On April 20, the Centered Riding community will celebrate the life and accomplishments of Sally Swift (1913-2009), founder of Centered Riding and a long-time resident of Brattleboro, Vt. At the celebration of the centenary of her birth, instructors and students of her trail-blazing approach to riding will gather at the Putney Inn to honor her.
“Sally was a great mentor, teacher and friend to so many who share her passion for helping riders achieve harmony with their horses,” said Gail Field, of Center Moriches, N.Y., Level IV CR instructor and a co-organizer of the celebration. “She changed many lives through her innovative teaching.”
Swift developed her ideas over her lifetime, but they really began to coalesce in the 1970s, after she retired. In 1985, she published her landmark book, Centered Riding, which is an international equestrian bestseller, translated into 16 languages. In 2002, she published Centered Riding 2 – Further Exploration, which is just as successful. Today, Centered Riding Inc. is an international, non-profit, educational organization that has close to 1,100 members world-wide.
“As a teacher and as a person, Sally was humble and gifted. She made her students feel like family. At this weekend’s gathering of more than two dozen clinicians, instructors, students and friends from far and wide, we will remember her, exchange ideas about Centered Riding and build momentum for the work ahead in sharing Centered Riding principles with the world,” said Sally Haney, of Keene, N.H., Senior Level IV CR instructor and co-organizer of the celebration.
The celebration will begin with a meet-and-greet on Friday evening, April 19. On Saturday, participants will share memories of Swift and her teaching, explore team-building exercises to strengthen Swift’s legacy, and continue to network and share. An all-level clinic will be held from April 21-24, at Lucile Bump’s Southmowing Stables in Guilford, Vt., the stable that served as Swift’s home base throughout her later years.
Swift died in Brattleboro on May 9, 2009, just shy of her 96th birthday. For more information on Centered Riding, visit the website at www.centeredriding.org.