Saturday, May 22, 2010

CR-clinic 13-16.5

The following blog post is in English because the clinic was held in English and I find it easier to write in English in general so hope you don't mind my occasional English posts. A few weeks ago I attended a Centered Riding clinic organized at Equstom stables in Nurmijärvi. The two day clinic was held by Lotta Söderström and it was a really great experience. On the first day we mostly got to know each other and discussed Centered Riding as a theme in general and rode for one hour. The second day we got into more detail and even if it is quite hard for me to grasp in writing these two days, there are more general thoughts that I would like to mention.

One of the Finnish Centered Riding instructors is correcting a pupils seat with the help of Alexander Technique that includes feel.

I like the ideology of Centered Riding and I think that before we become more acquainted with our own bodies, how our bodies affect the horse and how the horse affects us, we are not able to excel as riders. CR is very detail-oriented and even if it can sometimes feel a bit "slow" for me, it made me realize that I do need to quieten down and listen to my own body more and concentrate on the smaller things in order to ride better as a whole. Like my yoga teacher told me today: "When she started to do yoga she thought that the meditation part in the end was unnecessary and a waste of time. That is when her yogi said to her that you are not ready to do yoga if you are not ready to meditate and the ones that don't enjoy the meditation part are usually the ones that need it the most".

Minkki Peltonen that teaches at Equstom "worked" on my seat on a horse called Heikki the second day and even if you probably can't see much difference in the two pictures below, I could feel a big difference. Lotta was also discussing much about finding the correct tempo in walk, trot and canter and how we should follow the horses movements and how the horse can follow us. Lotta uses a small trampoline in order to demonstrate this.

The before and after shot of my seat. Simple things that one can hardly grasp but can be felt.

Lotta is very aqcuinted not only with a horses physics but also with the human body. She has been studying Alexander Technique and for me it works very well that someone shows me what they mean by touching my body rather than just stating what to do. Maybe the biggest thing that hit my mind after these two days was the fact that in order to become a really good rider one needs to know ones own body better, have a focused and balanced mental state and that in the world of horses and humans we are running so fast. And where are we running? I am definitely going to train myself to be able to instruct as a Centered Riding Instructor some day. I believe that it is one more amazing thing to be added to my own way of thinking and feeling about horses. I believe that there are no absolute truth or right way when it comes to horses but we can learn from many different genres, take what suits you the best and mold it into your own.

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