North London, UK
+44 7966 232779

The Grounded Rider


Building your seat the ground up

Join me on this transformative 6 week journey designed exclusively for equestrians. In this immersive experience, we delve into the intricate connection between your body and your horse’s movement, offering a unique perspective on equestrian Pilates training.

Course Benefits:

  • Body Awareness: Gain a profound understanding of how your body moves and how it influences your horse’s movement.
  • Riding Mastery: Elevate your riding performance and become a more responsive, effective, and confident rider.
  • Pilates Integration: Learn a tailored set of Pilates exercises designed to enhance your alignment, balance, strength, flexibility, and mind-body connection.
  • Harmonious Partnership: Whether you’re a seasoned rider or new to the equestrian world, our course fosters the development of a harmonious partnership between you and your horse.

Course Highlights:

  • Individualised Approach: We’ll work together to your specific needs, ensuring a personalised and effective learning experience.
  • Expert Instruction: Benefit from my extensive Pilates knowledge from teaching over 23 years.
  • Progressive Curriculum: My 10-week program gradually builds your skills, allowing for steady improvement throughout the course.
  • Community Support: Connect with fellow equestrians, share experiences, and grow together as riders.
  • Goal setting: At the beginning of the course you will set your goals for the six weeks, so we can monitor your progress and celebrate your successes!

Who Should Join:

  • Equestrians of all levels, from beginners to experienced riders.
  • Anyone seeking to enhance their riding skills and create a deeper connection with their horse.
  • Individuals interested in improving their overall fitness, flexibility, and body awareness.

– We will develop strategies for maintaining your Pilates practice and re-visit your goals for continued growth


Week 1: Foundation & Alignment

  • Introduction to Pilates for equestrians.
  • Focus on footwork for balance and body awareness.
  • Explore hip-pelvis alignment, spinal movements.

Week 2: Upper Body Stability

  • Develop stability and control in the upper body.
  • Integrate resistance bands and light weights.

Week 3: Lateral Movement & Coordination

  • Improve your turns and circles through developing your own spinal rotation.
  • Enhance your balance and coordination.

Week 4: Breath Control & Endurance

  • Understand your diaphragm and the impact of breath holding on your position.
  • Using breathing and breath patterns with exercises to encourage relaxation

Week 5: Advanced Leg Work & Balance

  • Introduce challenging leg exercises for stability.
  • Utilise stability balls for balance enhancement.

Week 6: Mastery & Integration

  • Review key principles and exercises.
  • Celebrate progress and discuss ongoing practice strategies.


When does the course start?

Tuesday 30th April.

Places are now open! (Places are strictly limited to ensure each participant receives full support and feedback.)

Why is the course 6 weeks long?

Joseph Pilates is quoted as saying:

In 10 sessions you will feel a difference
In 20 sessions you will will see a difference
In 30 sessions you will have a whole new body


Joseph Pilates asked his clients to commit to three sessions a week in order to see a difference and improvement.

This course asks you to commit to setting specific goals, attending 1 live session with me a week and completing 2 short “homework” sessions in your own time.

By commiting to this you will see an improvement in the way you feel, look and ride and so will you coach and your horse!

Client testimonial

I’m a riding coach and journalist/author but hitting 59 I knew I needed to improve my flexibility and strength to keep on working well… but how? Julie Driver’s fantastic Pilates for Riders course was a brilliant discovery. I saw it advertised on insta, signed up for it and looked forward to it as a way to get more winter fit. The actual course was one online session a week, plus loads of helpful extra sessions done in your own time via a Facebook page. As a newby to pilates, Julie was a brilliant discovery. I loved the way she linked what we were doing to how it would improve our riding. But it didn’t just improve my riding – I learnt to stand better, to move more and little tips on how to avoid the discomfort of sitting in front of a computer. I think Julie is a really fabulous, warm Pilates coach. I learnt heaps, I still use loads of her lessons and I really enjoyed the way the group interacted via Facebook. I will remember 2023 as the year I understood Pilates – and it’s all thanks to Julie.

Nicola Baird

What is included each week?
  1. Each week there will be a live class where we will move together with the opportunity for questions.
  2. A Pre- recorded class focusing on the skills being developed in the live classes.
  3. Access to a closed Facebook group to ask questions and connect with others in the group.

Pilates is an accumulative skill, which when practiced regularly, and consistently improves our  balance, stamina and co-ordination.

Julie is proud to be associated with





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

During this course you will deepen your understanding of your body and movement.

We’ll explore the root causes of “Why” certain riding issues keep happening and give you the tools to  self correct and refine these during your Pilates class. This means that these new patterns can become second nature so you can focus on your partnership with your horse and be in the moment with your horse.



Are you working towards a specific riding goal?.

Whether you are a weekend rider or an elite athlete looking for that 1% difference between placing and the podium, Pilates can help you build a deeper bond with your horse by improving your own posture and body awareness moving you closer to your goals.

Frequently asked questions

How do I access the course?

Details on accessing the course will be emailed out once you have signed up. Links to live classes will be emailed out in advance and you’ll be able to access additional resources via the My Courses link in the main menu.

Are the classes live?

There will be a live class and one pre-recorded.

The Live classes will be Tuesdays at 7pm

If you cannot attend live the class will also be sent out as a recording.

How long is each class?

45 – 60 minutes

What if I can’t attend the live class? E.G I'm in a different time zone!

I totally understand how busy everyone is and how t may not be possible to commit to attending a live class each week. Especially if you are in a different time zone!

This is why the live  class will be recorded and sent out so you can work around your own busy schedule.

Focus on shorter more frequent movement sessions to see an improvement rather than one long one. 

Little and often is the key to progress.

I’ve never done any Pilates before, is this suitable for me?

Absolutely! We will build the level of the classes from week one to 10, you can stay at a level for longer if you prefer while you become more comfortable with the exercises.

I’ve had hip replacement/knee surgery

As with all new exercise regimes, please consult with your GP/Surgeon before embarking on this course.

On enrolment you will be asked to completer a PARQ form detailing any physical issues/ barriers to exercise you may have.

Although I have experience of working with clients after hip/knee surgery including my own knee rehabilitation, this is NOT a rehabilitation course.

Contact me for details of 1-1 sessions where we can focus more specifically on your post surgery needs.

All exercises are at your own risk.

Do we have access to help and guidance during the course?

Absolutely! There is a closed FB group, which you will be given access to before the start of the course.

This will be for everyone taking part to ask questions and ask for feedback.

There will also be time after the live class for Q and A

Do I need specialist equipment?

I highly recommend purchasing a proper Pilates mat, these are generally thicker than a yoga mat and offer some cushioning for the spine as many of our exercises are performed on the back.

We will also be using a theraband and a large gym ball.

When purchasing a theraband please purchase the lighter weight.

When purchasing a ball make sure it is the correct height for you. When you sit on the ball your thighs should be parallel to the floor.

If you need assistance, please contact Julie for help and advice.

How long will I have access to the classes after the course ends?

Class content will remain in your account within the My Courses area for 6 months.

Why this course works:

I understand horses and riders

I learnt to ride as a child and my passion for horses led me to California where I studied horsemanship at Flag Is Up Farm with with Monty Roberts. I continue to study in the UK with Chris Morris and since 2017 I been qualified under the “Monty Roberts certificate of horsemanship”.

As a rider, I am fascinated by the connection between horse and human. Both bodies are affected by each others asymmetries and movement patterns.

Improved symmetry (balance, control, co-ordination) OUT of the saddle makes riders more effective (assured, relaxed, confident) when we are IN the saddle. This helps us build a deeper connection to our horses and our riding.

International reputation

Over the last 23 years I have built an international reputation as a Pilates teacher presenting at conferences worldwide and writing for both Equine and fitness publications.

For the last decade, my equine and Pilates workshops have been run at international conference and courses around the world. I have been invited to teach courses as far afield as Germany, Norway, Sweden, Spain, France, USA, Portugal, Canada and South Africa.

Most recently I presented at Pilates Method Alliance (Denver and Palm Springs, USA), February Fitness Convention (Spain), as well as Pilates Gathering (Scotland),  Pilates on Tour (London, UK), Pilates Teachers Association Conference (Loughborough University, UK), Body Control (Royal College of Surgeons (London, UK).

Highly Qualified

I’ve been a teacher of the method for over 23 years and I believe passionately in the power of Pilates.

  • Pilates Teacher since 2000
  • Pilates Anytime “Instructor of the Year 2014”
  • Body Control Senior Faculty Member 2000-2017
  • Monty Roberts Certificate of Horsemanship 2017
  • NCPT Eduction Provider since 2017 
  • CIMSPA Eduction Provider since 2020 (Chartered institute for Management of Sport and Physical Activity.)
  • YMCA Endorsed Education Provider
  • TMJ Therapist
  • “Naboso” Neurosensory specialist