NEXT week sees the arrival in Herefordshire of Michele Morseth, the American advanced dressage rider, horse trainer, Feldenkrais practitioner and author.

She will be giving a series of clinics and workshops, including a Sit The Trot Clinic at Kings Equestrian Centre, Bromyard, from March 18-21, and at Kyre Equestrian Centre.

She will also be doing Feldenkrais workshops in Vowchurch for riders and non-riders and giving private riding lessons and clinics in Herefordshire and Dorset.

Helping her demonstrate will be 47- year-old Katherine Harberd, from Dorstone, and her Dutch Warmblood event horse Wahid Kizmet. Here, Katherine describes how Michele and the Feldenkrais method have transformed her riding.

HAS any instructor ever told you to sit straighter in the saddle, relax, not to keep moving your hands, stop gripping with your thighs or knees, use your body and seat to aid the horse, not to pull back on the reins, sit deeper in the saddle or open through the hip joints?

These are some of the keys to good riding but have you ever been told HOW to achieve this Nirvana?

I went to Oregon last November to get the answers from Michele Morseth, who uses movements, based on the work of Moshe Feldenkrais, to help a rider’s body discover efficient ways of functioning.

Do we ask a green horse to counter-canter without preparation?

No, we train him.

When he is ready, we canter him in a shallow loop until he finds himself counter-cantering.

Slowly he understands the concept and the aids and can repeat the manoeuvre.

We are not so kind or understanding in training ourselves.

Lie on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor and raise your right foot a millimetre while concentrating on your body.

Is there tension or movement in any part of a foot or knee, thigh, pelvis, ribcage, neck, head, arm or hand? Are you holding your breath?

Are you just raising your foot or are you also squeezing in your stomach, twisting your pelvis, pushing on your left foot?

When riding and using your right leg to give an aid, what are you doing with the rest of your body? Is it any wonder that your horse is confused?

Michele’s lessons train the body by using tiny repetitions, to work out a simpler way of moving. Frequent repetition fixes the efficiency in muscle memory. When you simplify your actions (and do not draw on unnecessary muscles for support) you can become a truly independent and effective rider.

Michele is an advanced dressage rider who understands how the tension in our bodies transfers to the horse and helps riders of all disciplines to re-educate their bodies for easier movement.

After working with Michele, my horse is happier. I am closer to giving him a single aid that he can understand and follow. He is no longer frustrated with trying to decipher the multiplicity of conflicting signals I was unconsciously imparting.

Luckily, Michele is coming to the UK – and to Herefordshire – to give clinics so I do not need to travel to Oregon for my next quantum leap in riding.