Tai Chi for riders to get a connection with the horse

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Tai Chi for riders is a very interesting way to get that special connection with the horse which is not always so easy to explain just with technique. I think that the following extract from the book by James Shaw is very useful to understand how Tai Chi can help riders to get this deep connection with their horses.

fm Ride from Within by James Shaw

Tai Chi: Riding with Life's Energy, Connecting with Your Horse

Through Tai Chi you will achieve a true connection by learning to join centers with your horse. When joined, you match the rhythm of your centre to that of your horse. You actively control the movements of your entire body, not just your arms and legs. You develop your balance independent of your horse. If you rely on your horse for balance, your horse is in control of your center; if your horse relies on you for his balance, then you are in control of your horse's center.

Tai Chi teaches you to stay centered by controlling your position and motion. Control grows from a strenghtened mind-body foundation, in which you develop a perfect state of awareness. This awareness allows you to detect istantly any change of balance, either in yourself or your horse, and compensate for it without ever loosing your rhytm. Your mind directs your body and your body follows. You soon discover that your mind directs not only your body but also your horse.

Thai Chi as a philosophy or spiritual practice abounds with unseen forces and energies that are often difficult to comprehend or explain. Tai Chi as a martial art, in contrast, is bound by well-known and well-understood laws of physics. I assume that the natural laws of physics apply to riding and that is the perspective from which I have written this book. I have, however, seen things happen while working with a horse and rider that are difficult to explain in exclusively scientific terms.

Chi means "energy" or "life force" and in Tai Chi, you direct the flow of your Chi with your mind. Because some practitioners of Tai Chi believe that there are no limits to the minds' capabilities, they also believe that this art can extend beyond what we can explain through our usual understanding on our everyday world. While this book will limit its approach and instructions to the world of natural law, I can confidently tell you that you are very likely to find your practice of Tai Chi occasionally going beyond ordinary experience. Rather than label these experiences or debate their nature, I suggest we simply enjoy them as part of the daily miracle that we call life.
Staff Il Paretaio 2016-02-16