Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

[RC] fixing crooked riders & scales & Feldenkrais - Naomi Preston

Following up on Sandy Bolingers comments about how Centered Riding and Feldenkrais can help....  Sandy's example of her brother is right on.  Even if we haven't had a major injury, causing us to move differently, we all have our "patterns" that feel totally normal and balanced to us.  Feldenkrais is a method that shows the brain and body that the body can move with more freedom and ease, and eliminates holding patterns along the way.  It does this by helping us develop a greater sense of self-awareness, so that we can tell when we're out of balance, or holding somewhere.  However, just because you do Feldenkrais or Centered Riding doesn't mean you're "fixed"...... it just means that you've learned the tools to get yourself back in balance when you get out of balance.  It's an ongoing quest.  As we all know, it's easy to slip into our old habits and patterns.  My own body has certain patterns it likes to fall back into (due to injuries over the years), but it's the awareness I've learned that helps me to recognize this, and try to correct it.  
As far as using scales, there's even a Feldenkrais exercise for riders, developed by Robert Spencer, Feldenkrais Practitioner in Boise, ID, which has you imagine you have a scale under each foot.  At the beginning of the exercise, you are asked how even the scales feel.  Then a series of awareness generating exercises is done.  At the end of the lesson, again, you are asked to evaluate your evenness on the scales.  The results are incredible.  And it's not just about putting more weight on one leg or the other -- it's about reorganizing your body so that you naturally are even in both feet.  For anyone interested, Robert has a series of Feldenkrais lessons paired with Centered Riding exercises, on CD's.  Contact me if you would like more information.  
For those in the Northwest interested in Centered Riding, Peggy Cummings, the first Master Instructor under Sally Swift, and the creator of "Connected Riding" will be speaking at the PNER Convention in Portland Jan 22-23.  www.connectedriding.com  Peggy incorporates Feldenkrais lessons from a Practitioner in her clinics.  On her first ever endurance ride back in '92, the Twenty Mule Team 80,  not only did she win the ride, but her horse (one of my mustangs on his 4th ride)  got Best Condition.  She rode with me to prove what Connected Riding could do for a horse and rider in a competition.  Needless to say I was impressed.