Horse riding and the center

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Horse riding and the center: the constantly changing center.

When riding, there is only one time that your weight should remain distributed 50/50 left and right in your seat: when your horse is at the halt with his fee square and parallel. At all other times, when the horse is moving, your weight is constantly shifting. Your center is actually a sphere that is constantly moving and changing. Trying to hold fast to a point that we call the center is impossible. To define your center you need to know where the outside edges lie.

Buddha said that entire answers lie in the middle ground-and to know the middle you must know the edges.

To enhance your balance, you want to redefine your outside edges and bring them closer together. In Tai Chi, as in riding, your balance cannot depend on a stationary position. It must be alive and moving - and always within your center.

Realize that the horse's center is also moving with the forward motion of the trot. To keep your centers joined, you pass through the center where both of you meet.

When you ride in a posting trot imagine yourself passing through the center with each stride, so you're not trying to hold your center still. Think of letting your center breathe.

Extract from "Ride from within" Use Tai Chi principles to awaken your natural balance and rhythm by James Shaw

At our horse riding holidays center in Tuscany we think that a good use of the center is essential for a good way of riding. This is why we encourage our students to study Tai Chi as in this discipline great importance is given to the use of the center and to the shifting of the weight.

We think also that Tai Chi can educate riders to pay lots of attention to little details which, at the end, make the quality in riding.
Staff Il Paretaio 2016-05-04