Centered Riding (Hardcover)
Widely known for her innovative teaching philosophy stressing body awareness, the value of "soft eyes," proper breathing, centering, and balance, Sally Swift has been a pioneering riding instructor for half a century. In book form for the first time, her methods enable horse and rider to achieve harmony, working together naturally, without pain.
Unlike traditional teachers, Sally Swift does not believe in forced training techniques that cause stiff bodies and tense riding. Instead, through the use of vivid, unusual, and highly creative images that transcend mechanics ("Pretend you're a spruce tree; the roots grow down from your center as the trunk grows up"), plus a thorough knowledge of human and equine anatomy, this wise and inspiring teacher enables the conscientious equestrian to reassess habitual responses, in order to ride in natural positions, break through frustrating plateaus, and achieve ever-rising goals with comfort, vitality, and precision.
Precise illustrations and photographs never before used in riding books explain anatomy and image work to give mind and body new and relaxed approaches to the inner process of riding.
Centered Riding is for those with little experience all the way up to world class.
About the Author
Sally Swift lived in Brattleboro, Vermont. Born in 1913, she started riding when she was eight years old. She was the creator of the Centered Riding technique and author of the book Centered Riding. Swift died in 2009.
Jean MacFarland illustrated Centered Riding from St. Martin's Press.
Mike Noble contributed to Centered Riding from St. Martin's Press.
“Even the best riders know what it's like to hit a learning plateau-- a time when, no matter how hard you work, you seem to get nowhere. Such interruptions in a rider's progress often stem from a false or imprecise understanding of what he or she is trying to do, or the lack of a key image that could put things together, working in synchrony. For the rider who needs either or both of these (and who does not, from time to time?), Sally Swift's Centered Riding will prove indispensable. Wonderfully explicit in explaining and showing what should work how, Centered Riding is also wonderfully imaginative in finding just the right psychological images to help go beyond the mere mechanics. A work of truly remarkable originality and ingenuity, it cannot fail to help many riders attain their present goals, and then move ahead to set higher ones.” —William Steinkraus, Chairman, U.S. Equestrian Team, Inc., Olympic Gold Medalist, Show-jumping, 1968, Mexico City
“A truly unique horsewoman, Sally Swift has tremendous compassion for and understanding of equine and human athletes. Through her own experience as a rider and from her years of helping so many riders throughout the country, she has honed and refined her techniques. The result is an exciting, accurate, and delightful text that will offer readers a new dimension to riding and the teaching of riding.
Riders of all disciplines and at all levels will find her techniques fun and easy, and will discover themselves capable of astonishing and exhilarating breakthroughs in performance. Riding instructors will find the text to be an invaluable tool in communicating many of the concepts that lie at the heart of good riding.
Centered Riding is a book that will be read and reread for years to come, providing timeless counsel for horsemen and -women who seek to improve and refine their riding skills and their ability to communicate these skills to others.” —Tad Coffin, Olympic Individual and Team Gold Medalist, Three-Day Event, 1976, Montreal