Centered Riding

The four basics

Building blocks

Like building a tower from blocks, in Centered Riding we build up our skelleton. A block tower isn’t standing solid unless they are straight on top of each other. The rider ‘builds’ himself straight: Is the upperbody behind or in front of the centre / point of balance, the ‘tower’ is wobbely.
Starting from the feet, ankles and knees bended for elasticity, pelvis above the feet, shoulders and head above the pelvis. The muscles of the skelleton keep everything together, the basic seat shouldn’t cost any affort.






There are many ways to breath. The easyest to distinguish are the high breathing where the breast comes up and the lower breathing where the belly extends. breathing
The high breathing is seen in an extreme form in hyperventilation, the lower with most people in sleep.
The breathing we aim to use in Centered Riding is the lower breathing. This helps the rider to relax and ‘ground’

Soft eyes

By looking with ‘soft eyes’ we have a very wide field of vision, so we can check a lot of our surroundings. People tend to fixate on an object like a predator or stare at for instance the mane or the ground. Doing this theyre hardly able to see or be aware of things beyond that. Soft eyes help lower the breathing to the belly and give the horse the assurance the rider has leaderschipsqualities by scanning the surroundings for possible dangers.




When we use al principals from above, we’re able to use our ‘Centre’. The centre is ment our point of weight.
You can find it by laying your hand on your belly, with your thumb on your navel and your little finger on your pubic bone and your other hand at the same level on your back with the back of your hand against your back. Between your hands is your centre. From the centre we can influence direction, placing of the centre of gravity and shape.



Drawings by Suzan Harris made for Alona: