To explain the fundamental difference between ‘Ride from Within’ and all other systems and methods and describe what it is, we must first look at what it is not.
All other riding methods are based on ‘keeping our balance’ on top of a horse primarily using the strength of the larger muscles of the legs and arms to stay balanced and apply aids. Riders learn to apply leverage using force, however refined or invisible that may be, against the greater power of the horse. This is very much riding from the ‘outside in’.
‘Ride from Within’ brings forth a new paradigm in riding and suggests that in relation to traditional or even ‘natural’ riding methods, the world may not be flat! Meaning there is another way beyond the crude limitations of using strength and leverage which manipulate a horse into doing what is asked of him using external force.
Using fundamental principles from the internal martial arts of Tai Chi and Ba Gua, the ‘Ride from Within’ approach acknowledges that the horse is a power bigger, faster and stronger than ourselves and therefore cannot be ‘overcome’ using strength. To pit our strength against our horse is futile and generally results in at best an unfulfilling, unbalanced, tug-of-war experience in the saddle and at worst a broken down body in horse and rider; painful lower backs and hips and worn out hocks.
‘Ride from Within’ teaches us how to firstly receive the greater power of the horse up through the spine unimpeded and re-direct it through the body to create harmonious, flowing connected movement where the horse and rider are truly one, connected at their combined centres.
The biomechanics of ‘Ride from Within’ are truly unique in the riding world and are based on rotation rather than leverage and a conscious application of the little known 3rd movement if the pelvis. Step by step this method develops a trulybalanced, independant seat or centre that opens the doorway to feel and sensitivity that will surpass any previous experience and transform you and your horse from disconnection and disharmony to soft, fluid effortless riding and a connection that takes you into the extraordinary.
Yes, absolutely. By becoming truly balanced in your center, you gain control over your center. Understanding and applying true, 3 dimensional balance is the foundation of ‘Ride from Within’.
Lack of confidence is nearly always synonymous with feeling a lack of control. The fear of being ‘out of control’ in riding is usually fear of falling and fear of injury. ‘Ride from within’ provides a pathway to achieving a calm connection of mind and body and through this we gain control and a connection to the horse that removes the primary fear.
No matter what discipline of riding you do, ‘Ride from Within’ can radically transform your ability and performance. In all forms of riding, whether it be competitive dressage/classical riding, show jumping, eventing, western trail or mounted shooting, the basic approach is the same. The problem is we sit on top of the horse and with great care and ability, we use leverage of the spine. Our pelvis becomes the fulcrum and the load (or what we are leveraging against) is the horses back, the horse’s spine.
Leverage is effective. Nearly all of the high profile riders we know in every discipline use leverage. Their use of leverage is very refined. It ‘gets the job done’ but the problem with leverage is that you are using your smaller weaker body against the bigger stronger power of the horse. Inevitably you wear out. Riders experience lower back and knee problems in more western type saddles, lower back and hip problems in more traditional English type saddles, in general.
The ‘Ride from within’ system can be applied to any discipline to replace the need for leverage. By never opposing the greater force, rather receiving and re-directing it, riding becomes effortless regardless of your chosen discipline.
Nearly all of us ride using leverage of the spine (see FAQ 3). Over time this results in wear and tear in the body, in particular the lower back and/or hips and knees, which inevitably shortens the career of professional and pleasure riders alike. ‘Ride from Within’ teaches a different way to use our body that results in longevity and health in both horse and rider.
Most of us never experience that true harmony and true independent seat we dream of, no matter how long we have been seeking it. The ‘Ride from within’ system develops a level of true balance, ‘feel’ and sensitivity that is rarely achieved through traditional riding methods.
Yes. If not completely pain-free, it will significantly reduce the amount of pain. Certainly everybody’s root cause of pain is different and therefore solution will be different. The healing aspects of the ‘Ride from Within’ system, as practised through the ground work, expose and address the root causes of most chronic pain in the body. Riding the horse using this system becomes an act of healing the body.
Yes. The whole approach of ‘Ride from Within’ brings forth a new paradigm which unlocks the genius of the human body, so that’s all you need!
No matter what your shape or size or state of fitness you can immediately benefit from the ground work and take it into the saddle.
Tai chi is one of 3 chinese internal martial and healing arts based on the principle of receiving and re-directing force rather than opposing it.
Applying this principle means that you no longer need to use strength and force in martial combat which are the underlying reasons that the human body breaks down over time. Tai chi unifies the body, mind and spirit in a series of flowing movements that align the posture, breath and the inner and outermost being. Practicing tai chi creates true balance in the human body. The human body moving in balance is equivalent to the horse moving in self carriage. Only when the rider is in true balance can the horse be truly in self carriage.
Tai chi is an ancient art that offers a path to becoming more completely alive and fully conscious.
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Copyright © 2021 James Shaw – Ride From Within – A New Way Of Riding