Karen told me that previously when learning to master cantering she would quickly get tense, gripping the reins even harder, quickly losing her awareness of her own body, her relationship with the horse, her posture would slip away from alignment with her horse's, then basically she would just hope for the best. From my lessons she has now improved in her own awareness and ability to self-correct her misalignment, posture, better able to hear and dissipate her own tension from different parts of her body, and generally be more calm and synchronized. The benefit of the Master's loosening exercises and approach to the set is that it trains us in doing all these things - AND MORE! - in a constantly moving/changing series of postures, as would be needed when harmoniously synchronizing with another the horse/or partner.
Full kudos to Karen, her trainer Jaimie and Tony for being open-minded and progressive enough to try Tai Chi as an aid to improve their riding ability. This is certainly a benefit I've never seen, heard, nor read about in any discussion about Tai Chi.
Authour - Lee Chang Tye