What is Movement Training (EM)?
Movement Training (EM) uses the latest in brain research to change incorrect muscle memory, using techniques like:
- Passive patterning
- Planned, deliberate, self-initiated movement
- Experimentation with speed and range of motion.
Six main areas are analyzed:
- Occipital joint
- Sternum and collar bone
- Sacroiliac (sacrum)
These techniques address stiffness, tension, lack of flexibility, crookedness, and limited range of motion through customized exercises on and off the horse, on floor mats, on the BALIMO™ chair, and with other specialized tools.
Where it originates
“BALIMO” stands for BALance In MOtion and combines two specialized approaches to the teaching and learning of new movement patterns. The brainchild of German Ph.D. kinesiologist Eckart Meyners and U.S. riding instructor and author Jill Hassler-Scoop, this methodology synergizes two lifetimes’ work with riders and their horses all over the world.
Known in Germany as “Bewegungstraining” (movement training), Eckart Meyners’ methods have since been incorporated into the curriculum of the German National Riding Federation (FN) for both “Meisterreiter” (Master Rider) and “Bereiter” (Rider) level licensing qualifications.
Meyners’ approach uses a six-point framework to analyze the movement of various body parts and then selects specific exercises to address any movement deficits.
The late Jill Hassler-Scoop was well known as a teacher of riding teachers. Her focus was on how riders learn and on developing instructional techniques that foster rider independence. Together these two educators created a unique program, a whole that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
Under their supervision, in 2007 Lynne completed an extensive and rigorous curriculum, earning the title “Graduate Instructor.” Lynne is one of only 20 such instructors in the United States.
Does Movement Training (EM) work for riders like me?
The lecture and exercise workshop…laid the foundation [for the rest of the clinic.] Within minutes Lynne was able to pinpoint the rider’s issues and addressed them with both mounted and dismounted exercises. I think the auditors got as much out of it as the riders. After watching I went and rode…and had some of the best work yet on my girl. To all of you out there…go to one of her clinics…you will not be disappointed. Well done, Lynne!
—Marge S., Chesapeake MD
I cannot thank you enough for all you have done for me. I did not realize how badly I was stuck until you worked on me.
—Pam B., Harrisburg, PA
I learned how to better bend my body so that my horse would achieve better bend, and that has been a goal of mine for years.
—Vicky G., Sonoma, CA
The exercises…made me realize how tight my body was and how loose and flexible it should be while I’m riding.
—Stephanie K., Morganton WV
Lynne has the wonderful ability to explain what she is seeing, how it affects the horse, and how to correct the issue. She has the ability to adapt to the types of people she is training and how they learn. Each rider took away at least one piece to work on and felt extremely positive about the experience. A couple of riders who felt like they were not progressing before the clinic came away with a renewed vigor. Auditors also felt like they had learned from each rider and want to be on the ‘list’ for our next clinic.
—Robin L. (Clinic Organizer), Harrisonburg VA
What is a typical initial session like?
- Lynne assesses your body alignment and flexibility off the horse.
- She shows you specific exercises on the BALIMO™ chair, floor mats, and using other tools, to improve alignment and flexibility and teaches you to do them safely.
- You’ll walk, trot and canter with your horse both ways of the arena so Lynne can identifiy areas where your horse’s motion is not flowing smoothly and unhindered through your body.
- You’ll work with Lynne on additional chair and mat exercises to help unblock your problem areas.
- Finally, you’ll remount your horse and Lynne will look to see if your motion fluidity has improved.
- The sequence is reiterated as necessary.
- Finally, you’ll close out your session by reviewing selected exercises with Lynne for your daily use.
Task vs. Command Method
Lynne uses the TASK teaching approach rather than the conventional COMMAND method.
- Teacher assigns carefully selected exercises designed to teach the desired new skill.
- Criteria for successful execution are made clear.
- Student must fully understand the success criteria.
- Student executes the task while teacher is silent, which permits the rider to focus all the student’s senses on the horse.
- Student & teacher discuss and assess results together, rather than teacher giving her own assessment of the work.
- Teacher asks skillfully worded questions to direct student’s awareness to areas that still need improvement.
Benefits of Task Method
Improves rider’s awareness & analytical ability.
Develops independent, thinking riders who can progress even without regular instructor input.
Lynne’s teaching philosophy
We have a responsibility to the horse to learn to communicate in a way the horse can understand. When training problems arise, look first to the rider for the solution. The fault almost always lies with us. We must never violate the horse’s trust, and must always operate with great respect for the horse’s nature.
This is the fourth in a series of posts. Check out Parts 1-3 if you…
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