Redpin Publishing, UK
The majority of us have to combine looking after our horses with an endless list of other commitments which can make it difficult for us to feel relaxed and focused when it comes to riding or exercising our horse during the day. As it is pointed out in this fascinating DVD, horses mirror the way that we are feeling, and more importantly, the way that we are breathing. When we tense up our breathing gets higher and in turn the successful communication between ourselves and our horse may be hindered, but rather than turning this feeling into more irritation, or more frustration, this unique DVD will unravel a unique concept and show you how to improve your performance.
All the way from the US, Riding with Chi has been delivered by three experts; dressage instructor, Patricia Norcia, author of Lessons in Lightness: The Art of Educating the Horse, Mark Russell, and tai chi master David Ritchie. The first disc offers a fascinating discussion on the concept of combining Chi with riding and the many benefits that it will offer. The trio discuss how proper breathing, relaxation, balance, alignment, visualisation and positive energy flow (also known as Chi) comes together to form Riding with Chi, they then go on to demonstrate how to achieve each of these, which will ultimately help to enhance your riding.
One of the most interesting and fundamental aspects that is discussed is breathing; many of us are guilty of holding our breath when in difficult or anxious situations, but the experts on this DVD are able to advise on how to become aware of your own breathing as well as that of your horse and how to lower and increase your breath thanks to a series of exercises.
It is also fascinating to discover ow being relaxed can improve the efficiency of your aids and how the Tai Chi posture is in effect very similar to that of a correct riding posture. Patricia Norcia comments on how Tai Chi has reminded her of the importance of slowness, something many of us forget in our hectic lives, and this is all the more important considering the horse’s rhythm is naturally slower than our own. The ability to be self aware and develop positive energy is all touched upon and will help to open up your mind to new possibilities and in effect improve your riding position and help you and your horse to work in unison.
In the second disc David Ritchie teaches a number of Tai Chi and Qi Gong style routines which will help to focus your breathing and make you more relaxed and supple with an improved posture which can be applied while riding. Exercises are aided by instruction and then repeated without, to really help you develop your confidence and competence in performing these movements.
In all, this DVD offers a unique approach to riding which is sure to benefit the relationship between you and your horse.
We definitely want this in our Christmas stocking!