For many years I’ve been developing my passion.
I truly believe that Pilates is the perfect complementary kind of training for the riders.
Over the last 20 years, this passionate belief has led me to develop my Pilates teaching skills and also deepen my understanding of horse psychology and horsemanship.
Spending time in California with Monty Roberts and his incredible team was a real privilege, as well as continuing my studies and completing my training here in the UK.
I’ve written articles, presented workshops and worked with some of the most talented professional and amateur riders in the UK.
I understand fitting Pilates into a busy equestrians schedule can feel like a mammoth undertaking. However the Equestrian industry is increasingly recognising the benefits of Pilates for rider fitness and equine wellness.
It is now acknowledged that riding and rider fitness have a direct impact on equine function. The asymmetries and compensatory patterns of the rider affect the horses performance and over time lead to veterinary/equine osteopathy intervention.
Using Pilates to increase the capabilities of the rider can improve the performance of both partners as well as the partnership itself., potentially reducing the need for Equine medical call outs.
The Pilates Equestrian: How does Pilates help?
The simplest way to think of a riders influence on a horse is to consider the impact of carrying the rider. How does the distribution of their bodyweight affect the horse?
Have you ever carried a backpack with uneven straps or uneven weight in it?
Horses and humans spines function in the same way, both need flexion, extension, rotation and lateral flexion of the spine. By improving the riders proprioception and their own spinal movements, along with balance, alignment and stamina. They will be able to use their body to influence the movement of the horse in a clearer way.
Unbalanced distribution of the riders bodyweight in the saddle can make the use of aids harder to execute correctly and lead to confusion in the horse. The horse cannot determine what is aid being applied or simply incorrect balance and shifting of bodyweight. This can lead to frustration for both partners.
The rider thinks the horse is disobedient when the horse is actually doing exactly what the rider has unconsciously asked it to do.
The more supple, strong and balanced we are in our own bodies, the easier it is for us to be able to communicate our desired movement simply and effectively. Building a deeper bond both in and out of the saddle.
If you would like to book a class with Julie or host a workshop please contact us for more information
Horse and Rider
In this series of three articles Julie looks at the building blocks builds to provide the reader with a Pilates matwork routine aimed at improving your position, becoming more balanced in the saddle and ultimately moving in harmony with your horse.