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Vlag Nederland Nederlands

Centered Riding

What Is Centered Riding?

Originally developed by Sally Swift, Centered Riding is a unique way of teaching the Classical Principles of riding, working with body awareness and balance to result in harmony between horse and rider.

Centered Riding is not a 'different kind of riding' or a discipline in itself but it is a tool which can be used in all disciplines. The methods teach, explain and allow riders to 'feel' a clearer understanding and connection between rider, horse and instructor.

Based on the knowledge of horse and human anatomy, bio-mechanics, balance and movement, Centered Riding increases body awareness and understanding and helps riders recognise old habits to enable them to replace old patterns with new thought processes thus allowing horse and rider move more freely to improve performance.

A rider has to learn how his own body and the body and mind of the horse are functioning to be able to improve all their skills to perform together in better balance and ease.

The Basics of Centered Riding


Our centre is located in the lower part of our our pelvis just in front of the 5th body of the lumbar vertebrae. All movements start from our centre like turning and halve holds etc.


Breathing in different ways

  • by lifting the upper part of our ribs: chest-breathing
  • by widening the sides of our thorax: ribs-breathing
  • by lowering and flattening the biggest breathing muscle, our diaphragm: tummy breathing
  • Total breathing
  • Direct the energy with your breathing

Soft Eyes

Aware of your surroundings without looking at something in particular

  • Hard eyes: focussed on one thing, causes tension in the body and disrupts breathing
  • Soft eyes: enables you to stay aware of your surrounding and allows you to use all your sences, so you are completely aware without focussing. But you have to have a plan what to do and stick to it.

Building Blocks

Building Blocks must be in place to enable the rider to ride in balance and be in a power position without using force. So you will be strong without using strength (martial arts, Tai Chi).

picture: centered riding
  • Upper Block
  • Middle Block
  • Lower Block


Grounding is the result of all the 4 basics.

  • Sensation of connection with the ground
  • Essential at all times

The goal of Centered Ring

At the end the result will be a inner awareness of the correct posture and balance in all the movements required.

Designed by: Jowebz