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Kate Vigneron: Owner of Madera Hills Ranch and
certified teacher of
the F.M. Alexander Technique . . . a brief explanation by Kate Vigneron
As a young girl growing up in
Louisiana, I would follow my Dad on horseback through the piney
woods and swamps checking timber.
For myself and others I knew
and rode with, riding meant simply to climb up in the saddle,
kick to go and pull on the reins to stop. I was always doing the
same old thing with my horse.
riding is much different with years of life and knowledge
acquired through the training for and teaching of the Alexander
It is obvious now that the quality of communication
that the rider has with his horse is determined by his awareness
and control (use) of his own body and degree of muscle tension.
The lighter and more subtle the communication with the horse,
the better trained and ridden the horse becomes.
Astride a horse, the balance point is at the bottom of
the vertical alignment of the head, torso and pelvis over the sit bones,
neither in front of them, nor behind them. The rider's weight is
centered vertically over the sit bones, permitting free movement of the
hips and legs for leg reining and cueing (an independent seat). For
instance, in a "crotch position" for riding, the pelvis is tilted
forward creating tension in the lower back producing discomfort and even
This hollowed back has
undesirable consequences for the horse. Many poor postural
habits limiting performance go unnoticed in chosen activities
until discomfort or pain occurs.
In a series of lessons a student learns to
recognize and change tension patterns and poor postural habits
affecting their well being and performance whether in daily
activities or riding, golfing, playing a musical instrument or
working at a computer.
improve the use of the head, neck, back relationship frees the
WHOLE body to move as the dynamic, flexible instrument it was
designed to be.
Note: The Alexander Technique originated in England
over 100 years ago and is taught in dressage circles in England and many
of the top performing art schools worldwide, such as the Juilliard
School of Music, USA. Kate began her training in France in 1985 and
taught there until her move to far West Texas in 2000. At her ranch she
teaches the Alexander Technique in all its applications, particularly in
Western riding. Learn more about booking a vacation or lessons with Kate