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Connected Riding Newsletter
A word from Peggy

The Only Constant is Change*
Dear Connected Riders,
For most of us, this is a challenging time as circumstances are changing quickly and there are many new transitions to face. I have often said that transitions in riding are one of the most important aspects of riding because it requires us to maintain our own balance in order to support the horse’s balance, too.  This takes focus and practice in quick and unexpected transitions.  
Remember to remember  these Connected tools for restoring your balance and Connection:
• Use your diaphragmatic breathing to bring relaxation and focus.  
• Return to neutral posture when standing, sitting, walking to reduce stress in your body and on or with your horse.
• Apply standing still Connected Groundwork exercises to reconnect to your horse before “going back to work.”  This will begin the internal tune-up process with the muscular system and activate Connected muscle memory in your horse’s posture, too.
•  Take your horse on a walk in Connection and get in touch with your rhythm together. This will be reassuring and soothing to both of you. It’s a great way to say, “Hi, I’m back.”
• Practice the easy stuff first, like walk halt, walk-trot-walk, move to the outside, move to the inside, etc. Loosen up and connect and enjoy the re-union with your horse. 
In riding, what often happens in transitions, is that riders “freeze” and stop their bones from moving instead allowing them to move during transitions.  If we brace and tighten, the horses respond in the same way and both fall out of balance. We have a choice how we ride these transitions– Neutral in our bodies and minds is a place, a moment, to create better balance – to slow down, to rotate in a better direction, and then ease out to the new choice. Let’s do that now, together.
I am happy and relieved to hear that people are meeting up with their horses again. I am especially looking forward to seeing you this year in person or online!

*Peggy paraphrasing Heraclitus
SCRT 100 Course
Come in for a Summer tune-up!
This course is geared to riders who either wish to review and refresh their Connected Riding skills or for riders who are new to the CR work. This course is a 2 or 3 day riding clinic that covers the overall scope of our method which includes CR theory, a course booklet of reminders, and lots of hands-on learning about rider posture, Connected groundwork with horses, and synchronizing with your horse in Connection under saddle! Class size is small and tailor-made for focused learning for you and your horse.
Contact one of our Connected Riding® teachers below to inquire about an upcoming course in your area.

For more information about the SCRT100 in your area Click HERE
Tuning up for horse work this riding season

A checklist by Peggy Cummings click HERE
Connected Riding Worldwide
Coming back into work
Mandy Pretty
CR Associate Instructor, Canada
Depending on where you are in the world, March and April 2020 may have meant that you and your horses spent much less time together than usual. Whether it is winter break, or an unprecedented world pandemic, Connected Riding provides riders some fabulous exercises and ideas for helping bring your horses back into work in a functional, healthy way.  
'When coming back into work, it is important to recognize that horses, like us, take some time to get back to their individual's "peak" level of fitness. This period of building fitness is a time that one of Peggy's many great mantras matters most, "meet tightness with lightness".  
As riders and handlers, it can be reflexive to respond to stiffness, bracing, or overall "dullness" with more pressure, or faster requests. When a horse is braced or crooked, they are unable to shift weight and independently access all four feet- a key to self-carriage and lightness.  If you start an exercise and find that your horse is "resistant" or braced, take a moment to "melt" in yourself, find your neutral, and breathe - finding the lightness in your own body. Often this moment of "self-check" will result in a release in your own horse and allow they to more easily move and respond in a positive way. 

Connected Riding is growing quickly in Germany!

German newsletter click HERE - Link zum deutschen NL
Connected Riding Testimonial
Laura Faber-Morris, CR Associate Instructor, USA
Kayla 9 years old with Alfi
Alma 11 years old with Smokey
Both girls are able to support their horses with an inside and outside rein whilst being aware of the posture and position. It's fun to warm up together. Both girls are aware of the importance of working in straight lines as well as and gentle circles or half circles. In this picture both girls are about to rotate to the right and take their horses right and ask for stepping under then eek out the rein to a straight line. This gets the horse more engaged and responsive, relaxed and cooperative.
Here is Kayla with her new horse, JR, 4 years later. He was 3rd level dressage horse now with kissing spine. As you can see, he hasn't been using his body in the best way. Kayla has taught JR a new, softer Connection where JR needs to carry himself without heavy rein contact. Kayla has employed the Wither Rock to help free up JR's thoracic sling.
Flash forward 4 years! Alma is with her new horse Cimmaron, “Cimma.” Because Cimma had been taught to curl and compress her neck from previous training, her hind legs traveled way out behind her, creating some back issues. Alma has taught Cimma to lengthen and lift her thoracic sling. Here she is working with Cimma in the Connected Cavesson which Cimma responds well to when working at a distance. Alma has at times has included the Tellington TTouch Promise Rope to encourage Cimma to step under without being so far out behind herself. This gentle technique is but a suggestion to Cimma and inputs the sensation of the rope into the nervous system to help create new pathways in the brain to healthier movement.
Cat Wilton, CR Practitioner UK,
and her horse Dan
In 4 weeks time Dan and I will have been together 13 years.  I finally got my own horse and was excited to see where I could take him with Peggy’s work.  We had years of battles, small steps forward and big steps back, big steps forward and small steps back.  Our bond built, some ground work got easier and riding out became safer; but somehow I still hadn’t discovered the pea under the mattress.
I am very happy to announce that I have now!!  Dan is a delight to be around, easy to handle, quiet to ride and I am shaping him using CR groundwork in a way that was never possible before!! I cannot tell how delighted I am!!
And the pea under the mattress?  A supplement for hind gut acidity!! Along with a treatment called Bioresonance that did something with scar tissue – not sure what.
I had a 45min call with an animal communicator last week.  Dan told me that the changes in his gut has allowed movement and rotation of his near fore which has allowed him to open and stand square and hold his posture.  He asked “Have I grown an inch?”

To read more about what is going on in the UK click HERE
Connected Riding A Way of Life! Deb Davies, CR Senior Instructor, USA
To read Deb's story click HERE
The Joy of Connection Testimonial by CR Practitioner Hayley Howells, UK
To read Hayley's story click HERE
Back movers vs. leg movers Observations Melín Farriols, CR Practitioner, Spain
To read Melín's story click HERE
Remember the “Towel Feeling”; Sue Falkner-March, CR Associate Instructor, Canada

In this time of uncertainty we can all use our Connected Riding body awareness to “re ground” when we are having an unsettled day.
People and horses have something in common when they feel unsettled or emotionally stressed. Both species tighten and shorten muscles in their backs and necks. This is a reflexive response that helps protect our bodies short term, but can become a chronic pattern. When it becomes a chronic response, it isn’t healthy for us or our horses.
One simple exercise that Peggy taught us to find neutral pelvis, and that can also help us release our backs and necks, is the towel exercise:
Sit at the edge of a firm chair.
Float forward to vertical.
Fold a beach towel in thirds and place it around your middle and lower back, holding both ends of the towel with your “bent and hanging arms.”
Push your hands forward as you hold the towel so that it firmly supports your back. Explore tipping your pelvis forward and backward. Somewhere in the middle you will find your neutral pelvis.
When you find neutral pelvis, the towel will feel very supportive to your back.
You will probably feel as though your middle and lower back can let go and widen into the towel.
If you discover that wide supported feeling from the towel, you can begin to play with finding the “towel feeling” at different times during the day, even without the towel.
You may notice that when you can recreate the releasing and widening feeling in your back, you begin to breath into your middle back as well.
I often find the “Towel Feeling” can help me settle and ground myself, as I begin to let go of my back. I hope you find this helpful too!
Connected Riding Dates
June - August 2020


June-August, Private Connected Riding lessons with Karen Cheeke, Corvallis, Oregon
One day Connected Riding Clinic with Karen Cheeke at Wild Plum Farm on June 28. 
June-August, Connected Riding Lessons with Laura Faber-Morris, Whitefish, Montana
Monday-Friday 10am-6pm
Visit   laurafabermorris.com  
Contact: By text 406-270-0267, email  laurafaber.morris@gmail.com
June-August Private Connected Riding Lessons in the Calgary Alberta area, by appointment with Sue Falkner-March.
Contact: sfalknermarch@gmail.com 
June-August, Private Connected Riding lessons with Anke Johnson, Central and Southern, WI
Wednesday through Saturdays 1-7pm by appointment.
Contact:  coachanke@gmail.com

June-August, Connected Riding Lessons in the Spokane, WA area, by appointment with Diane Sept.
Phone or Face time consults available.
Back To Basics Equine Awareness, Valley, WA, Northwest Trails, Deer Park, WA, or at your location.
Contact Diane Sept:   dianesept@aol.com  or 509-937-2970
June-July (dates pending) 
Connected Riding Lessons and consults: PA/MD/VA/NJ (East Coast, U.S.A.)
Contact Diane Sept:   dianesept@aol.com  or 509-937-2970

June 13 and 14th, Connected Riding Clinic with Deb Davies, Oconto, Wisconsin
Private Connected Riding lessons by appointment, Oconto, WI area
Contact: Deb Davies:  equestrianeducation@juno.com

June 29th 30th and July 1, Private lesson Connected Riding clinic, Middletown,Indiana. 
Contact: Deb Davies:  equestrianeducation@juno.com


July 1, Private lesson Connected Riding clinic, Middletown,Indiana. 
Contact: Deb Davies:  equestrianeducation@juno.com

July 11-16, Coldstream, B.C., Canada
Tellington TTouch & Connected Riding with Mandy Pretty & Robyn Hood
Contact:   ttouch@shaw.ca
July 17-20, Baker, OR
3 Day Connected Riding Clinic with Peggy Cummings
Contact Naomi Preston,   mustanglady80@gmail.com
July 26 One day Connected Riding Clinic with Karen Cheeke at Wild Plum Farm, Corvallis, OR
July 31- August 2 Coldstream, B.C., Canada
3 Day Connected Riding Clinic with Peggy Cummings
Contact:   ttouch@shaw.ca


Continuing education for CR teachers in Germany with Peggy Cummings. Private lessons by request. Contact us at  info@connectedriding.com  for more information, dates to be announced.
August 14-18  Quakenbrück, Germany SCRT 103 Course with Peggy Cummings (SCRT 102 prerequisite) Contact:  info@connectedriding.com

One day Connected Riding Clinic with Karen Cheeke at Wild Plum Farm August 30. 
Open August:  Connected Riding lessons with Diane Sept in the Spokane, WA surrounding area, Valley WA, and Northwest Trails, Deer Park, WA. Riding intensives individual or small groups by request.
August 21-23 Ladies Retreat – Back To Basics Equine Awareness, Valley, WA
Contact:  Diane Sept:   dianesept@aol.com  or 509-937-2970
Connected Riding Shop
Peggy Cummings has written several books about Connected Riding, has created custom made CR halters to support your horse as well as items that she recommends to have in your tool box.
Newsletter Editors and Contributors:
Christina Dietmann, Joan Thompson,
Stephanie Jacobson, Sandy Weller,
Susan Cook,Relana Beck, Trudy Affleck
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