What is centered riding?
Centered riding is a centered approach to riding based on mental and physical images. It focuses on how your body works, your ability to function unhampered, and your awareness and use of your energy. This is something that makes this book and its author unique. While many trainers and books focus on what to do to get a certain result, which is of course important, Sally Swift focuses on how to use your body to do things.
Unbalanced, tense riders drop down heavily into the saddle when mounting, or thump into the saddle at the trot, making the horse uncomfortable and irritated. They may also use conflicting aids, such as pulling and kicking and the same time, which confuses and frustrates the horse because they cannot do what the rider is asking them to do since the rider is unintentionally preventing them to do so. This like someone tying your elbows behind your back and asking to throw a ball, as the author writes.
However, a balanced rider makes a horse much more comfortable, allowing their backs to swing more freely and their body to become round more easily. A horse that seems unbalanced and resistant with an unbalanced rider can seem to change completely.
By learning how to their bodies work, using their knowledge of how correct form balance looks like, a rider can improve coordination and balance. This is where the concepts in the book come in. As I read, I will share what I learn about these concepts.