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Joni Bentley's unique expertise is a direct result of being a qualified practitioner not only of the Alexander Technique but also of Classical dressage, stress management and functional medicine. It is a rare person who can combine all these areas in order to reveal a new and much needed holistic dimension in the training of horse and rider. In "Riding Success Without Stress", the author demonstrates with clarity and perception how incorrect habits and negativity can be eradicated at source and replaced with calmness, straightness and grace by the application of the Alexander Technique and the Classical school. This book demonstrates how the Alexander Technique training programme ensures that, by optimising the use of your own mind and body, you can optimise the use of your horse and ride to success completely without stress. This ground-breaking and revolutionary book provides invaluable and thought-provoking information for the benefit of all riders and their horses.
Joni Bentley's diverse fields of expertise include the Alexander Technique, classical dressage, BHS qualifications, stress management, functional medicine and singing. Her original chosen singing career began with the lead role in the rock musical 'Hair' at the age of 17. West End musicals were followed by the opera, where she excelled as a natural until more serious training began bringing with it more serious problems: dry technical repetition with no room for self expression strangled her natural gift and joy of singing. After four years, undiagnosed throat problems ended her career. Devastated, she turned her love of horses and qualified as a BHSAI. While training for her BHSII, problems cropped up again in a new form, her body refused to do what her instructors expected of it. Alexander lessons revealed the root of her problem. She had intense anxiety linked with learning instilled in her during her opera training at the music academy. The dry repetitive exercises, the constant warnings of the danger to her throat if her practice was not technically perfect had killed her natural confidence. Four years later, fearful of opening her mouth in case she might make a mistake, the joy of singing had been lost and with it her voice. Alexander technique lessons taught her to drop the ideal and enjoy the journey and discovery of learning. After three years full time training at Fellside Alexander school in Cumbria, her confidence and voice restored, she graduated in 1993 and joined the Alexander Technique International governing body. Her own experience of problems, combined with equestrian and Alexander knowledge, has enabled Joni to develop a complete holistic training system for both horse and rider. Dry mechanical training is cast aside for an artistry that embraces the spirit and joy of learning and performance. She teaches at all levels numbering Grand Prix riders, FBHSs and BHSIs among her pupils.