic response of the rider is to try and correct the horse’s shoulder by…