Centered Riding Clinic – November 23-25

Class size is limited to 12 people!   

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Centered Riding Clinic Paypal button  $375

Horse Information

Karen Irland will be teaching this clinic with help from our good friend Rox Hicks.

The clinic will be a combination of classes on the ground and in the saddle.   The saddle sessions are designed for a maximum number of 4 people so that people can receive individual attention and one-on-one feedback.

After we receive your registration, we will send more information about the schedule and any materials you will need for the class.

Where:  OutWest Stallion Station, Scottsdale, AZ

Cost for the clinic:  $375, includes lunch each day.

Auditors are welcome too for one day or all 3 days.    $35 per day, collected at the door.


Some Marchador Horses are Available for your use in the clinic on a first-come, first serve basis.  Additional fees may apply.



If you are bringing your own horse, stabling is available there for an additional fee.

Questions??- email or text or 602-999-3915.


Karen’s Biography

       “I have been riding, training and showing horses for 45 years.  Hunters, eventing and dressage are my background and learning is my passion.  It was my good fortune to study with many classically trained teachers – Chuck Grant, Vi Hopkins, Robert Hutton, & Col. Lindgren among others. From them, I learned the important basics of training and riding horses in many disciplines. The how and why of the classical gymnastic training of horses was the common theme from all my teachers.

     Then in 1986 I met Sally Swift, author of ‘Centered Riding®,’ the first teacher to talk about the ‘HOW’ behind the ‘WHAT’ to do on a horse. Sally was truly the Yoda of riding – sharing her unique ways to get through to riders and make amazing changes – resulting in happy and correct horses. She taught me how to apply my classical training to my riding – with lightness and less effort. I was able to study extensively with Sally for over 14 years and her joy and light spirit are always with me.  

   My next important teacher has been Tom Nagel, author of “Zen and Horseback Riding.” Tom’s discovery of the real core muscles, the psoas, is truly the ‘Missing Link’ for riders. Riding and teaching with Tom’s techniques, combined with Centered Riding, has been truly effective for me and my students. Awareness of both methods gives riders real balance and stability in the saddle – resulting in that elusive effortless harmony in our riding. Tom and I have been co-teaching the Riders Seat Combo clinics since 2006.

   My teaching perspective is a melting pot of my initial classical theory and practice, with Sally Swift’s emphasis on the rider and ‘less is more,’ philosophy, and Tom Nagel’s core muscle work. I have been very lucky to learn from so many gifted teachers and I really enjoy sharing this knowledge with riders of all disciplines. Seeing effortless looking riders and relaxed, happy horses is the resulting gift! 

More about Centered Riding

Centered Riding is based on a knowledge of human and horse anatomy, balance, movement, and on understanding how the mind affects the body and how both affect the horse. It uses centering and grounding techniques from the oriental martial arts, along with body awareness, mental imagery and sports psychology. 

The Four Basics of Centered Riding, as expressed by Sally Swift, are:

  • Soft Eyes – Encourage visual and physical awareness, better peripheral vision, and improved “feel.” 
  • Breathing – Using the diaphragm and breathing correctly for better posture, relaxation, and energy. 
  • Balance or Building Blocks – Aligns the riders body for improved balance, straightness, and ease of movement. 
  • Centering – Using the center of balance, movement and control, located deep in the body, gives quiet strength, harmony and power, as in the oriental martial arts

Centered Riding teaches you how to help your body do what you need to do in order to ride well. Centered Riding techniques help promote suppleness, stability, and clearer aids, making riding more comfortable for both horse and rider. As you learn and experience the principles through your horse’s motion and responses, you and your horse tune in to each other and work together in harmony. These techniques can increase confidence and enjoyment and release tension in horses and riders, making training easier. They also help people cope with old injuries or chronic conditions that cause pain during or after riding.