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Shadowfax 04-22-2012 07:35 AM

Aikido for horsemen
 
Not sure exactly where this belongs...

Last weekend I attended a horse expo specifically to see clinics by horse trainer Mark Rashid. Marks books and seeing him at this same event three years ago was what inspired me to try aikido. Since I know I am not the only aikidoka who also rides horses and that several here have also been inspired by Mark's work I thought I would share the video I shot of his, aikido exercises for rider body balance, seminar.

Apologies for the poor quality as this was taken with my cell phone. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwL7FprTi18

Tom Verhoeven 04-22-2012 07:40 PM

Re: Aikido for horsemen
 
Quote:

Cherie Cornmesser wrote: (Post 307829)
Not sure exactly where this belongs...

Last weekend I attended a horse expo specifically to see clinics by horse trainer Mark Rashid. Marks books and seeing him at this same event three years ago was what inspired me to try aikido. Since I know I am not the only aikidoka who also rides horses and that several here have also been inspired by Mark's work I thought I would share the video I shot of his, aikido exercises for rider body balance, seminar.

Apologies for the poor quality as this was taken with my cell phone. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwL7FprTi18

Thank you for sharing this video!
I did it the other way around, practiced Aikido for a long time before I climbed on a horse. It felt quite natural and I am sure that the years of Aikido practice had a lot to do with that. In both arts I see body balance and the emphasis on not trying to dominate or control the other, be it human or horse, as essential.
The question that I have (and it is not an opinion, I am genuinely asking about this) is if these basic Aikido exercises are really helping a beginning rider? Does Aikido really make this principle of body balance clearer to a rider then say the common way of learning riding a horse? If it does then I would like to know more about it.
kind regards,
Tom

Shadowfax 04-23-2012 10:38 AM

Re: Aikido for horsemen
 
Quote:

Tom Verhoeven wrote: (Post 307863)
The question that I have (and it is not an opinion, I am genuinely asking about this) is if these basic Aikido exercises are really helping a beginning rider? Does Aikido really make this principle of body balance clearer to a rider then say the common way of learning riding a horse? If it does then I would like to know more about it.
kind regards,
Tom

Well I have used some of these principles in some riding lessons that I have been giving to a woman in her 70's off and on for the past few years. They do seem to help a lot with the rider getting better balance and connection with the horse quicker than the more traditional methods. She is the only beginner rider I have worked with though as riding lessons is not my main area of interest.

For myself, having 27 years of riding experience including an extensive education at one of the best riding collages in the country. I will say that aikido training has improved my overall balance and connection with the horse as well as enhancing communication. Riding is not really so much an act my directing the horse anymore as it is the two of us going together as a unit. Even when my mare is very energetic she does not disturb my balance with her antics anymore.

I know that many riders do find this on their own through more traditional means over many years of training but I think these aikido principles help to speed up that process.

Mark also has a recently published book on this subject if you are interested in further exploration. The title is Nature in Horsemanship-Discovering Harmony through the principles of aikido. He also holds several aikido for horsemen weekend long clinics throughout the year. Something I hope to attend one day.

Tom Verhoeven 04-28-2012 05:21 PM

Re: Aikido for horsemen
 
Thank you for your response. And thanks for giving an example of your own experiences with Aikido and horse-riding. I think it is worth while to explore this a bit further and will have a look at the book you mentioned. I am interested in extending the Aiki experience beyond the tatami, and horse riding and Aikido seems like an area where more people are apparently involved in then I was aware of. Which is good!
Tom

Shadowfax 04-28-2012 07:34 PM

Re: Aikido for horsemen
 
Quote:

Tom Verhoeven wrote: (Post 308151)
Thank you for your response. And thanks for giving an example of your own experiences with Aikido and horse-riding. I think it is worth while to explore this a bit further and will have a look at the book you mentioned. I am interested in extending the Aiki experience beyond the tatami, and horse riding and Aikido seems like an area where more people are apparently involved in then I was aware of. Which is good!
Tom

Always happy to talk about two of my favorite subjects. :)


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