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Weightless Blog

The torso as a balancing tool

When we ride, we put our vertebrae on top of the vertebrae of the horse. So if we think of our upper body as a balancing tool, it would make sense that you have to know how to work with a balancing tool. Let us imagine for a moment we go to the circus, where we see a performer balancing a pole on his head. When this pole leans far out of the circumference of the performer’s body, he has to make rather quick or abrupt movements to get it back into balance. When the pole is exactly in the centre, the movements become quiet and very small. If the performer is skilled in this act of balance, he can…

The eyes are the windows to the soul

Have you looked into your horse’s eyes lately? What did you see? Your horse? Or yourself? They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul…so look deep into your horse’s eyes next time. Do you see him, I mean really see him? (I have boys, hence the him) Do you see his generosity, his playfulness, his wisdom, his knowing, his calmness, his steadfast heartbeat? Or do you see the chore, the irritation, the frustration, the he-does-this-wrong-on-purpose, the stupid horse, the nag? Have you ever asked yourself what he sees in you? Are you the generous, playful, wise, knowledgeable, calm steadfast person? Or the hard taskmaster, the irritation, the frustration, the please-leave-me-alone, the unfriendly, the un-wielding? Make sure you…

Criticism

What is it with horse people? Or is it people in general? This thing about putting someone down? A while ago I saw a post of a father proudly posting a photo of his daughter and her horse, at their first attempt at the piaffe. It was a lovely photo of a young blonde woman on a brown horse, and obviously the woman was in heaven. Well, the criticism came down on them like a ton of bricks! No, it wasn’t criticism, it was nastiness. The poor father was obviously horrified, as he clearly was just proud, plus the horse died soon after the photo was taken. So my question is….What is wrong with horse people? We all know how…

The pleasure of riding

My riding career has been mostly for relaxtion purposes, doing a little bit of everything. I started to take a liking in Dressage and wanted to refine this skill for me and my horse, James ( an ex race horse). From the beginning it was quite a fight sure he had some physical issues from his old racing days. But we could barely do the basics in Dressage. As a Dentist by trade, I also had my own physical issues. I work in an unnatural postion daily, which, generally left me in a lot of physical body pain, and this I started to accept as the norm. On the riding front this led to me and James bodies fighting one…

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.

Western Style Riders

I met Andrea and Stefan, professional Western Competition riders in Germany, when they were having a number of issues with their riding.  I immediately noticed that there was tension in the riders that was causing restrictions in the horse and this was affecting their performance.  Using my knowledge of body movement between horse and rider we started a corrective processes to make the riders more aware of their impact on the horse. Below is a statement from the riders themselves: Read more: Andrea and Stefan Giesecke

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…

Physical Therapy for Horses

The therapeutic value of massage has been proven through many years. We can now give horses the benefit of manual therapy as well, improving their performance through enhancing the bloodflow and optimising their movement.Different massage techniques are used on muscles that cannot relax out of their own accord anymore. Many of the muscle problems come from orthopeadic complications or are the results of an injury or illness. On the other hand the problems can arise due to overworking the horse. Every time we use muscles there are small tears that appear, which is normal, and it is important that enough time is allowed for it to heal itself again. When we then want to increase the performance of the horse,…

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…