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The originator of the Alexander Technique, F.M. Alexander, a keen rider, found that our good or poor balance/coordination in the saddle either positively or negatively affects the horse’s performance. The rider’s balance is an extension of how they move in everyday life and so this is the starting point for the Alexander Technique.
With the rider wearing normal street clothing, the teacher uses his hands to gently unravel patterns of muscular tension that hinder good riding. He then takes the rider, in a series of lessons, through everyday activities such as sitting (on the seat bones), walking, bending etc and guides her or him to carry these out in a better balanced and coordinated manner.
The skills and awareness of the body gained in this dismounted work are then transferred later in the lesson to mounted work – with the rider sat on a saddle on a wooden horse – and are subsequently applied to riding in between lessons.
As with any skill, the process takes time and a series of lessons is required.
Horse rider – recovery from injuries
Having Alexander Technique has helped me recover from horse riding injuries and my riding instructor has also commented on my improved position whilst riding.
The Technique has helped me understand that holding tension in my muscles adversely affects my riding and how my horse performs. Being more ‘up’ (free from unwanted muscular tension) and relaxed has allowed me to become a better rider, have a more harmonious partnership with my horse and ultimately receive better dressage scores!
Regular Alexander Technique lessons have been instrumental in improving my riding style. Because I can now move in unison with my horse, this has resulted in a happier horse that is now able to carry herself with her natural elegance and grace.
I would highly recommend Derek’s Alexander Technique lessons to anyone who wishes to become a better and more sympathetic rider.
Copyright © Derek Climpson – Alexander Technique tel: 07702 631259