The Ride With Your Mind approach. The Ride With Your Mind approach has been pioneered over the last 25 years by Mary Wanless, BSc. BHSI. By studying and using knowledge gained from physics, psychology, martial arts, dance, anatomy, among others. Mary Wanless has evolved an understanding of the physical and psychological relationships between the horse and rider. This has led to a unique and extraordinarily effective method of teaching and learning.
How to organise your mind and body.
The RWYM approach shows any rider how to organise her mind and body in the same way as the riders we might call ‘talented’. The skills of riding are communicated step-by-step in bite-size chunks. The techniques used in teaching are very streamlined. We increase the rider’s body awareness, muscle tone, and use images that help the rider to understand both what to do and how to do it. Through this approach incredible improvements can be obtained in a very short time, defying traditional expectations.
Joy of learning.
The RWYM network of riding coaches enable riders to experience the joy of learning within a supportive environment which is exploratory, holistic and non-judgmental. We encourage people to develop their own awareness and discover for themselves what really works. We promote the classical principles of riding, ensuring that horses are ridden with empathy and clarity, and within an overall philosophy, which acts for the good of the horse.
Clinics with Elaine Butler.
Elaine Butler has been working with Mary Wanless since 2000 and is a certified coach of the Ride With Your Mind method. She works as a freelance trainer as part of the RWYM Network, working with riders and horses of any age or experience. Clinics are available on a regular basis through the summer in England, as well as at several venues throughout UK and Europe, and others on demand.
ABOUT ELAINE BUTLER.
Elaine was born in Bournemouth in the South of England. After school she studied languages and left the UK to make a career in sales and marketing with Reuters in Germany and later for a UK software company. In 2000, after twenty years in this high-profile career she made a voluntary decision to leave her job and follow a childhood dream: to work with horses. Although she had been pony-mad and ridden a few times as a child there had been no opportunity to follow it through, sadly.
This journey was re-started in 1988 when she learned to ride again in Germany. Her first horse called Garfield, was purchased in 1990.
Garfield, then 6 years old, had been chosen for Elaine by her riding instructor. However he proved to be a highly-strung and sensitive animal, and had suffered some traumatic experiences in his previous home. Elaine was determined to help this horse lead a normal life, and in the course of this journey she made several explorations into holistic health therapies, saddle-fitting, natural horsemanship etc.
The first issue that arose however was that the horse was unhappy to be mounted and regularly reared up, throwing his rider. Being over-sensitive in the mouth, in his back and over-reacting to any contact with the rider’s leg, he also tended to accelerate and decelerate extremely quickly and unpredictably. Elaine very quickly came to the realisation that her riding skills, which had been rather good on calm riding school horses, were severely inadequate when it came to a performance horse with these tendencies! Her childhood dream of owning a horse and living happily ever after soon became a nightmare where on some days she was too scared to ride her horse.
In particular her balance was challenged, and no matter how hard she tried, she could not find out how to sit quietly in all paces so that she would not upset the horse. To her immense frustration Elaine’s riding instructor was totally unable to offer any good advice! He could control her horse in most respects but was unable to show her or explain to her how he did so. Everyone at the Riding Club told her the horse was un-rideable, dangerous and far too difficult for her. She was advised to sell the horse and buy an older, easier one. However, she refused to give up on her horse of a lifetime. She knew that most of the serious problems could be solved by improving her inadequate riding.
It was through this situation that she went off independently in search of other teachers, so that she might learn how to control her body, balance and aids and gain a happier horse. The method that “saved the day” was Ride With Your Mind; the teacher: Mary Wanless.
The horse and rider went on to develop a wonderful partnership in every respect, competed at dressage and took part in many other events including Riding to Music displays. The horse is still fit and well, now 25 years old and still ridden regularly!
Elaine has also competed at show jumping and one-day eventing but due to injury concentrates on dressage and teaching now. She has three horses at her own yard that are also available for riding lessons.
She teaches Ridden Clinics regularly in the home counties of England, and also at several locations throughout Europe, including France, Germany, Austria, Poland and Norway.
Every year she works with 2-3 other “rescued” horses who have been traumatised or have other problems. These are then re-homed with suitably experienced people when they are happy to be normal riding horses. Ex-racehorses are her speciality. For the past four years since starting this scheme, she has achieved a 100% success rate.
Elaine loves seeing both horses and riders improve and watching all the misunderstandings “magically” disappear. She aims to make learning an interesting, inspiring and fun experience for everyone. She works with everyone from complete beginner to Grand Prix level.