Connected work improves everything we do with horses.
It takes you from a language of concepts, to sensations of feel.
February 2017
Editor's Note: Winter is a time for inner journeys - Going inwards, renewing ourselves deeply and finding those first fires of creativity kindling within us. Journeying toward noticing sensations of feel within our horses and ourselves is our focus in this issue.
Judy Good, editor

Peggy Cummings - Peggy needs two intermediate level riders: 1 Western Rider and 1 Dressage Rider with horses who can do lateral work to participate on both Friday and Saturday.

Our cover photo:
Dari, one of the Legacy horses, has an upside-down heart on his forehead, making him our poster-child for the month of February.


Calendar   web

Susan's Notes  2

What's Hot!  3
   Instructor WS
    April 101 Course
   Meridian clinic
   Equine Expo

Feature  4
   Instructor Tip

Article Well  5

Past Newsletters
   The Labyrinth
   Rider Quiz

Hello Connected Riders.  
Wonderful Time in Spain.
As I write this, I am on my way to Florida from Spain where I taught a 101 course. Sandy Weller, a CR practitioner from Germany, assisted me with our group of six who were very dynamic and enthusiastic. The cultural mix always adds fun as we had two Spaniards and four Brits. I also worked with our host, Melín Farriols  (one of my certified practitioners) and four of her stallions and we made amazing breakthroughs in the eight days I was there.  It is a treat for me to have the opportunity to ride them when I visit!


"I believe that every rider has the potential to be and stay connected with his or her horse. We all have the ability to ride in sync, experiencing harmony, softness, and productivity whether we are in an arena or on a trail. "
Peggy and the Gypsy at the Oregon 101.

-Peggy Cummings


From the desk of


Connection IS a pathway in and of itself, this is what makes Connected Riding® work so powerful.  It is our main pathway to learning "feel," and synchronizing with horses.
Pathway - as a Friend of Connected Riding
Host, audit, ride, volunteer, and learn in our community  through lessons, clinics, and CR horse expos
Pathway - to Learning Connection
  1. awareness of your riding posture and how to add ease
  2. understanding functional posture of  horses and how to create it
  3. groundwork for preparing horses to be ridden
  4. connecting with horses from the saddle, supporting their function and well-being
Pathway - to more in-depth learning 
about the why, what, and how of Connection:  
101, 102, 103 - foundation courses   for riders, riding instructors, and prospective CR practitioners.

One Day Workshops - for all riding instructors, for quick takeaway tips and information to nourish them and their programs.
Pathway - to Certified Practitioner Blue Level: 
All the above, plus:
104 - assessment course, 
105 - final exam
  School of Connected Riding elective courses from:
  • Peggy Cummings, CR founder
  • Deb Davies, CR Senior Instructor
  • Jillian Kreinbring, CR Senior Instructor
  • Diane Sept, CR Senior Instructor
  • Julie Staub, CR Practitioner Blue, and licensed physical therapist.
  • Others.
Pathway - to Certified Practitioner Green Level: 
All the above, plus:
200 - series for intermediate riding courses, and other Continuing Education Units for certified people.

Pathway - to Certified Instructor: 
Includes numerous pathways of continuing  education in CR riding and teaching as well as a contribution of a specific, distinguishing body of work that directly supports the  foundations  of Connection.  In addition, takes on the responsibility to provide a l
eadership  component  in the organization.

 Join us on a pathway to Connection!

Susan Cook

"The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one's appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding
Amelia Earhart


What's Hot.

Workshop for Riding Instructors
February 17, 2017
Sherwood, Oregon    

Riding instructors -  this workshop will help you  enrich your program!

Click on image to enlarge it.

SCRT 101 Course
April 7-10, 2017
Sherwood, Oregon    
Open to all riders who want more for 
t hemselves and their horses.
Here is a collage  of the 
January 2017 101 course in Oregon

Click on image to enlarge.

SCRT Presents:

Cranial & Meridian Clinic
February 18th & 19th, 2017
Corvallis, Oregon    

Click on image to enlarge.

Northwest Horse Expo
March 24, 25 & 26, 2017
Albany, Oregon    
Visit our booth 
and get balanced on the saddle stand.

Peggy is a keynote clinician doing three lectures and two arena presentations with Diane Sept, senior CR instructor, and a team of practitioners from Oregon. 
With years of classical training, riding, teaching, and research, international clinician and author,  Peggy Cummings has developed the Connected Riding® method. Connected Riding® techniques support conventional riding methods by adding biomechanical tools that reduce the bracing patterns in horses and riders. Riders learn how to use their own bodies in new ways to enhance the performance of their horses, ride pain-free, and without resistance while having more fun doing it!  
Friday Lecture:   
Ready or not?   How do we know when our horses are ready to work?  
Learn some critical tips for  "warming up" your horses that will make an immediate difference under saddle.
Friday Arena demo:  
Are you and your horse ready?  
Watch strategic exercises prepare horses and riders together, and see if you can tell when they're "ready" to go to work.  Three different horses and same exercises - watch the progress and notice the differences.
Saturday Lecture:  
Discovering what's "Real" about the "Feel" of Riding.
What is feel?  Learn how to become more sensitized to the wave of your horse's movement and be more in sync!
Saturday Arena demo
Found in translation - putting words into feel.  
See how  translations of certain riding concepts either help or hinder how the horses perform. Audience participation in Q and A welcome. 
Sunday Lecture
Support for your riding and horse work.   
Bring your questions and issues to Peggy and her team for specific and hands-on conversations to address the issues you're having with your horses and your riding. Take away tips and exercises to try at home to have a better connection with your horse.

Visit the NW  Horse Expo website  for more details.


Instructor Training Tip
"How do I fit it all in?"

Recently a talented horsemanship teacher asked: "How do I fit it all in? There is so much information to teach my students, it is difficult to fit it all in."  This is a timely question because it relates to the upcoming 
Instructor Training Workshops
 by the School of Connected Riding. If you are an instructor join us in these one day workshops.  
(The next one is April 7th. See the flyer above.) 

The pool of exercises to choose from is deep. Organizing a training program that includes all of your favorite approaches can be overwhelming. One way to simplify your program is to teach your students to notice patterns of movement in themselves and their horses, then to pick exercises that focus on these patterns.

"What did you notice?"
Ask your students to notice the movement of their horses.
Imagine you are at a Connected Groundwork clinic -  the morning lecture is finished, Peggy asks you to get your horse and to lead him around the arena for two minutes. She then asks "What did you notice?" What would you say? 

Jillian is asking her rider to notice sensations of movement.
If you are a newcomer you might say "My horse is a little nervous," or "I'm not sure what you mean." With more experience you might say "my horse lacked energy, lagged behind me, was stiff in her neck especially on the right side, she did not have much bend through her body, was leaning on the forehand, her left hind leg took shorter strides than her right hind leg, and she was distracted most of the time."

Wow. It is a gift to be that observant - to see and feel sensations within the movement.

" and..., so what"?  (Peggy Cummings)
Help them become fascinated by what they've noticed.
We all have habitual bracing patterns that limit us. If you've forgotten your position, or your groundwork session didn't go as planned or your horse is "crooked" or.... Peggy's response is, "and..., so what"? As athletes know, training is a process of constantly improving balance, relaxation, strength, flexibility and endurance. Being honestly observant is a gift, because with it comes direction for our training programs that brings life-long improvement for biomechanical health and movement.

"Let's begin."
Teach them how to choose relevant exercises.
Is your horse different from one side to the other? Can you describe it?
My horse is stiff through his neck on the his left side.
Here are a couple of exercises you can do to bring about smoother more synchronized movement. Try them then describe the difference in the way it felt before versus after doing the exercises. 

The knowledge 
Debbie Davies teaching groundwork to a student
students gain from noticing the changes will go deeply and will last a lifetime. It turns them into riders who have feel rather than riders who don't have a clue about sensations of feel. Kids learn quickly these sensations of seeing and feeling movement. 

The training tip ...
A person who rides with feel is a person who notices sensations within movement, then affects movement patterns for a smoother, healthier and fun ride. So the training tip is to limit what you teach to those few exercises (which can be drawn from a large body of resources) that can cause a noticeable change in the movement pattern. Do this for beginners all the way up to top level riders. 

We would love to hear from instructors at
Join us for the April Instructor Training Workshop in Oregon. 


A person who rides with feel is a person who notices sensations within movement.
Article Well

Notice how horses move.

Notice how your horse moves.

Notice how you move

Rebalance your horse.

Rebalance yourself.

Ride in balance & connection .

We hope you enjoy our growing selection of Connected Riding (and related) articles. The topics are divided into the six sections, as mentioned in our Newcomers Document. Click on the little labyrinth images to go to pages of related articles. Then click on the article image to go to the entire article. At this time only # 2, 3 and 5 have articles. Give feedback here .