Sitting Trot. Can you truly get it or improve it if you don’t feel it?

Feeling the motion of the horse’s back

If you had to describe a movement your body feels in sitting trot to a non-rider, how would you do it? If you wanted to tell them how not to bounce in sitting trot, how to stay centred and help the horse via your seat in sitting trot, how would you do it? How does your pelvis move in the saddle and what part of your body absorbs the concussion?

If there is an issue with your sitting trot, if you have difficulty sitting to the movement of your horse, I recommend having a go at the above questions. If you are not sure, take a moment to think before you read further 🙂 I’ll pop another photo below to delay your reading 🙂

Continue reading Sitting Trot. Can you truly get it or improve it if you don’t feel it?

Guest Blogger Ceri on Combining Two Passions

Photo copyright:

Well I had a bit of luck recently! As explained in a previous blog, I gave up working with horses just over a year ago as I wanted to set up my photography business and felt that, with horses being more lifestyle than job, the two just didn’t mix. Well, following a random conversation with an old friend, I am excited to be back working with horses in a position that will allow me to do both! Perfect! I am now working part time on a livery/hunting yard which allows me to be back in the countryside I love, earn enough to survive and give me the time I need to build my business.

Continue reading Guest Blogger Ceri on Combining Two Passions

How to get the most out of your your riding videos. Part 1: How, What and With What to Video!

camera blog 3

I’ve never been a greatly talented rider and had to work hard to develop my own skills. To this day I learn best by feel because this is how I learnt in my early days when nobody who taught me knew how to explain what to do to improve for example your seat in sitting trot or canter.

At 14 I saw a local instructor who was cantering his horse in the arena and I remember being amazed that he did not bounce an inch. I was determined to be able to do so too so would go in a field with a horse and would canter forever for weeks on end until I could get that absolute feeling of being connected to the saddle. I dread to think back now what these poor horses had to go through with me but to this day, to learn something I like to be described how it feels so I can seek that feel.

I also watched plenty of videos, shows, other instructors and can appreciate the educational help this provides.

Whatever way you learn best, you can significantly upgrade your skills via visual feedback. This 3 part series will hopefully help you get the most out of one the least expensive, fabulous training aid out there:  video analysis.


Continue reading How to get the most out of your your riding videos. Part 1: How, What and With What to Video!

My New Horse

My New Horse

A very special extended training option for all riders with a new addition to their family.

It can be daunting to form a good relationship with your new horse. This programme will help you get to know your horse/pony better, understand what to look for in its conformation to aid your schooling, understand hoofcare, way of going, how to put together training plans for you and your horse regardless your level (novice riders welcome!), how to work on your posture to improve your seat and effectiveness in the saddle and many more.
If you share Aspire’s values and like what we do please feel free to print the poster out and put it up at your yard, share or email it to your friends and get the enthusiasm for horse friendly, rider-centred training growing.

I am always happy to answer any questions or just chat about the programme without any obligations – email me (Wiola) any time at aspire @

Here are examples of feedback from riders who trained with Aspire Equestrian E-Academy:

Corinna & Bentley

Nicoline & Panache

Francesca & Chagall

So you would love to train with video feedback but have no-one to film you? Introducing: TRAINING FRIENDS

Training Friends Option
AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE. Aspire Equestrian’s new virtual coaching option for riders who would love to progress but would like to share costs and experience with someone doing it all too. All components of usual E-Academy training apply here:

From talking to the riders training with me on Aspire virtual programme I realised they can struggle with support from fellow riders or simply have nobody with similar goals to ask for help with filming for a few minutes or to do the off-horse exercises with, have a laugh, cry, share the whole experience, enjoy the ups and downs…

Continue reading So you would love to train with video feedback but have no-one to film you? Introducing: TRAINING FRIENDS

Guest Blogger Izabela on Treadmill Exercise For Horses


Being at Hartpury College gave me a great opportunity to undertake work experience at their Equine Therapy Centre. Even Freddie had a chance to take part in some of the activities as he became a treadmill demo horse! His “job” is to take part in demos for students and visitors and show them how the horse walks, trots and canters on the treadmill. He also takes part in research studies such as efficiency of cardiovascular system or biomechanics. Freddie really likes this type of exercise and I hope that he will be able to continue using treadmill as a demo horse during my second year of Uni!

Many people are not familiar with treadmill exercise for horses and its benefits so let me introduce you to this method of training…

Treadmill exercise for horses

Equine treadmills evolved from slow-moving machines only capable of producing speeds for the horse to be able to walk and trot into high-speed and technologically advanced machines enabling speeds of up to 35mph so enabling the horse to canter or even gallop. For horses, the treadmill is a great training, rehabilitation and research tool!

What are the benefits of an equine treadmill?

Treadmill is an indoor horse training machine which offers several advantages and enables the trainers to control the speed, duration, incline and intensity of training on a stable, consistent and forgiving surface. Treadmill exercise enables to maintain muscle fitness in back legs and hindquarters and improve overall balance and coordination. It also enables to monitor the horse during training session (as the horse is relatively stationary) and quickly observe any irregularities in gait and ensure straightness. Training aids such as roller and side reins or pessoa training system can be used to improve the horse’s way of going. The treadmill can also be used for veterinary and rehabilitation purposes: can be used for horses returning to work after injury (such as ligament or tendon injury), for basic fittening work and also veterinary diagnostics of the upper airways and lameness exams as well as research purposes (biomechanics, gaits, cardiovascular system efficiency etc.).


Equine treadmill requires remarkably less space than other forms of exercise and can be used regardless of the weather (as placed indoor). However on the other hand, treadmills are expensive in terms of costs of purchase, electrical costs, and possible repairs. Horses might also find treadmill exercise boring and monotonous or in some cases stressful.

People might have different opinions about treadmill exercise and other modern or traditional methods of training but I believe that the most important thing is to provide variety to your horse and include a few different training methods in your horse’s training programme!

If you wish to contact me please send your email to: or contact me through my Facebook page: or Twitter @izabela_motyl

Hope you enjoyed reading my article!

See you soon,


Do you want to change a bad riding habit? Try this…

“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”
— Niccolo Machiavelli  The Prince (1532)

Apparently we learn best if we are involved in the learning process so here is a 4 minutes experiment to start you off onto a road to successful change…

You will need the following items:


Continue reading Do you want to change a bad riding habit? Try this…

The complicated nature of pain – Is ‘no pain no gain’ your riding motto?

This is a blog post I had planned for Monday and which got delayed to today due to life taking over! But here it is. I am sure many of you have heard the “no pain no gain” so called motivational mantra and I wonder how many of you believe in it and find it helpful in your own training/riding? Do you hear it from your instructors? Do you apply it to your horse(s)?


Addicted to pain

It so happens that my very tall and lanky brother became slightly obsessed with body building in his mid and late teens. He’d always been a very brainy child doing very own maths formulas and yet coming up with correct answers but one day he decided looking like daddy long legs wasn’t his idea of fun. That’s when I got to learn a lot about building muscles mass whether I wanted to or not!

The reason I am starting this post from body builders is that their obsession with getting bigger and stronger is quite comparable with general horsey person craze about horses.

For a bodybuilder, everything is about your muscles getting bigger. In most gyms you will find ‘no pain no gain’ written somewhere and if not on the wall it will be there as a tattoo on someone’s arm.

Most body builders love DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscular Soreness) – they rejoice in it because that’s when their muscles get bigger, stronger, faster…They also love the slow, increasing muscular effort that hits the hard to bear level – that’s when animal like sounds coming from your brother’s room (that you can no longer enter in a normal fashion because it is filled up with gym equipment and looks like Go Ape/Tarzan movie set) will annoyingly disturb you from watching replays of show-jumping shows…

Continue reading The complicated nature of pain – Is ‘no pain no gain’ your riding motto?

This is Why I do It…- Hugely Rewarding Feedback from California

Update on website link (please ignore links on photos, we have a new URL 🙂 ) – check it here: E-Academy: Aspire Equestrian Virtual Coaching Club

Last night I received a wonderful feedback from a rider who won 2 weeks of my virtual coaching via a competition organised by Hay Net.  The rider very kindly agreed for me to share it publicly. I don’t normally do less than a month long programmes because with my attention to detail it would be too much to cram into shorter time but I amended it all slightly and Corinna stood up to the challenge 🙂

I did my feedback as always when I do it for my monthly clients and enjoyed working with Corinna and Bentley very much. I did not, however, expect the amazing email she sent at the end. I put a lot of effort into educating myself, my eye for detail, for deeper hidden causes of easily visible symptoms. To be able to help riders as a result of that is hugely rewarding.

Over to Corinna…

Corinna1 feedback
Corinna and Bentley on one of the photos she sent over prior to me putting together her training plan.

Hi Wiola,

Well it looks like I have come to the end of our 2 week virtual training with you! I cannot even express what a fantastic and wonderful experience it has been for us!

My trainer here in California is focused purely on show performance, so it was very valuable to me to be able to ask you detailed questions about Bentley’s health, hooves, movement, personality, etc. without being concerned that it would annoy you. I have been so impressed with your knowledge of horse and human biomechanics, and I have been sharing your insights with everyone. Continue reading This is Why I do It…- Hugely Rewarding Feedback from California

Manic Monday :)

I had an interesting subject to write about today but! I worked until really late yesterday, woke up late to a great email from Kent which will hopefully mean an Aspire coaching day(s) or weekend(s) at an exciting new venue.

Attempt at breakfast failed as empty fridge and shelves didn’t cooperate so food shopping had to be done. My plan was to start working on August and September diary which I did (phew! something went according to plan) but then ended up editing videos for the Video Library for longer than I anticipated, then ran to do more filming in the afternoon and Monday disappeared!  So, a bit of a manic day 🙂

Filming for Aspire Video Library – 22 July 2013.

 Oh, did I mention that the battery in my camcorder ran out half way? Yep. I love Mondays really 🙂