Pilates for Horses

I have ridden since the age of 7 and generally have a very keen interest in horses. It was always my dream whilst at school to work with horses, however at the time, like with a lot of life money is essential and regrettably I never did fulfill my dream – until now (aged 44)!!!!

Since I trained in Pilates 2009 I’ve been privileged to help assist people in their everyday lives, through pregnancy, and sports rehabilitation. Recently I was asked by Moulton College Equestrian Horse Management Centre to run a few classes for their students

This opportunity has been a real inspiration not only can I utilise my current qualifications but I finally get to work with horses!

Posture really is everything if you can’t retain good posture standing on the floor how can you achieve this on the horse? You could even be giving your horse a bad back!

I’m already working with private yards in small groups helping riders achieve better posture and balance. Firstly I do an assessment on the horse and relate any issues from tight or weak muscles on the ground on a mat.

At the moment this is still quite a new area for the Pilates world and courses are few and far between, I am however, booked on a course in 2014 which is great – so watch this space.

Any other questions please call me 07305 091041

Quote from ‘Pilates for Riders’ book;

Laura Bechtolsheimer, International Grand Prix dressage Rider

I have been doing Pilates for over three years now and I starting to feel the effects and benefits more and more. Although I have been riding internationally at Grand Prix level for five years now, my biggest successes came in 2009. I believe this strongly correlates with the level of Pilates I reached. Training hard with horses is all very well but if you are limited physically in strength or movement,there is only so much you can do (If a horse is not worked through and supple,it cannot perform the movements. It is the same for us: the more supple and strong we are in the core,the better we can perform) The longer I have been doing Pilates,the stronger my seat has become,which has enabled my hands to become completely independent of my seat.

Using Pilates exercises tailored for riding allows you to learn to switch on the ‘right’ muscles and turn off the ‘wrong’ ones, and to be aware of which you want to use. This has helped me to ride more on my big,strong horses without any backache or side effects. I also have more control over my body in the more difficult movements,so I can help my horses with their balance rather than hindering them. Being able to move and use different muscles independently,such as my right leg in a change or pirouette,whilst my waist and upper body remain strong and stable, gives mean edge. Being able to rotate my upper body a fraction more to the inside,whilst the rest of me stays balanced and square enables me to aid my horse more effectively in a canter pirouette or trot half pass,because my body-weight goes with the horse, yet my core is strong and my pelvis supple enough to absorb the horses movement without rocking meat all.

Pilates is very satisfying; you can progress and feel the benefits very quickly. The longer you do it, the more you gain from it; you don’t just reach a level and that’s it. The progress is ongoing,so enjoy!

Pilates for Riders