How MBS has Improved Every Facet of my Equestrian Life

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Emily Glidden, owner of The Feeling Rider (thefeelingrider.com) has studied the Murdoch Method, Equine Gestalt Coaching Method®, and will complete her training with MBS Academy in 2019. She resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Moving Through: How MBS Academy Foundation Training Has Improved Every Facet of my Equestrian Life

After years of deeply enjoying the lessons of Moshe Feldenkrais, I finally began my Foundation training with MBS in the summer of 2017.  From the very first day, I was hooked.  I could tell the training was going to have an immediate and positive impact on my riding and teaching.  Anything that helps me to be a better horsewoman captures my full and undivided enthusiasm.

I wasn’t disappointed.  Since last April, my riding, horsemanship and teaching have been transformed.

MBS training has three aspects that each apply to an integral part of my equestrian life.

Receiving Awareness Through Movement Lessons

Awareness through Movement lessons, or ATMs for short, are lessons in which the teacher guides you, through verbal instructions, to do a particular movement.  As you do the movement, the teacher guides you to greater awareness of how you uniquely use yourself and how you could improve.  In my training with MBS Academy, the integration of these ATMs into my riding have enabled me to become my own best teacher, improving my independent seat and my own “throughness” as a rider.

Giving Functional Integration lessons

Functional Integration lessons are hands-on movement lessons that guide the recipient to greater self-awareness and renewed choice-making, to regain function that may have been lost through injury, or habitual lack of use.  The way that we learn to connect hands-on with a person and to move that person, gently, within their own comfort zone, for their own awareness and well-being, is precisely the quality of touch that is necessary for working with horses.

Teaching Awareness Through Movement Lessons

In my capacity as a riding teacher and coach, learning to teach ATMs has dramatically improved outcomes for my students.  They are able to more quickly and easily make more profound and lasting changes in their riding through the grounded, precise and simple language I now use.  I’ve also learned to tailor my teaching to different learning styles, so that I can more effectively teach riders no matter what their learning preferences might be – kinesthetic, visual, auditory, or some combination of the three.

As riders and trainers we value qualities of movement in our horses such as “throughness” and “lightness.” These qualities are made possible when the horse moves such that the force generated by the pushing power of the hind legs is transmitted through the horse’s trunk, through the neck, all the way to the mouth.  When there is a restriction or tension in the horse anywhere between the hind hooves and the mouth, this throughness is lost.  As riders, we are always working to help our horses to be in better alignment, to be more relaxed over their backs and to improve the overall quality of their movement as they carry us.

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To accomplish this, we have to find the “throughness” in our own bodies as well.  Tension in our shoulders and arms is immediately transmitted to the horse’s mouth through the reins.  How fluidly our seat follows the movement of the horse’s back, how subtly we use our aids to communicate and how sensitive we are to the horse’s responses are all essential qualities to good riding that are governed in large part by how well we are able to coordinate our bodies with our horse, without tension.

MBS Academy Foundation training provides the framework, tools and support to accelerate your learning for the essential skills in any rider – to develop an independent seat, excellent feel and communication – as well as wonderful tools for instructors and coaches.  This combination of learning and support from world-reknowned teachers is a rare and special opportunity for which I’m deeply grateful.  Come join us!