Are you tense on your mount? Is there a nagging thought that riding should be more relaxing for you if you only knew the secret? Emily Clark of The Supple Rider can give you some clues about that. Her business claim is to “transform your tension and pain into freedom and ease”. As a rider, when you are more fluid and flexible you communicate more readily with your horse and the result is a more satisfying and productive ride.
As a graphic designer, Emily experienced discomfort and strain from long hours at a computer. This led her in curiosity to explore a technique known as the Alexander Technique. This technique of posture refinement was developed over 100 years ago by F.M. Alexander, a man struggling with his voice. He noted that when a person is stressed, even if they are unaware of it, their neck tightens, which changes the position of the head. This cascades into a negative effect on sitting and breathing. He discovered ways to unwind muscle tension patterns and then posture and relax his head and neck so that he could speak easily.
Walter Carrington, one of Alexander’s star pupils furthered the application into more activities, including horseback riding. Emily studied in England with Walter and found the method particularly appealing to riders passionate about healthy riding styles. She opened her own practice in 2002 after receiving her teaching certification.
Emily practices in Hillsboro, Oregon, working with clients in her office on a table as well as with a saddle on a floor mount. She doesn’t perform physical manipulations on clients, but uses her hands to sense tension and offer corrective posture coaching and personal awareness for self-adjustments. Emily ’s website is a goldmine of information about how to correct bodily postures and use your mind to put your body at ease while engaging in a variety of activities.. She also writes a blog and newsletter that you will find helpful and interesting.
Success stories abound of dressage and casual riders overcoming long-standing injuries to ride once again in relaxation and with freedom from pain. Emily offers a $77 Introductory Package of one lesson and one discovery session to tailor a program for the individual client. Investigate her intriguing story at her website here and consider how much more you can enjoy your horse as a supple rider!