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As riders, we all have things that hold us back. Often there are little patterns of movement or areas of tension that make use feel as though we can’t find our balance, like we need to constantly grip the saddle, or that we just can’t get “in sync” with the horse’s movement.

Wendy Murdoch is an international riding instructor and clinician and is known for her ability to help rider’s find ease, comfort, and balance in the saddle.

Wendy’s background in horse and human anatomy as well as her training in the Feldenkrais method has given her a unique set of skills for teaching riding.

In this interview, Wendy shares her story about a severe riding accident that happened in her 20s and her journey of working to regain full movement and use of her body. Wendy also explains how her unique method of teaching riding helps people find new ways of moving with less tension or feeling they need to “hang on”.


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24 Responses

  1. What a great interview with Wendy! it was nice to hear her background and also to hear her personal story, which led her to Feldenkrais and other information to help her heal and to help her teach all of us. I have had the pleasure of attending one of her clinic’s and watching her use all of the tools in her toolbox to help us improve our riding and to help us to “feel” that new and improved technique.
    You and Wendy (and Angelo, and I’m sure others) are inspirational as teachers and riders, as you are always seeking to find new ways and words to help us understand a better way to ride and to help us to become better riders. Of course, this helps the horse as well.
    Thank you, Thank you!
    I look forward to hearing more about Wendy’s course in 2017.
    Nancy B

  2. Well done! From a person who is not a rider there is a lot to learn in Wendy’s approach to finding solutions to problems. Thanks to you Callie for allowing us to learn as you learn.

  3. Wendy’s interview really resonated with me on many different levels. Illusions is one of my all time favorite books and TTouch has been a recent positive influence in my life. I also have an interest in biomechanics of the horse and rider that I haven’t figured out where to take it. Riding better to help eliminate fear has been something I’ve personally worked hard at during the past 4 years.
    I”m looking forward to hearing more about Wendy and her course!

  4. Dear Callie thank you for anther great video, I take my hat off to Wendy as it takes a lot of courage to get back after suck a nasty accident.
    Regards Adrian

  5. I agree with The Mrs.! “Thanks to you Callie for allowing us to learn as you learn.” (It was martial arts years ago, but I learned so much when I taught. I hope one day to be able to teaching riding lessons.)
    I so agree, the greatest teachers are the ones who are able to recognize that everyone learns a little differently and are able to teach the same concept in more than one way. That’s why I enjoy learning from Wendy, Callie and Angelo. All of you are so knowledgable and creative in your teaching methods. Well done.

  6. I was so excited to hear about Wendy’s approach to riding and the science behind it. What really hit me was hearing your approach to teaching. I worked at a show barn for 6years, felt like I progessed as a horseman, but watched several people hired to ride because my boss felt my foundation was poor and I couldn’t be taught. Ouch. That was 10 years ago, I am now over 50. I still so greatly desire to ride better that I am in tears as I write this. You ladies give me hope. Thanks

    1. Thank you for your comment Catherine! I have another instructor who has always said that when the student does not learn it is the fault of the teacher, not the student. Wendy said basically the same thing in this interview! You can absolutely learn, you probably were just being taught in a way that was not congruent with your learning style!

  7. Hi to Wendy and Callie,
    Interesting comment on the blue feather. I found a blue jay feather on the floor in my office today. I have no idea how it came to be there but I guess it was a prelude to watching this video. I have returned to horses and riding after a gap of about 25 years. It’s wonderful to see the quality communications and training on-line CRK Training is making available to riders. It’s wonderful to also see the innovation in horse training and behavior happening now. This is a comprehensive website for people who may have limited resources for training and motivation to be the best rider they can. Everybody approaches situations differently and Wendy’s story shows a persistent desire to be with horses and be safe. Thanks for thinking outside the box. I practice hatha yoga and swim routinely for fun and I know it helps me be a better rider. Cheers!

    1. What a neat coincidence with the feather! I love when things like that happen! And thank you, glad you are enjoying the site!

  8. Callie,

    Loved the interview, and learning new ways to look at things. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and guests with us.


  9. This interview was interesting for me especially as Wendy had been injured and was able to regain confidence to ride again. I’m in recovery at the moment after a left hip replacement and have been researching articles related to getting back on my horse with confidence as a fall off my horse in any way would probably be the end of my riding for life. I’m 58 and fit and willing but need a shot of confidence to move forward and get back in the saddle. So thank you Wendy and Callie, I look forward to hearing the rest of the course.

    1. Nicky, I hope you’ll sign up for this free series as I think you would very much enjoy the free online riding workshop we are sharing now with Wendy!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

    2. Hi Nicky,
      I have had both hips replaced and still ride. I’ve also fallen off a couple times and did not hurt my hips. If you’re afraid of falling off, your horse may feel your anxiety, so try not to worry about it! It probably won’t be the end of your riding. Think of that metal hip as stronger than your natural hip!

  10. Thanks, Callie, for providing this interview. This is my first time commenting directly but I felt so compelled by the content and subject matter covered that I had to put in a penny’s worth. I have returned to learn proper horsemanship and H/J riding technique after a 20 year gap after a bad throw. Wendy’s comments about balance, gravity and learning style are so on-point as to where I am in my learning thought processes, at this moment in time. These are exactly the issues with which I struggle during my riding training. I find that much of what I am taught just doesn’t seem to “compute”, leaving me unable to visualize the solution my instructor is trying to get me to see. She works so hard to try to get things into my head but I keep bucking the ideas off. Finally, she got me to keep my head and chin up just by training my eyes on the uppermost panels of the arena walls or the overhead lights. That was an epiphany all it’s own. Now; if I can just keep that lower leg quiet during post and 2-point. Anyway; this was really good. Try and get Wendy back for some more!

  11. Wendy is terrific! It’s not easy for me to listen to people. Oftentimes I get bored pretty quickly. But Wendy kept me engaged the whole time, from her personal story to a glimpse into her teaching techniques and ideas — I was glued, and a bit disappointed this was such a short video! I’m going to keep my eyes open for her. Thanks for this!

    1. I’ve been listening to Wendy teach for years and I can honestly say I don’t get tired of it! 🙂

      -Julia, CRK Training Community Manager

  12. Hi Wendy: excellent talk. Last fall I had two major accidents (not horse related) and I am struggling with the thought of how to start riding in the spring. I have broken too many ribs in the last year to even imagine going off my little Connemara mare (13’3″) I am currently just working on getting my strength back. The desire is there but also a bit of apprehension. and that of course brings tension.
    must be an old person thing 🙁

    1. Hi Bette, it is totally normal to have these kinds of feelings after an accident. Take your time, walk as much as you need to find your confidence back.

      -Julia, CRK Training Community Manager

  13. I do believe teaching is the key. If you can explain something in a way that makes sense to to another person, then the understanding”clicks” in. Coincidentally I also am an UNH graduate in Animal Science, 1973, who also went on to further studies in science, Nursing. In my 35 year Nursing career, I did tons of teaching. Simply, if a patient better understands his or her medical/surgical situation, then generally there is better follow through and better healing. I also love horses, riding, driving, anything and have have several awful accidents and constantly am challenged by my 68 year old body to continue my horse passion. I am very open to new ideas. Thank you! Sandy S

  14. Everyone who watches this interview will know why Wendy is such an innovative, all around equine hero. She can improve any rider (I have seen her do it more than once!) and the horses benefit from that. It improves the relationship between rider and horse.

    1. We agree – there is nothing out there like the ‘wonders of Wendy’!

      -Julia, CRK Training Community Manager

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