Centered Riding is not a style of riding as are dressage, hunter seat, or Western. Rather, it is a way of reeducating a rider’s mind and body to achieve greater balance in order to better communicate with the horse. Founder Sally Swift revolutionized riding by showing that good use of the human body makes a world of difference on horseback. Early in her work, she established what she calls the “Four Basics”—centering, breathing, soft eyes, and building blocks—which, together with grounding, are the main tenets of her method. When a rider learns and maintains these basics, then harmony between horse and human is possible.
Sally Swift’s first book, Centered Riding, came on the scene in 1985. Now translated into 15 languages, it is one of the bestselling horse books of all time and continues to be just as valid as when it first came out, containing all the fundamentals of Sally’s teaching. Sally’s second book Centered Riding 2: Further Exploration doesn’t replace the first one—it complements it. Over the years, Centered Riding continued to evolve, and Sally inevitably developed many new concepts and fresh imagery, all of which are presented in these pages.
In addition to these additional riding techniques, Sally also concentrates more on the horse than she did in her first book, and she explains in great detail how through the use of Centered Riding you can improve your horse’s musculature and way of going—and consequently, his comfort and performance. This is the intent of Centered Riding—a successful horse and rider partnership, in which they work efficiently together in joyful harmony.