Centered Riding Offers Instructor Diversity Scholarship

Centered Riding® Inc. is proud to announce the launch of a Centered Riding Instructor Diversity Scholarship for 2021, sponsored by Susan E. Harris, a Senior Centered Riding Level IV Clinician, and Secretary of the CR Board of Trustees.

The goal of the Centered Riding Diversity Scholarship is to create more robust opportunities for riding instructors who are Black, Indigenous and/or Persons of Color to train and certify as Centered Riding Instructors. These groups of people are significantly under-represented in equestrian sport and in the horse industry.

“The new Centered Riding Diversity Scholarship truly reflects the values of Centered Riding founder Sally Swift, who passed away in 2009. Sally was a visionary who practiced inclusion and embraced diversity in all aspects of her life and work,” said Peggy Brown, President of the Centered Riding Board of Trustees, and a Centered Riding Level IV Clinician. “In the 1980s, during Centered Riding’s early growth and development, Sally selected two Black women, Saundra Code Cabell and Ruth Labbe, to be her apprentices, and thus join the first cadre of qualified CR Instructors.”

Sally Swift. Photo via Centered Riding website.

The Centered Riding Diversity Scholarship will provide up to $1,500 to cover the instructor’s clinic fees for the initial qualifying two- or three-day Open Centered Riding Clinic and for the seven-day Centered Riding Instructor Certification Course. In 2021, the Centered Riding Instructor Diversity Scholarship will be awarded to a U.S.-based riding instructor who is Black, Indigenous and/or a Person of Color. The riding instructor may be a practitioner in any equestrian discipline.

“I am very pleased to be the sponsor of the 2021 Centered Riding Diversity Scholarship – the first-ever of its kind,” said Susan Harris, who has sponsored the Scholarship. “People who are Black, Indigenous and/or Persons of Color have long been under-represented in the equestrian world. I hope this scholarship will help empower them to advance in education and training, professional development and recognition in the horse industry, and to teach others.

“My hope, too, is that the Centered Riding Diversity Scholarship will continue in future years, beyond 2021, and that it will be available in other countries, as well as in the United States,” Harris added.

To apply for the Centered Riding 2021 Diversity Scholarship, individuals must meet requirements for the Centered Riding Instructor Course in the United States, and for the Scholarship, as follows:

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • be from North America;
  • be Black, Indigenous and/or a Person of Color;
  • be a safe, experienced riding instructor (in any equestrian discipline);
  • be able to ride a horse at the walk, trot and canter in a group; and
  • read and accept the terms of the Centered Riding Instructor Course.

Preference will be given to candidates who will use their Centered Riding training and qualifications to introduce to horses and equestrian sport riders who are Black, Indigenous and/or Persons of Color, and/or to support such riders in advancing in equestrian sport and in the horse industry.

Interested persons may download the 2021 CR Diversity Scholarship information package and application form, which can be found on the Centered Riding website here.

Applicants may send their completed applications to:

Centered Riding Instructor Diversity Scholarship

c/o Centered Riding Inc.

One Regency Drive

PO Box 30

Bloomfield, CT 06002

The Centered Riding Office must receive Scholarship applications by November 1, 2020. The Scholarship recipient will be notified during the first week of January 2021.

Please feel free to share this Centered Riding Diversity Scholarship information with any riding instructors you know who are Black, Indigenous and/or Persons of Color, and with any organizations that support them and/or of which they are members.

Anyone who wishes to support the Centered Riding Instructor Diversity Scholarship Fund may make a donation via the Centered Riding website, or by contacting the Centered Riding Office at  Centered Riding Inc. is a 501 c-3 non-profit organization; donations are tax deductible in the U.S.A.  For additional information, please contact Marie Westlake, Executive Director: or +1 (860) 243-9501.

About Centered Riding

Centered Riding founder, Sally Swift, developed the principals of Centered Riding (Breathing, Soft Eyes, Centering, Building Blocks, and Grounding), using functional anatomy, imagery, horse and rider biomechanics, and elements from the martial arts as tools to improve the balance and effectiveness of the rider. Some would say she was ahead of her time.  Sally Swift’s books, Centered Riding and Centered Riding II: Further Explorations, have been international bestsellers in many languages.  Today, Centered Riding lessons, clinics, and Instructor Certification Courses are taught worldwide by Certified Centered Riding Instructors and Clinicians, who can help you along the journey that Sally Swift started over 30 years ago. All disciplines, seats and styles of horsemanship, levels of experience, and riding interests are welcome. For more information, click here.