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Pilates For Equestrians

Would you like to improve your riding?

Does your riding instructor give you the same correction every session?

Are you working towards a specific riding goal?

I’ve been teaching Pilates for over twenty years and I’ve seen and felt the changes it can make when practised regularly.

I know how hard it can be fitting Pilates into a busy equestrian schedule. It can feel like a mammoth undertaking. However Pilates is an accumulative skill so little and often is the best approach.

Three smaller sessions a week fitting around your commitments will make a big impact and the Equestrian industry is increasingly recognising the benefits of Pilates for rider fitness and equine wellness.

Our asymmetries and compensatory patterns can affect the horse’s performance and may over time lead to veterinary/equine osteopathy intervention.

Using Pilates to increase our capabilities can improve our posture and alignment in the saddle, our aids can become subtler through improved balance and our confidence can blossom.

How can Pilates help you improve your riding?

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?

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.

We might think our horse is being 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.

Pilates can help improve your posture, alignment and balance, ensuring you get more out of your riding lessons.

Try the short video tutorials below and see for yourself!

If you would like more information, to book a class with Julie or host a workshop please contact us for more information

Pre riding warm up

Neck Release Exercises

Free exercise downloads

In the same way the horse needs time to prepare and work on its skill sets, so does the rider and just like a flatwork schooling session, Pilates improves your alignment and posture, suppleness, stability, stamina, and balance.

Pilates can improve your posture, deepen your seat and trouble shoot those areas your riding instructor always asks you to work on.

Ensuring you get more out of your riding lessons.

Try these simple exercises and see for yourself!

Coming Soon

Improve your riding with Pilates.

Register your interest below.

Julie is proud to work with the Windrush Foundation and their talented team of Three Day Eventers.


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.

29 Oct: Pilates Whispering

  I love learning, no matter whether it’s Pilates, Equestrian skills or how to operate a new Blender. I also…

16 May: Horse&Rider Magazine Spring 2018

In the first part of the series Julie shares her top exercises for helping to improve your position in the saddle and recognising your own alignment.

16 Apr: Intelligent Horsemanship Spring 2018

Julie Driver was featured in Intelligent Horsemanship Spring 2018. Download the pdf here | Become a member at Intelligent Horsemanship

16 Apr: Horse&Rider Magazine April 2018

Being able to balance is a fundamental part of staying in the saddle, part two Julie gives you exercises to improve your balance and move in harmony with your horse.

16 Mar: Horse&Rider March 2018

Riding is full body workout for you as well as your horse, in part three Julie explains how to use Pilates to improve your strength and stamina.