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ASPIRE FARM

FELDENKRAIS INSTITUTE

GERMAN EQUESTRIAN FEDERATION

DAVE THIND METHOD

33 Granite Street

Walpole, MA • 02081

(617) 980-5585

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Flowing Movement in Horse and Rider.  Neuromuscular Reprogramming. German Classical Riding.     

"To make the impossible possible, the possible easy and the easy beautiful" Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais

 ✅ Achieve a beautiful, deep, supple and effective seat

Learn a new function.

Improve an existing function. 

Reach your posture and seat goals

 ✅ Release tension that blocks your horse 

- Improve your level of comfort on and off your horse - your newfound skeletal mobility, free way of moving and ideal skeletal organization will make your horse grateful!

- Reprogram your Central Nervous System to rewire your brain, so your improvement in a wholistic and self regulated way that is not temporary!

- Keep the functional patterns that work and reboot the rest!

 ✅ Unleash your horse’s scope and full potential

Learn to notice and regulate automated muscular contractions, unnecessary muscular effort and to notice and create more desirable patterns and lines of force through your body.  This optimal way of functioning and way of 'thinking through sensing' will surely help you sculpt your horse into the direction you wish to.

 ✅ Break through performance barriers

 ✅ Address pain through improved biomechanics

Tight hip joints, lower back pain, upper back pain, neck pain, pelvic instability and s.i. issues joints, ankle disfunction, jaw-issues... You name it, riders somehow learn to deal with their existing or chronic issues. This does not need to be the case. 

 

In addition to learning how to move in a way that does not aggravate existing issues, the body's natural healing process can take place. And by learning about how we move, breath etc can drastically improve pain and stiffness, you learn about the he prevention and reversal of deterioration of function.  

 ✅ Reduce anxiety and inhibit the sympathetic nervous system

Our horses are flight animals and all humans are born with the fear of falling. The classical seat demands of us to not fall victim of involuntary tension in the legs, abdominals, breathing apparatus etc. which can all arguably be fear based and a product of evolution. Examining what the breath, eyes, abdominals etc.. do for us or did for our 'cave man' ancestors when we are in flight, fight or freeze mode (sympathetic nervous system) tells us volumes about what messages not to send to our horses.  

 

Horses grazing next to each other, without seeing each other, can sense the other horses' muscular contractions that go along with getting ready to possibly flee danger. Accessing the rider's parasympathetic nervous system has a calming affect on the horse to bring their system into a similar state. 

This body and mind approach allows you to develop the tools to monitor and control your breathing, emotions and sense of well being. 

“Correct posture is a matter of emotional growth and learning. It is not acquired by simple exercising or by repetition of the desired act or attitude.” 

 

“To every emotional state corresponds a personal conditioned pattern of muscular contraction without which it has no existence.” 

 

“The earliest interaction of the child with the external world is entirely physical. The earliest emotional movements become, therefore, associated or linked with muscular and postural patterns.” 

 

Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, The Potent Self: A Study of Spontaneity and Compulsion

 ✅ Change your self image to become a better version of yourself

Most people's self image (a map of one's body that serves as operating software) is not accurate. This obviously poses many problems. Using body awareness exercises to create a vivid self-image  (as close to reality as possible) you begin to operate as a better version of yourself!

"When you know what you're doing you can do what you want" Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais

More about DTM

As a certified German 'Trainer A,' Dave employs the German classical training system (which includes knowledge of biomechanics and psychology) as the basis for his system. The German method produces top performance athletes that are happy, sound, light, extremely competitive and statistically reliable partners in sport.  Dave teaches his riders to view themselves and their horses as athletes.  The rider's entire body must work in unison to achieve coordination, balance and suppleness while challenged by an unstable base of support and constantly evolving center of gravity.

 

Dave’s personal touch heightens the importance given to biomechanics and flowing movement, giving riders and horses the opportunity to have long and pain-free careers by avoiding tension, inappropriate muscle memory and long-term damage.  

Biomechanics & Somatic Education

Scientifically backed methods for riders seeking how and why

 

This is where art, science and sport meet. Dave’s thought-provoking training techniques allow riders to easily learn and feel flowing biomechanics. With these tools, riders improve timing of aids and avoid rider-created resistance.  

Unlock your true potential as a rider, whether you're currently struggling with getting past second level or already a Grand Prix level competitor!


Feeling like you struggle or perhaps like you have reached a plateau? By taking equestrian learning out of the saddle, unmounted classes with Dave Thind provide a venue for a whole new chapter in your riding, regardless if you are someone struggling with sitting-trot or an Olympian trying to make one canter pirouette as good as the other one.  Hone the accuracy of your 'feel' with improved body-awareness and organization.  First in yourself and then your horse. The exploratory classes will give you a better sense and influence on biomechanics and overall feeling of ease through economy of effort.  'When you know what you're doing, you can do what you want" Moshe Feldenkrais

This type go learning is not done by reading or listening to somebody else's correction on how you should or should not stand or ride.  This type of learning speaks to the brain in its native language, using movement and our senses to make decisions, as all of us did as toddlers. 

"In short, an infant's reflexive movement develops into intentional movement, and intentional movement quickly becomes habitual. The infant laboriously learns to stand and then to walk. But as soon as such actions are learned they become "automatic." The infant merely punches up STAND or WALK on his motor cortex to trigger a complex series of habitual movements.  Feldenkrais had an exact understanding of this learning process: the order of it, its fine and gross components, the basic neurological 'pathways of preference' relating limb to head, eye to pelvis, hip to shoulder, and so on. These subtle relationships determine the way all human movement is initiated and learned, and it is Feldenkrais' remarkable understanding of them that enables him to reprogram the minds not only of "normally" functioning individuals but also of those whose cortical library of learned information has been destroyed or has become inaccessible... The Feldenkrais Method is the most sophisticated and effective method I have seen for the prevention and reversal of deterioration of function.  I'm convinced that nobody understands more about the way we use our bodies, or is more able to teach us a better way to function, than this former physicist who heals by his teaching.”  Dr. Charles Fox.

 

"No part of the body can be moved without all the others being affected," one of the core beliefs of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais. Easily rewire your movement patterns, finding new patterns of ease and comfort. The body will always resist going back to repeat a learned activity or posture that is difficult of causes strain. Therefore, we supply an array of comfortable and bio-mechanically sound movement possibilities to the brain to choose from. The results are beautiful and flowing movement in horse and rider. Happy athletes performing to their highest potential while staying pain-free and increasing longevity. "Let go and find control" Dave Thind

 

Find fluidity, softness, ease and comfort. Enjoy youthful suppleness, flexibility and strength

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  • Reach your posture and seat goals, without trying hard! Without trying to 'fix" something, improve your symmetry,  the way you ride, the way you walk, the way you breath and even your self-confidence.

  • Learn how to harness the brain's ability and its desire to improve one's movement capacity throughout life

  • Learn to use your skeletal strength for correct biomechanics and reduce parasitic effort in the muscles. 

 

 

 

Cutting edge techniques for a better seat and pain-free riding

 

Dave's expertise  in human biomechanics came to fruition when a back injury and the possibility of never riding again led to a new fascination with human and equine biomechanics.  Dave closely studied a variety of somatic education techniques.   Dave’s body awareness and seat techniques allow short cuts in a sport where they normally do not exist. An array of experts including Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Physical therapists, medical Doctors and Veterinarians (all also all riders) attest to the soundness of Dave’s methods.

Short-Cuts?
Somatic education can make what's impossible possible

 

Dave’s system requires that in addition to biomechanical knowledge, riders develop high degrees of body awareness and improved coordination and dexterity, and acheive it in a natural, flowing manner. Dave empowers his students to scan their bodies for restrictions and blockades and provides simple tools to remove rather than just mask tension.  The result is unrestricted flowing human movement and better-moving, more cooperative horses!  This is something that all riders can benefit from. Although some riders are naturally gifted when it comes to organizing their body’s movement, flowing and easy movement is attainable by all. In the words of Moshe Feldenkrais, somatic education can make what’s impossible possible, what’s possible easy, and what’s already easy beautiful.

Training of Horses

Psychological Well-Being

 

Each horse is an individual; the horse’s mental wellbeing must always be considered when designing both long-term and short-term training plans.  Horses must be kept interested and their work must be well thought out but varied. Overtaxing a horse physically will have obvious repercussions on their mental state.  With knowledge, patience and empathy, horses can reach the highest levels and still display obvious pleasure in their work.

 

Looking after a horse's psychological well-being does not mean that they are exempt from work. Riders always need to ask their horses for more in order to progress. Thinking riders combine technique and feeling to keep their horses in front of the aids and light as well as willing to please. Dave insists that his riders need to be consequent with their aids, otherwise horses can not be expected to perform well.  One must act in accord with their nature to ensure their well-being; it is in their nature to operate within the heirarchy of the herd.

 

Due to horses' natural instincts to flee before fighting, they remain highly aware of the emotions and even the energy fields of those around them.  Riders must take charge of their own worries, monitor their breathing patterns and instill confidence in their horses.  

Classical Training Scale

Main Goal: Throughness

 

Riders should always use this scale as a guide. One must ensure above all that the horse maintain Rhythm and Suppleness throughout its work, which will almost automatically create correct contact.  (Over the back into a receiving contact). This scale is valid for both immediate and long-term training goals. One must use some common sense when using this scale.  Just because Straightening does not officially occur until step 5 does not mean that we allow our horses to be crooked; this would cause the horse to be out of balance and therefore not be able to acheive Rhythm, Suppleness, etc. With patience and logical training, most horses can develop the musculature  and understanding for the highest  levels.  Collection is not the main goal; rather it is ‘Throughness’, a state when your horse accepts and lightly responds to the aids applied in combination or letting through of the aids. Following this scale all the way to collection is the method to acheive Throughness.

 

German classical training scale

  1. Rhythm (which implies Relaxation/Regularity/balance)

  2. Suppleness (lateral and longitudinal as well as mental state)

  3. Contact (horse working over the back, back-to-front, seeking contact)

  4. Impulsion (propulsive power of hind legs via stored energy)

  5. Straightening of the horse's spine (correcting “stiff and hollow sides” using shoulder-fore and in-position, horses truly equally balanced, straightened and suppled on both sided of body)

  6. Collection

Jumping /Eventing

Dave is a Level III Jumping Trainer

 

For dressage riders:

Dave feels that dressage riders can benefit from a well-rounded training program that includes jumping.  Jumping and Cavaletti work provide physical and mental benefits for both horse and rider. 

 

For show jumpers and eventers:

Dave also takes on students who wish to excel in show-jumping and eventing.  He is very technical and demands that jumping be done in the classical way: aiming for perfect style from rider and horse. In Germany, Dave completed his trainer education under former National Eventing Team Trainer Martin Plewa.

He also rode with Show-jumping team rider Bernd Schulz-Tophoff.  

 

He himself has enjoyed success competing  in show-jumping, hunter/equitation and eventing competitions throughout the world.  In January 2004, the international judging panel of the FEI-recognized (AIEC) catch-riding Nations' Cup held in Dwingeloo, Holland, awarded Dave the rarely seen mark of 8.7/10 for rider's style in the 'Style-Jumper' class.  For 8 years in Canada, Dave trained with Diane Dubuc (student of George Morris). Diane Dubuc’s most successful student is Eric Lamaze, Individual Gold in China.

 

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