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 The Alexander Technique and Horse Riding 
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Post The Alexander Technique and Horse Riding
The Alexander Technique and Horse Riding
by: Linda James




So what is the Alexander Technique?

Some people will tell you that Alexander is about good posture, but having good posture is just a side effect. It's really about recognising and releasing tension in body, and not doing the things to yourself that make your hurt. It's about letting go of holding.

Before I started riding, I used to have lots of headaches - tension headaches. Someone suggested I had Alexander lessons as a way of helping headaches as it releases tension in the body. Well, my headaches are far fewer now as I've learnt to release the tension in my neck and shoulders, by just letting go of the holding on I was doing. Some times my hands and feet ache a bit from arthritis. So when my hands and feet started aching from horse riding, I tried the same thing - and on the whole, it worked.

Having learnt the Alexander Technique has helped me in all sorts of ways with my riding. Because it teaches you to pay attention to what you are doing with your body, I know that when I start to get stressed on a horse, I hold my jaw so tightly it begins to ache, my shoulders come up, and I learn forward. Now, if I can stop doing these things, not only do I become less stressed and less achy, I also become a better rider. Being able to recognise and then release the tension in your muscles stops a lot of the pain.

To learn the Alexander Technique, you really need a teacher, as it's almost impossible to get a feel for it unless someone shows you. It's not a quick fix - it took me at least six months before I had any idea what my Alexander Teacher was trying to say to me - but if I had to choose between riding or Alexander lessons, I would choose Alexander every time. My lessons have gone on for over two years now, and from going initially every week, I now go about once a month. It's taught me to notice what I do to myself, where I hold on and cause myself pain, and how, if I notice how my horse moves,I can move with her and become a better rider.

Just because Alexander works for me, doesn't mean it will for you - we all have to find our own solutions rather than try to use someone elses. But I would imagine that other techniques that release tension such as yoga and pilates would also be good. The important thing is not to give up when you have a set back, but hunt around for a solution and see what other people have done.


About The Author
Linda James is passionate about horses and has learnt to ride a horse later in life. She writes about how to take care of a horse and horse riding on http://jodders.co.uk





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Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:21 am
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