What is Centered Riding?

What is Centered Riding?

centered riding - woman riding horse

Centered Riding  is a proven and effective unique way of teaching and applying the classical principles of riding, using body awareness, centering, and imagery developed by Sally Swift. ​It encompasses all seats and styles of riding.

"The ultimate goal of Centered Riding is not to be a discipline unto itself. It must go forward in its purest and least complicated form so it can be integrated into all disciplines of riding." Sally Swift (1913 - 2009)

Centered Riding  teaches you how to help your body do what you need to do to ride well.  

Centered Riding techniques help promote suppleness, stability, and clearer aids, making riding more comfortable for both horse and rider.  As you learn and experience the principles through your horse’s motion and responses, you and your horse “tune in” to each other and work together in harmony.  These techniques can increase confidence and enjoyment and release tension in horses and riders, making training easier.

Centered Riding  is based on a knowledge of human and horse anatomy, balance, movement, and on understanding how the mind affects the body and how both affect the horse.  It used centering and grounding techniques from the oriental martial arts, along with body awareness, mental imagery and sports psychology.  Through increasing body awareness, inhibiting old patterns, and replacing them with a more balanced, free, and coordinated use of self, both horse and rider can move more freely and comfortably, and develop their best performance.

Centered Riding Basics 

  • Soft Eyes encourage visual and physical awareness, better peripheral vision, and improved “feel.”
  • Breathing using the diaphragm and breathing correctly for better posture, relaxation, and energy.
  • Balance or Building Blocks aligns the rider’s body for improved balance, straightness, and ease of movement.
  • Centering using the center of balance, movement and control, located deep in the body, gives quiet strength, harmony and power, as in the oriental martial arts.

Who can benefit from Centered Riding?  

Centered Riding applies to all kinds of horsemanship and any type of horse or rider, helping riders to achieve their own and their horse’s best potential by removing fear, pressure, and unnecessary tension and helping riders understand how to use their bodies better.  Centered Riding techniques have been used by riders, trainers,, and instructors of all levels, from beginners and pleasure riders to Olympic competitors.  Centered Riding is used extensively in therapeutic riding, and has helped many riders cope with old injuries or chronic conditions  Most of all, it is fascinating and fun!

About Centered Riding Instructors​

Centered Riding was developed by Sally Swift, author of the best-selling book and videotapes.  Today, it is taught by Centered Riding instructors around the world.  Instructors become qualified by completing a Centered Riding Instructor Course, and are required to prove their techniques in bi-annual certification courses.

I am proud to be the ​only Certified Centered Riding Instructor in Nevada.


To learn more about Centered Riding go to https://www.centeredriding.org

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