Category Archives for "Ageless in the Saddle for Women 40+"

Dec 05

Ageless in the Saddle for Women 40+

By Heather Beachum | Ageless in the Saddle for Women 40+

ageless-in-the-saddle-copyright-protected-heather-beachum-www-ridingforwomen-comWelcome!

The life of a woman horseback rider is an enormously enriching one, but is fraught with complexities.

We embrace the challenges of developing our skills to ride with joy and a wonderful connection to our horse.

Yet the fearless rider of our youth is now a sensible woman in a different body.

Also, the horse industry isn’t for the faint of heart as we are more often than not spoken to like we’re in the first grade or with a “write the check and do what you are told,” attitude.

Yet we carry on, because horses are in our soul, and a life without a horse just isn’t really a life.

As a movement teacher I support my fellow riders to find ease and confidence in the saddle. Using movement and feel you become centered and relaxed on your horse so you can both love all your rides together...

...and to support you more fully I invite you to join my online group created for women riders 40+ years young who love their horse madly!

Ageless in the Saddle for Women 40+

We are more than just muscle and determination, we are more than just grit and tenacity, we are our sensitivity and intelligence, and these are the ingredients brought into play in this group to enrich us as riders, and the life we share with our horse.

The intention of this group is to create a supportive, fun community for us to gain knowledge about our riding and horses that we can call our own. Every offering is designed to nurture an independent mind to go with an independent seat.

This is the place where it is easiest to reach me, and connect with like-minded lady riders from all around the world.

You are always welcome to share about you and your horse and your adventures together...

Along with daily topics, as a member you are invited to attend and participate in live presentations and Q&A. The spirit of these talks is to provide you with reliable information that supports you in becoming an educated rider and horse owner so you can make confident decisions for you and your horse...

This is a group where your intelligence is respected and your thoughts are valued...

So if you have waited decades to ride again, and want every second on your horse to be fun and rewarding, I hope you will join us at

Ageless in the Saddle for Women 40+

Best,
Heather

ridingforwomen-com-heather-beachum-purchased-license-7-1-15-shutterstock_33737662-2-copy

May 20

This is what makes riding easy

By Heather Beachum | Ageless in the Saddle for Women 40+

Do you ever feel stiff and uncoordinated in your riding?  Maybe you know what you want your body to do, but you can’t get it to do it.  You may be told what to do and find it one time, but you can’t find it again.

Today I want to share with you why this happens, and how you can improve this outside of your riding time.

The reason why this happens is body awareness.

What I mean by that is proprioception, moving with precision and ease.  When these components come together it means you ride with coordination, strength and mobility.  It means being aware of different parts of your body and being able to move well.

This is essential for riding because riding is all about movement.

Body awareness means you are aware of some of your body parts more than others, for example, you may be very aware of your hands.  But, unless you do body awareness activities you lose track of your other parts, for instance, your mid-section.

This state brings so much trouble to your riding because riding takes so much awareness of hips, ribs… your whole mid-section…

Yet, body awareness can easily improve so you become aware of the parts you use more often, and those less so.

The reason this is vital to riding is there are physical, observable changes in your brain when you begin to use a new body part.

And here’s the thing, these changes in your brain are the difference between happily progressing in your riding or staying stuck.

For instance, you make a change in yourself, but the moment your attention goes elsewhere you go right back to the way you were riding before.

Crooked rider image

 

This is why some riders become better, they can understand riding instructions, can do what is asked, get the feeling of it, and remember that feeling – the result is they finish every ride with a sense of accomplishment.

www.EffortlessRidingSystem.com, Heather Beachum purchased license 7.1.15 - shutterstock_201116321 (2)

www.EffortlessRidingSystem.com, Heather Beachum purchased license 7.1.15 - shutterstock_201116321

 

 

www.EffortlessRidingSystem.com, Heather Beachum purchased license 7.1.15 - shutterstock_201116321 (2)To develop body awareness what is needed is slow, deliberate and MINDFUL movement.  You explore new and different ways of moving, you use different parts of your body that you don’t normally use in your daily life and activities.

This leads to the idea of learning how to learn.  As you get better at acquiring new movement, new motor skills, you are able to transfer them right into the saddle.

What I mean by this is, for example, when you have learned off your horse how your hips and mid-section coordinate you transfer this learning, this improvement, right into the saddle.

Body awareness is what I bring to my fellow riders so that you and your horse can love each and every ride together:)

Jan 27

So Heather, what exactly is it that you do and how can you help me?

By Heather Beachum | Ageless in the Saddle for Women 40+

GloriousThese are questions I answer often so, as you may be wondering the same thing, I thought I would share the answers with you here.

What I do is I teach you how to move with ease and how to take this ease onto your horse to ride with comfort and confidence so you can fully enjoy all of your favorite horse activities.

My work is a totally different way of relating to riding that is unlike anything you have ever heard before, and enables you to take a quantum leap to creating the life you want with your horse... a life that you deserve.

If you struggle to ride, if your riding skills have plateaued or if you want to ride with refinement, but despite all your efforts you remain stuck, then this is something for you.

I show you your way of moving that creates the difficulty and what you can do instead so it can be easy.

I share with you what is causing instability and how to create balance and let it be steady.

I teach you how to replace tension with subtlety so you can develop feel and self-trust.

I translate what your riding instructor is asking you to do and show you how to do it.

 

Heather, how can I shift my way of riding when I feel so stuck and frustrated?

Riders often ask me this because they have heard they have to have a positive attitude even though they are not enjoying their riding experiences.

I say it’s the best time to start this process because you are in touch with struggle and the emotion of it, this is not an intellectual process, because as I have said it is a unique way of relating to riding.
For changes to happen you want it to be a whole body experience so you can feel the difference, so actually, your frustration is your biggest opportunity to create a fabulous learning and riding experience.

 

 

Sep 16

The things we do...

By Heather Beachum | Ageless in the Saddle for Women 40+

In the quest to ride a horse well, mankind has thought long and hard about how best to go about it. Various solutions have been formed, none of which works with the rider’s sense of feel. Not convinced? How many times have you been told to sit on your pockets, sit back, sit up, sit evenly, sit quietly….? Has anyone ever taught you how to absorb the movement of the horse? Have you ever asked to be taught that? If not, why not? Lady learning to ride side saddle

This lady has boldly mounted a mechanical device to assist her riding

Rider-with-Motion-sensors-300x165

 

This rider has looked to techno sensors for assistance.

As most of us have, this lady is doing her best on the lunge line.

At first, these approaches may seem quite different, but there is a common denominator. Each is extrinsically based meaning the rider looks outside herself for information. None of them is founded on the rider’s intrinsic sense of “feel.

None of them hones the rider’s sense of space and movement so she can perceive for herself how she is sitting on her horse. Every human comes equipped with a sensory motor system, and given that riding is all about feel, this is a happy union. It is simply a matter of including sensory learning into your riding so you naturally develop “feel.”

How is this done? Easy, brain training. For a couple of minutes each ride, you pay complete attention to how you are moving and to the smallest of detail.

For example, do this first on the ground, then on your horse balancing to the ground.

  • In standing, rest your hands, hand or finger on something so the observation will be about posture and about how your weight is distributed.
  • Notice how each foot is resting on the floor, is it more to the outside, more to the front of the foot… . Without lifting the toes, place your weight onto the heels then return to where you first started. Do this a couple of times.
  • Now, let your heels sink into the floor. Stand and breathe to allow your brain to find and file this moment. Slowly let go of this stance and notice what happens to your body. Do this a couple of times.
  • Pay attention to what feels supportive instead of what feels normal.
  • As you sink the heels allow the floor to hold your weight, and your knees to soften and slightly bend as the movement occurs.
  • Note what happens when your weight is placed on the heels and when the pressure is released.
  • Rest.
  • Now stand and shift your weight onto the balls of your feet without lifting the heel. Breathe and observe the comfort of this position.
  • Do this with your feet with different widths of separation. Find which position offers you the most support. Pay attention to what feels supportive instead of what feels normal.
  • Rest
  • Notice any changes in the tension in the feet, legs, hips, lower back, neck….
  • When in standing do you feel more grounded? When in the saddle are you more centered?

Develop your feel by visiting this simple movement exercise and start trusting yourself as you ride.

Jul 29

It's all in the hips

By Heather Beachum | Ageless in the Saddle for Women 40+

Center of GravityIf riding were easy it wouldn’t be an Olympic sport.  Two brains, two personalities, a million moving parts, and gravity – where to begin to bring it all together so both horse and rider can enjoy balance and comfort.

The answer is:  your hips.

Apart from the fact that that is where your body meets your horse’s body it is also your very own base of support - your horse riding balance.

  • Your center of gravity lives deep in your hips bringing balance and stability as your horse moves under you.
  • The hips connect your lower and upper body allowing the classical line from head to heel.
  • This frees gravity to be your friend meaning you become stable and mobile at the same time.
  • Yet, most importantly, by sinking into your hips for support your breath stays free – the most notable, and overlooked, component of a deep seat.

There are many culprits that lock the hips.  Two common situations are riders often grip their hips to stay on, but this prevents them following their horse’s movement.  Also, in wanting to sit quietly on their horse riders often stiffen their hips, but this just causes them to bounce even more.

The typical solutions available to riders all involve a lot of effort and unpleasantness in exchange for a meager return.  For example, going to the gym – this gives you more muscle so you can tighten your hips even more.  Ride without stirrups until your hips become so exhausted they deteriorate – then the next time you ride you can do the whole thing all over again.

Yet, restoring your hips to a place of functionality and comfort can not only happen, but can be yours with ease.    It is simply a matter of reconnecting how you move as a whole system.  For instance, feeling how the hips and lower back coordinate together for fluid movement, how the hips and shoulders balance one another to sit quietly in all the gaits.

Sitting deeply in the saddle begins with your awareness which you have in abundance and doesn’t cost a penny.  It is just a matter of knowing where to invest your attention.

As you read this,

  • Notice if you are sitting more on one buttock than the other, what creates this difference, is this how you sit on your horse too?
  • Now, let that buttock sink more deeply into your chair, what shifts do you have to make to do this?
  • What happens in your torso, head and neck?  Then return to your starting place.
  • Now go back and forth a few times, going slowly, and noticing what you do to create these changes.  Is there participation in your lower back and ribs?   Rest.
  • Notice how you are sitting now.  Is your one side resting more fully and deeply into your chair?  Now visit this movement sequence with the other buttock, and notice what has changed.

Later explore these movements while on your horse and see how centered and calm you feel in the saddle, and what your horse has to say about it.

Copyright expired - Engraving of Dressage Rider from 1870Taking a few minutes visiting these small movements before each ride will make a big difference to your seat.

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