Sally Swift and Centered Riding
So how many of you have read her books? I personally find them so fun and informative to read. She has an amazing ability to bring awareness to your body and how to use imagry to help you. I've read her first book Centered Riding and am now in the process of reading her other book Centered Riding 2.
Right now I am horseless, so I just read the books and try to think about how I would do it, but how many of you apply the methods while riding? Have you seen benefits?
Have any of you ever worked directly with Sally Swift? Or possibly one of her students?
Just looking to hear what other people have to say. :)
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I THINK she actually died a couple years ago. I actually am a big fan of hers. She's definitely one of the greats in my book.
I hate her books. 'Think of your arms as hoses, gushing water into...' - yuck! I like analytical writing...which she sometimes gives, but then in confusing terms. So I think she has the worst of both traits.
I prefer 'How your horse wants you to ride':
or the US Cavalry manual:
It is also much harder to learn riding from a book than one might think. A LOT of good riding comes from timing, and timing is very difficult to teach in a book. Still, if you don't have a horse to ride right now...
I am just learning to ride (hunt seat) and I have the Centered Riding book. So far, it has been very helpful. I think my instructor must be a fan, because she's taken me through some exercises that I recognize from the book.
The most helpful one for me (because I'm so new) was the one where she suggests seeing yourself as a tree with roots in the ground. That one has been REALLY helpful since the horse I'm riding right now has a tendency to jack around with me by pulling on the bit (even though he has an appropriate amount of slack in the reins, and I am not riding the bit, according to the instructor...she says he's just messing with me and playing games). Anyway, the "tree" metaphor really helps me keeps me from having my seat shifted when he yanks on the reins.
I am just learning to post (had my first big success on that front today) and the whole image that she provides for being pulled forward through your elbows has been *invaluable*. I'm sure she'll be just as helpful when I get to more complicated stuff!
Also, I do a lot of meditative work that has nothing to do with horses...a lot of her imagery has to do with what I'd consider getting "grounded and centered" - and that is important whether you're using for operatic singing, fencing, martial arts, gymnastics, zen, or - as she uses it - horses. Even though I have been using many of these techniques for years in other areas, it did not occur to me to use them on horseback until I read this book.
Yes, everyone has a different way of learning and taking in information. I personally learn much quicker through the kinesthetic(?) way; where you have to physically do it in order to learn. I enjoy the way she phrases things and gives you different images. They are very helpful to me while I'm riding to picture something instead of listing out in my mind the steps of how my body should be.
How do you learn, Bsms?
Pretty sure... she was in her late 90's I think....
Jacket copy on my book says she was born in 1913. I don't know that she's died, but the odds are in favor of that outcome...she'd be 98 now.
Ahh. Well, she did a lot during her years! :)
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