This is from the opening paragraph of Sally Swift's column in the Fall 2002 Centered Riding® Newsletter:
"The 2002 Centered Riding Symposium held here in Brattleboro last weekend was a great success. The twelve presenters did a fine job...Unfortunately I missed a number of presentations as my stamina is limited nowadays. But those I did hear were excellent. Elaine Steele did an outstanding job of showing with spectacular slides how deeply centered riding is instinctively used by working cowboys in the West. It is no wonder my first book has been so popular out there...400,000 copies."
In case you have somewhere to run just now,
If you can stay a bit, just enjoy a few nice pats:
Centered Riding Comes to the Tri-Cities!
Thanks to the efforts of Shelly Richardson, about a dozen people had the
wonderful opportunity on October 18th at the Richland Riders Club to ride with
Elaine Meredith Steele, a Level III Centered Riding™ Instructor from Harrison,
Idaho. For those of you who are familiar with Sally Swift's Centered Riding,
(and the new revised edition just out, Centered Riding II) it will be no
surprise that we spent most of the lessons doing body-work on ourselves, seeking
(and finding!) the harmony in movement that we have always wanted to feel when
riding. The focus was on relaxation, finding your center, bringing your body
into proper alignment without force or strain, and learning to feel the movement
of the horse with your whole body. Elaine noted from the very outset, "I am
not your teacher; you are riding your teachers. I'm just here to interpret! And
teach you the language of riding, so you will understand what your horse is
trying to tell you when I'm not around."
Elaine is a wonderful instructor; very positive, extremely imaginative, and
extraordinarily patient. Because of scheduling considerations, lessons ran from
2:00pm in the afternoon to nearly 10:00pm at night, and she managed somehow to
keep both her sense of humor and her enthusiasm throughout the entire
undertaking. The last hour of the very long day consisted of a group ride, with
about half of the clinic participants (mainly those who had the later rides, and
a few hardy souls who had not faded and gone home as it got dark and the lights
came on over the arena.) In the group ride, Elaine talked the participants
through some simple 'drill team' patterns, giving the riders the opportunity to
apply some of the principles they had been introduced to in the lessons;
balanced turns, matching and regulating the horse's rhythm and pace with the
balance and position of your body, using 'soft eyes' to keep track of the other
riders while directing your own horse through the pattern. The result was a
lovely dance; harmonious and joyful. Many of the riders came away with the
feeling that at last they were beginning to 'get it'; some of the horses looked
decidedly smug. After all, they knew this all along!
Shelly has generously agreed to work on setting up additional clinics with
Elaine, perhaps as frequently as once a month, if there is sufficient interest.
You can contact her directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, to get on the
list for the next clinic.
by Judi Cuta - Published in the Tri-Cities Dressage Club Newsletter, Richland WA
A good foundation is worth a million miles,
Please help Elaine to thank these individuals and organizations along the trail...