La Luz Blog

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Back to Front - more thoughts on centered riding.

Posted : Tuesday 28th April

Most riders are aware of the idea that the horse should be ridden from back to front not front to back. In this way we can ensure he builds the right muscles to carry the rider with poise and elegance while staying balanced and healthy in his joints and back. The way this is explained by level 4 centered riding instructor Sue Leffler is very clear. She says that as modern humans we are very good at dealing with what we can see in front of us rather than what we can feel behind us.  She uses the image of a connection from the riders seat bones to the horse’s hind feet. This connection can be seen as elastic cords , energy, lights, whatever is it that  makes sense to the individual. As the horses movement  lifts each of the riders seat bone the corresponding foot should lighten in the stirrup while keeping the center turning, The feeling is then of asking the horse with each step to “ come up to my hands “. She then suggested an image of a triangle of lights going from the seat bones, to the hands to the shoulders and back again. We can imagine the lights brighter or flashing when we want more energy. This is a great technique to have you horse light and well balanced whatever kind of equitqtion you practice.. He also becomes very responsive as the signals are so subtle they really are “ aids “ rather than too strong signals which can confuse and upset him.


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