In reference to Margaret Freeman’s commentary on sitting straight (Nov. 2009), I tirelessly try to educate riders about how much influence their own body posture and balance has on the horse. As an equine body-worker, it’s painful to see how frequently horses suffer from unaddressed rider postural issues that directly interfere with the horse’s performance. The horse is often unfairly punished for this, even in upper levels of riding. It continues to amaze me how few riding instructors pay attention to this problem and/or recognize it, to correct the rider as needed. Thanks for this article, as horses do need to be ”heard” from more often.
I wanted to add to letter-writer June Chadwick’s comments (Jan. 2010) about the Alexander technique: Within 10 minutes, an Alexander instructor changed my awareness of how I was holding my head when I rode. The neck pain that I had experienced for years every time I cantered my horse was gone, and my horse was able to move with more freedom because I wasn’t holding him back with tension in my own body. Bodywork is certainly not just for our horses!
I found Cynthia Foley’s editorial on customer service (Dec. 2009) interesting. While I agree that it can be a challenge to get good-quality products, I’ve found that how you approach customer-service departments can make a huge difference in the results.
If you indicate that you’re disappointed in the product and are hoping that someone could ”help you out” in some way, it goes a lot further than being aggressive, angry or rude.
I figure that these representatives have a pretty tough job to begin with, and they seem to appreciate rational, albeit disappointed, customers.