Founder of Centered Riding® Inc.
Sally Swift was born in 1913 and grew up in Hingham, Massachusetts, just south of Boston. At eight years
old a scoliosis appeared which has been part of her life ever since. After the diagnosis and into her
twenties, she worked with Mabel Elsworth Todd, author of The Thinking Body. So Sally's body awareness and
centering started at an early age.
Graduating from school, she taught riding for the next twelve years before moving on into other fields.
Retiring from the American Holstein Association at 62, she planned to teach riding again "to a few
of my friends". This was the beginning of Centered Riding®. As she developed her techniques and the
four basics of Centered Riding®, the demand for Centered Riding® clinics and Instructor clinics blossomed
and soon her teaching activities were taking her all over the United States as well as to Canada, Australia
Sally has now semi-retired but still teaches a few clinics close to home at Lucile Bump's Southmowing Stables
in Brattleboro, Vermont, works annually with her Level IV instructors and gives talks at a few trade shows.
She is using her experience in "centering" and "use of self" techniques in new areas
such as singers and physical therapists as they help their clients.
Judy Cross-Strehlke will be assisting Sally at her open clinics at Southmowing Stables in Brattleboro,
Vermont. Judy is apprenticing for her level IV advanced instructor. Her book Centered Riding® was
published in 1985 and is now available in four languages. Sally is currently working on her second book.
She has also produced a two part Centered Riding® video. Her book and videos are available in many
tack shops or can be ordered from:
PO Box 57
N. Pomfret, Vermont 05053
In the last eighteen years, Sally has been working with the Alexander Technique which has enabled her to
discard the back brace she had worn for ten years. The Alexander Technique is a method of re-educating
the mind and body towards greater balance and integration with special reference to posture and movement.
The Technique has not changed any of her basic added significantly to the depth and subtlety of her teaching.
Over the past twelve years, Sally has developed an instructor program which is now taught by the Level IV
Instructors who either apprenticed directly with Sally (1986 - 1991) or with at least two Level IV instructors.
See the Instructors' Page for more information about Centered Riding® Instructors and how to become one".
Sally Swift and Judith L. Cross-Strehlke
To Book A Centered Riding Clinic:
Click on the logo:
186 Garland Line Road
Dover-Foxcroft, Maine 04426
Tel: (207) 564-3451
Centered Riding® Instructor Levels
It takes more than reading the book, taking a few lessons or auditing a clinic to become a Centered Riding®
Instructor. The Centered Riding® instructor levels were designed to set a standard for teaching and
to provide the public with competent, consistent instruction as well as to carry on the philosophy and
ideals of Centered Riding® as it was intended by its founder Sally Swift.
Centered Riding®, Inc. is not, however a certifying body and does not examine instructors at the
introductory level. Sally Swift's desire, to have as many instructors as possible be aware of
Centered Riding® concepts and employ the techniques in their teaching, is the key principle and
intent of Level I. Centered Riding®, Inc.'s, goal is to educate instructors in the use of
Centered Riding® techniques rather than judge their performance, and to assist them in gaining
Therefore, it is the responsibility of the student to evaluate whether an individual
instructor meets their needs and goals. Centered Riding®, Inc. is fortunate to have a wide variety
of excellent and well qualified instructors at all levels and in all disciplines, some
of whom are national and international judges, competitors and clinicians in their own right.
Progression through the Centered Riding® Instructor Levels reveals a commitment by the individual
instructor to the ideals and principles of Centered Riding®. To advance requires an application from
the instructor and a vote by the Board of Trustees of Centered Riding®, Inc.
In order to upgrade, the instructor needs to demonstrate his/her knowledge and understanding of
Centered Riding® techniques, the philosophy behind the techniques, the foundations of
Centered Riding® in his/her own personal experience and his/her ability to communicate this information.
Therefore, advancement indicates the instructor's ability to employ a more in-depth understanding
of Centered Riding® techniques in his/her teaching regardless of the discipline, whether it
be Western, Dressage, Jumping, Endurance, etc. because he/she understands the foundations of the work.
At the more advanced levels, the Centered Riding® Instructor is not only capable of applying
the techniques to individuals but is also able to impart this information in a clinic setting and
finally to educate instructors in the use of Centered Riding®.
For a copy of Centered Riding®, Inc., Policies and Procedures please contact the office.
Centered Riding®, Inc., recognizes the following Instructor standings:
Instructor Level I:
The Level I Centered Riding® Instructor is a riding instructor who has successfully completed a
two-part Centered Riding® Instructor Course as a Participating Instructor. The Level I Instructors
may teach Centered Riding® as it applies to their own specialty area and state that they teach
Centered Riding® Level I. Level I Instructors may not use the Centered Riding® logo or teach or
advertise that they teach Centered Riding® Clinics.
Instructor Level II
Intermediate CR® Instructor:
The Level II Centered Riding® Instructor is an active riding instructor who has further experience in
applying Centered Riding® principles to his/her own riding, teaching and use of self and has fulfilled
the Level II requirements. Level II Centered Riding® Instructors may teach and state they teach Intermediate
Centered Riding® at Level II use the Centered Riding® logo, give Centered Riding® demonstrations
and lectures. Level II Centered Riding® Instructors may not teach or advertise that they teach
Centered Riding® Open, Instructor, or Alumni Clinics.
Instructor Level III
The Level III Centered Riding® Instructor who, through further growth and development has a greater
understanding of centering and the mind-body connection, has fulfilled the Level III requirements and has
the necessary experience and training to teach clinics. Level III Centered Riding® Instructors may
teach and advertise that they teach Centered Riding® and/or Centered Riding® Techniques in their
disciplines, teach Open Centered Riding® Clinics use the Centered Riding® logo in advertising,
including advertising Centered Riding® Open Clinics, advertise that they are available for lectures
and demonstrations in Centered Riding® techniques and have their Centered Riding® Clinics listed
in Centered Riding® News and Clinic Schedule. Level III Centered Riding® Instructor may not teach
or advertise that they teach Advanced Centered Riding®, Instructor or Alumni Clinics nor take apprentices
in Centered Riding®.
Instructor Level IV
Advanced/Senior CR® Instructor:
The Level IV Centered Riding® Instructor is one who has completed an apprenticeship either with a
Senior Instructor (denoted by the title Advanced) or Sally Swift (denoted by the title Senior) and fulfilled
the Level IV requirements. These Instructors have completed an intensive training and have an in depth
understanding of the work. They train up-coming instructors. Level IV Centered Riding® Instructor may
Teach and advertise that they teach Centered Riding® at all levels, including Advanced Centered Riding®
and Centered Riding® Clinics, use the Centered Riding® logo in advertising, have their clinic schedule
listed in Centered Riding® News and the current Centered Riding® Clinic Schedules and included in
Centered Riding®, Inc.'s, mailings and publicity. They may also take Level III CR Instructors as apprentices.
Centered Riding®, Inc., describes the different levels of Centered Riding® Instructors, how to
attain each level and what the privileges are at each level in Policies and Procedures.
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