“The Alexander Technique is one of the most valuable tools a rider can possess…”
Carl Hester, Olympic Dressage Rider
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Balance, suppleness, coordination and rhythm are all attributes we look for in the well-schooled horse. But how often do we find them in ourselves as riders?
We have all seen riders who are beautifully poised, not interfering with the horse’s balance and movement, but rather contributing to the whole picture of fluidity and grace. Yet these riders are the exception—most of us struggle to sit securely and quietly, and to coordinate our aids with subtle precision.
From our earliest lessons, we form riding habits that we can’t seem to completely break. Often excessive strain feels normal. Or we may continue to round into ourselves even when we intend to sit tall. When we try to correct these problems, we often feel frustrated with how deeply ingrained the patterns are.
In a Well-Carried Rider workshop, we practice a way of moving “through the back” that helps us coordinate an independent seat. We work first on the ground, and then on the longe line. As we learn a delicate balance of the head on top of the spine (our poll!), and how to lengthen the spine, we see how this influences the quality of our posture and movement, both on and off the horse.
The principles of the Alexander Technique are fundamentally the same as those of classical equitation. Both focus on achieving integrated and supple movement, without the use of force, through the exploration of balance and connection through the whole body. Well-Carried Rider workshops with Constance give you a chance to work deeply on your mind-body balance both on and off the horse. Embodying the principles and skills of the Alexander Technique will bring you more efficiency, enjoyment and success to your riding!