I feel strongly about giving students a well rounded education with a focus on the basics. The concepts of Centered Riding®, Alexander Technique & Natural Horsemanship apply to whatever discipline you ride- English, Western, competitive or for your own enjoyment. Those fundamentals permeate my teaching the traditional disciplines of Dressage, Hunters & Equitation.
I met Dave Williams in 1986 when my new A/O Hunter had a trailer loading issue. What I learned in my first lesson with Dave changed my life, and a new relationship began taking shape with my horses. Natural Horsemanship tools help to establish good communication from the ground and is as important as your ability in the saddle. Developing those groundwork skills, implementing them into your daily routine and learning to read your horse's body language will establish a deeper communication before you ever get on their back. Dave continues to be a mentor & dear friend.
I was introduced to Dressage and Centered Riding® in 1987 by USEF/CEF Senior Judge and CR Level IV Instructor Dawn Ruthven of Victoria, BC. Sally Swift's Centered Riding® is what makes sense out of everything else and her "basics" apply to LIFE: Breathing, Soft Eyes, Building Blocks, Centering & Grounding. Centered Riding® has developed my awareness, balance, focus and feel. The result is harmony between horse and rider, connection, communication, confidence and joy. I had the priviledge of knowing Sally through my participation in clinics, becoming a Board member and attending the annual CR Symposium. I organized and hosted Sally's last Instructor's Update Clinic in Oregon in 1992. Dawn now coaches me from heaven, her presence is with me in the ring but she is deeply missed.
Centered Riding introduced me to the Alexander Technique. In 2007 I started the AT teacher certification program with Robyn Avalon at the Alexander Alliance SW in Santa Fe, NM graduating in August 2012. AT applies to anything you do using your body that you want to do with more ease, less stress, better efficiency, etc. I apply AT to mounted lessons and also have a studio space on the property for unmounted sessions. I also travel off site working with people in their workplace or in their hobby, sport or other activity.
I am certified to teach the body mapping workshop developed by Robyn Avalon titled: "Living In A Body: An Owners Guide to Using Your Body Naturally". "LIABTM offers a simple, clear, and fun exploration of the basic mechanics of human movement and support. By learning the common misconceptions about the how the body is designed for movement and accessing tools you understand and can effectively change your own patterns of (mis)use. The workshop incorporates basic games of sensory awareness, somatic re-education, and metaphor to illustrate and feel how your body is designed to move with ease & grace, transforming tension & chronic pain into lightness, balance & fluidity". LIAB is for anyone who wants to find ease in any activity (not jus riding!).
To summarize, I teach from a classical perspective, in a friendly atmosphere that promotes communication between horse and rider, as well as coach and rider. I believe that students should learn the "why" behind what they are asked to do. I hope to develop my students to have more of a trainer's mentality - to analyze, feel, ask, assess and make decisions or changes as often as necessary during their ride.
Katie Twombly, Owner/Trainer Centered Riding Level III Instructor AASW Certified Alexander Technique Teacher Living In A Body Workshop Instructor