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Centered Riding Hardcover – Jan 15 1985

4.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1 edition (Jan. 15 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312127340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312127343
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 2.1 x 24.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #66,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Even the best riders know what it's like to hit a learning plateau-- a time when, no matter how hard you work, you seem to get nowhere. Such interruptions in a rider's progress often stem from a false or imprecise understanding of what he or she is trying to do, or the lack of a key image that could put things together, working in synchrony. For the rider who needs either or both of these (and who does not, from time to time?), Sally Swift's Centered Riding will prove indispensable. Wonderfully explicit in explaining and showing what should work how, Centered Riding is also wonderfully imaginative in finding just the right psychological images to help go beyond the mere mechanics. A work of truly remarkable originality and ingenuity, it cannot fail to help many riders attain their present goals, and then move ahead to set higher ones.” ―William Steinkraus, Chairman, U.S. Equestrian Team, Inc., Olympic Gold Medalist, Show-jumping, 1968, Mexico City

“A truly unique horsewoman, Sally Swift has tremendous compassion for and understanding of equine and human athletes. Through her own experience as a rider and from her years of helping so many riders throughout the country, she has honed and refined her techniques. The result is an exciting, accurate, and delightful text that will offer readers a new dimension to riding and the teaching of riding.

Riders of all disciplines and at all levels will find her techniques fun and easy, and will discover themselves capable of astonishing and exhilarating breakthroughs in performance. Riding instructors will find the text to be an invaluable tool in communicating many of the concepts that lie at the heart of good riding.

Centered Riding is a book that will be read and reread for years to come, providing timeless counsel for horsemen and -women who seek to improve and refine their riding skills and their ability to communicate these skills to others.” ―Tad Coffin, Olympic Individual and Team Gold Medalist, Three-Day Event, 1976, Montreal

About the Author

Sally Swift lives in Brattleboro, Vermont. Born in 1913, she has been riding since she was eight years old.

Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book if you are a beginner or intermediate level rider. I have rode with many different trainers, but none have helped me as much as this book. I bought it during the winter and read it cover to cover. Armed with this new information, I went out and started doing what the book said. At nights, I would re-read sections of it to make sure I was doing everything correctly. By the time my trainer came back out, I was riding much better. Over bigger fences, I have always tipped too far forward, therefore loosing my balance ending up on the horse's neck and causing the horse to hang. Not any more! My trainer thought I had been using a different trainer because there was such a difference in my seat and leg. The book also helped me produce better transitions because I have learned to create energy and hold it while changing from one gait to the next. I would say that this is an excellent book for anyone wanting to ride correctly. (I do the Hunters and many of the concepts where new to me. However, THEY WORK!!!) In fact, I am only writting this because I am now ordering another of these books for a lady that just bought one of my show horses and wants to learn to ride "as pretty as you do".
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Format: Hardcover
My instructor recommended this book a few years ago and it has changed the way I ride and how I look at riding. I come from a hunter/jumper background but I think the ideas could apply to all types of riding. The hot horses go softer with these techniques and the quiet horses become more responsive. This book helps bring the rider's mind into the sport through exercises and diagrams that show new perspectives. Her second book is also excellent. This is one of my favorite books on riding, especially since I also practice yoga and martial arts.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is fantastic. Now, it is not a "read this and you'll know how to ride" book. And that is a good thing! Afterall, if that was all it took, the world would be full of professionals! It is also NOT a book on how to train your horse. What this book is, is a great guide to improve your skills, so that you may learn to become a better rider and train your horse more easily.
For instance, most people know that they should sit a certain way and be "glued" to the seat. This book shows and explains how, through anatomy pictures and visualizations. It's kind of like Dressage meets Science meets Meditation. Everything is explained throughly and plainly.
I reccomend that all of my students buy it and read it.
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Format: Hardcover
I've read many of the reviews of "Centered Riding" and I would argue that it is a useful addition to any person's personal riding program if they want to achieve a better seat and better movement from their horses. I do not think that it is an adequate guide for learning how to ride or formulating a complete program, but it is not meant to be. Rather, it is a great addition to other resources including more detailed "how-to" books such as Jane Savoie's "Cross Training" series and one's own trainer. "Centered Riding" bridges the gap between the left-brain learning process, focused on a list of cues and movements, and the right-brain learning process, which provides the muscle memory and relaxation necessary for truly harmonious and graceful riding. I've found the book useful, but as some people have a more difficult time with visualization and much of the work must be personalized, it is best to read the book and find a trainer that can help you refine your seat and riding skills. It is immensely helpful to have someone tell you when something is "right" as part of becoming truly balanced may involve retraining your muscles, which is, at first, often uncomfortable. I have found centered riding has been a great tool to deepen my seat, relax tension, and become more aware of the horse's movement, which has drastically improved the movement of the horse in a short time and allowed me (a very type-A stressed person) to learn to relax and find a greater grace and joy in riding. I highly recommend everyone to check this concept out through the book, videos, or better yet, a trainer- it can make a big difference for a novice and refine those who are more advanced.
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Format: Hardcover
Well, I've looked at all the other reviews over and over again and can't understand why they love this book. I am a visual person and I learn through visualization and images. But you have to have good content to go with your images. Sally Swift is a really bad writer in my opinion. I've read some of the sections over and over again and they just make no sense at all. The one section on "centering" yourself especially ticks me off. It says to "point to your center" which is below your navel and in the middle of you. That's all she says about it. To point to it. From then on in the entire book she says to "go to your center", "center yourself", "breathe through your center"...what the heck is that supposed to mean??? She is just way too vague for me. But, I do think her ideas are good. I just got a new trainer who has studied Sally's ideas. In my one lesson a few weeks ago my trainer taught me one of Sally's techniques. It was simple and worked. Now a few days after that I got to that point in the book and it made NO SENSE AT ALL. Had I not been taught previously by my trainer I wouldn't have understood a word of it. I think the book is worth getting if you have the money because it may work for you. But for me it was horrible and I couldn't even finish it. I seem to be a magnet for bad books!
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