Unlock Your Riding Potential with Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement®

In the world of equestrian sports, riders strike a unique balance between enjoying the journey and relentlessly pursuing excellence. They find the equilibrium that allows them to savor each moment while continually refining their skills. This equilibrium is particularly evident among classical dressage devotees who commit to constant self-improvement without assigning blame to their horses, trainers, or equipment. They possess the ability to neutrally assess their actions and work towards their riding aspirations. This journey, akin to an art form or a path to heightened consciousness, has traditionally been passed down through careful mentorship under a master.

What is Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement®?

Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® is a transformative approach that helps riders of all levels enhance their performance, foster harmony within themselves and  their horses, as well as to refine their biomechanics. Unlike many other sports, equestrians can continue to improve as they age, and Feldenkrais is globally utilized to improve movement, balance and function for an aging population.  The Feldenkrais Method, coupled with the expertise of a skilled, dressage specific, teacher like Dave Thind, has gained recognition within the dressage community worldwide. Dave Thind, an international trainer and Grand Prix rider with three decades of experience in classical equestrian sports, has brought this invaluable resource to dressage enthusiasts through his online programs, catering to riders at all levels, including national team members and Olympians and is known to provide mental and physical breakthroughs for adult amateurs, and for some, even put an end to chronic stiffness and pain.

Dave Thind and Solero.
Photo courtesy of Dave Thind.

Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® is a method that rewires the brain by enhancing the connection between the mind and body through effective movement training. While it is commonly associated with pain relief, top-level athletes from various disciplines have utilized it to improve their performance, achieving specific, measurable improvements in their respective fields.

One of the most significant benefits of this method for dressage riders is its ability to address common issues such as rider asymmetry, losgelassenheit (physical and mental relaxation and suppleness), and the prevention of pain in areas like the back, neck, and hips. Many state that it improves “feel” and creates an overall better picture in the rider, and resulting improvement self-carriage and general way of going within the horse. 

Praise from Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel

Check out what celebrated trainer Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel stated about the method: “The Feldenkrais Method has not only helped me out of chronic pain but improved my riding tremendously through reducing tension and increasing suppleness, while highly increasing my body awareness and refining my aids!”

The record breaking, MD based, international trainer is known for having one of the best seats in the world. In fact, she made a new record by scoring a perfect dressage score during her German Trainer certification, approximately 30 years ago.

“The Feldenkrais Method is not just an investment in your riding but in how you will feel and move for the rest of your life! The method helped me get out of chronic pain, tension and anxiety, so I can truly enjoy the horses,” added an enthusiastic von Neumann-Cosel.

Many riders miss the Feldenkrais boat because they think they already do rider specific exercise, Feldenkrais is not exercise. 

Dave Thind Method

Dave Thind Method (DTM) offers pre-recorded rider makeovers, including programs like “60 Days To Improve to an Improved Dressage Seat,” “Seat 101 – Unlock your Hip Joints and Swing with Your Back,” and the upcoming “DTM Fall Wheel Alignment.”

The Wheel Alignment Curriculum comprises six lessons, each aimed at enhancing different aspects of your riding experience:

1.     Ground-Up Improvement: This lesson focuses on enhancing support, comfort, and stability from the ground up, starting with your toes, ultimately leading to inexplicable improvements in your overall function. This lesson will improve every rider’s hip function! 

2.     Functional Leg Movements: Lesson two concentrates on improving the functional movements of your legs, both as a human and as a seated rider, enhancing function, comfort, suppleness, and subtlety in your leg aids.

3.     Recalibrating and Rebooting: In this foundational lesson, riders explore movements that mimic a toddler’s development, recalibrating the spine and finding effortless upright posture, allowing for longer riding sessions without discomfort or fatigue.

4.     Seat and Shoulder Alignment: Building on previous lessons, this class addresses seat-bone and shoulder alignment, helping riders achieve symmetry and correct common seat faults in themselves and their students if they are trainers.

5.     Enhanced Sensory Awareness: Lesson five focuses on improving contact and turning aids by refining sensory awareness, enabling better communication with your horse.

6.     Polishing Your Seat: The final lesson provides riders with tools for seat polishing, easily incorporated into their routine, elevating self-carriage and function.

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To participate in these lessons, riders need basic tools and equipment, including a mat or carpet space, foam gardening pad or book for head support, a flat stool, and a long mirror. Optional tools like Miracle Balls, Franklin Balls, Disc Shaped Balance Pad, or a Balimo Stool can be used in the final class for added benefit.

Whether through DTM or other Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® lessons, riders have a unique opportunity to transform their riding experience. As Dave Thind puts it, “Whether you’re a professional aiming for the highest levels of competition or an amateur seeking to improve your posture and alignment, this program is designed for dedicated riders like you. By focusing on the mind-body connection and natural movement patterns, you can unlock your full riding potential and achieve your equestrian dreams.”

Dressage Today is proud to offer a 10% discount on the upcoming DTM “Wheel Alignment Series” of live classes. Use coupon code DRESSAGETODAY10 to save on this transformative journey. For more information, visit Dave Thind Method.

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