Alexander Technique and its benefits to horsemanship and riding

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Have you ever wondered what how you brush your teeth, how you send a message on the phone, walk a dog outside or ride a horse have in common? Do these activities have any common denominator at all?

Maybe we are motivated as a rider by the desire to be like Queen Elizabeth II? This means being nimble and in good shape until old age and being able to enjoy the beautiful nature from the back of the horse. Every rider could be motivated by the desire to discover the potential of nature in both themselves and their horse. The athlete’s goal is to develop this potential to the maximum without exertion and injury. Carl Hester, a multiple British Olympic rider, did not say this without a reason: “Alexander’s technique is one of the most valuable tools a rider can have.”

Karmen Haiba is an Alexander Technique teacher. Karmen was inspired to to be an Alexander’s teacher by her horses and her desire to be the best possible rider for them and not to prevent them from being happy, healthy and cooperative. The biggest benefit of Alexander’s technique for riders is the development of balance, cognition and awareness. Together with MTÜ Equilibre, Karmen has carried out projects such as “Introduction to Alexander Techniques for Equestrian Therapists, Counselors and Equine Specialists” (in collaboration with Maret Mursa Tormis (Estonia) and Sally A. Tottle (UK)) and “Alexander Technique Riders” (in collaboration with Sirpa Tapaninen (Finland)). and Gloria Pullan (UK)).

The Alexander technique (AT from here on) is a teaching of naturalness and effectiveness. It can also be said that in the AT class it is examined what prevents us from acting naturally and effectively and how to remove these obstacles. “When you finish the wrong thing, the right thing happens,” said F. M. Alexander (1869-1955), an Australian-born actor who lost his voice in exertion and over the years developed a teaching of conscious self-use known today as the Alexander technique.

This online video course is in English with English subtitles and is an introduction to the Alexander Technique and what opportunities riders have by following it.

This online course was created in cooperation with Teadlik Ratsanik.

The Alexander Technique is an educational method that helps individuals improve their posture, movement, and overall coordination. It was developed by F. Matthias Alexander, an Australian actor and teacher, in the late 19th century.

The technique focuses on identifying and changing harmful habits of movement and posture that can lead to tension, pain, and inefficient functioning. These habits often develop unconsciously over time and can interfere with our natural balance, freedom of movement, and overall well-being.

The Alexander Technique is based on the principle that the mind and body are interconnected and that our physical habits are influenced by our thoughts, emotions, and perceptions. By increasing our awareness of our own patterns of movement and postural habits, we can learn to release unnecessary tension and move with greater ease and efficiency.

During Alexander Technique lessons, a trained teacher guides the student through a series of gentle movements and simple activities. Through verbal instructions and light touch, the teacher helps the student become more aware of their body, alignment, and movement patterns.

The student learns to consciously release excessive muscle tension and reorganize their body in a way that promotes better postural support, balance, and coordination. This process involves learning to move with less effort, allowing the body to function more efficiently and naturally.

The Alexander Technique is used by people from all walks of life, including musicians, actors, athletes, and individuals seeking relief from chronic pain or stress. It is often incorporated into performing arts training and rehabilitation programs.

By learning and applying the principles of the Alexander Technique, individuals can improve their overall well-being, prevent and alleviate musculoskeletal problems, enhance performance in various activities, and cultivate a greater sense of mind-body integration and self-awareness.

Course trailer:

Learn more about the Alexander Technique (introductory lecture by Karmen Haiba):


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