Noël has a particular interest in horse riding and has worked over the years with many riders up to and including Prix St George. He was trained in the use of hands in conjunction with saddle work by a protege of FM Alexander as well as expert dressage riders.
Almost without exception, riders who have Alexander Technique lessons find their riding ability improves and troubles such as neck, shoulder or back pain and stiffness can simply disappear as we unlearn postural bad habits. Not only does the rider feel more comfortable, but with skilled and gentle hands-on Alexander work while the ‘pupil’ is seated in the saddle, improvements and refinements are made to the rider’s overall balance, co-ordination and use of themselves so they can be more sensitive to the horse and communicate more effectively. As most riders know, their ‘use’ and posture is mirrored in the horse and if we wish to straighten or improve the horse’s movements, we must first improve our own poise and co-ordination; if we are hollowing or stiffening our back when riding, so will our horse.
With skilled hands-on guidance from a qualified Alexander Technique teacher, the rider unlearns poor postural habits that interfere with her own ‘use’ and riding ability. She will experience a much freer neck, her back will lengthen and widen providing strong yet supple support; her back muscles will be energised and toned so she can both respond to the horse while also conveying her wishes. The ribs too are released for full and easy breathing without any sense of effort. Her hips become released and her legs hang more freely improving the depth of ‘seat’ and communication with the horse. Her feet will face forwards without twisting or jamming the knee which are common problems. The rider’s arms, wrists and hands become more sensitive and free as a consequence of the better working of her back and consequently she can both feel the horse’s mouth more profoundly as well as respond to and communicate her wishes. The rider gets a new experience of free expansive poise with a toned integration throughout her body.
Noël works with riders in his London practice and particularly in Beaminster, Dorset.