Thanks for watching! Visit Website All of Centered Riding work stems from the concepts of its Four Basics--centering, breathing, soft eyes and building blocks--plus grounding. Living in our hurried, hectic, pressured society exacerbates the tendency to interfere. The lack of any one of these Four Basics and grounding can cause interference. If you lose one of these basics you may find yourself tense, with hard eyes and rigid joints, or you may be breathless and out of balance.
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Learn how and when to remove this template message Centered Riding is a method of horse riding and riding instruction that is based on the idea of having the rider seated in the most effective position. Originally developed by Sally Swift , since her death, Centered Riding has been trademarked by a non-profit educational organization that promotes awareness and teaches the principles of Centered Riding internationally.
Soft Eyes is a concept used in many sports in order to relax the athlete and expand their peripheral vision.
Swift recommended that riders relax their visual acuity and direct more attention to the tactile interaction between horse and rider. Breathing techniques are used in all sports.
Breathing from your diaphragm relaxes the rider and makes them more athletically capable. For example, some athletes add breathing exercises to their daily training routine. Balance or building blocks uses ideas from martial arts and tai chi in order to sit the rider deeper in the saddle which makes them more effective and able to move with their horse.
This allows the rider to remain centered no matter how the horse moves underneath them. At seven years old, Swift was diagnosed with scoliosis which became part of her daily life and was later instrumental in her development of Centered Riding. After the diagnosis and well into her twenties, she worked with Mabel Todd , author of The Thinking Body and learned the techniques of "body awareness".
Swift then studied the Alexander Technique and applied it to riding. The Technique added significantly to the depth and subtlety of her teaching. Swift learned to work with areas of the body rather than with specific muscles and used a balanced approach, teaching to both sides of the brain. At age 62, after retiring from a career in agriculture including the American Holstein cattle Association,  Swift focused full-time on riding instruction and the development of her Centered Riding Techniques.
As she developed her techniques and taught people about the Four Basics of Centered Riding, she also published two books that serve as the foundation manuals for the technique, as well as a number of other articles and videotapes. This offers people around the world a way of receiving Centered Riding instruction.
Centered Riding Revisited: The Four Basics and Grounding