I treated myself to a new book recently, James Shaw's Ride from Within, a meaty tomb that aims to bring the benefits of Tai Chi to horse riding.
I'm about half way through now and it's just starting to get really good. The first few chapters lay a lot of important groundwork but I found them quite slow going. Now though it's all starting to glue together a bit more and I am finding the exercises really good for figuring out when I'm balanced, when I'm not and why.
I've realised I tip my shoulders and spine to change direction instead of turning from my centre (think pelvis) and it's been really useful in our schooling sessions.
The big emphasis is on breathing - namely right into the abdomen and in a steady manner and while it's quite tricky at first this is something I've known is a weak point in my riding without knowing how to correct it.
My only issue with the book is that none of the people riding in the pics have a riding hat on which makes me really uncomfortable. Needless to say I will be wearing mine as normal. I do think anyone who coaches, whether through lessons, books or dvds, has a responsibility to wear a hat and make students wear one too. The evidence that this saves lives is just too strong to ignore.
Rodney seems well lately and we're getting plenty of rides in while the weather is so beautiful. He's been excellent to catch and lovely to do. I'd like to get his saddle reflocked soon but overall it's all going in a nice direction. Here's to a happy autumn and winter hopefully with lots of riding and not too much snow ;)
Happy horsing everyone x