Tag Archives: racewood equine simulator

#NoStirrupsNovember with a difference!

No stirrups exercise

Just a little video exercise for you today! It helps with mechanics of rising trot, with rider’s balance, stability, core strength, symmetry, independence of stirrups in case of loss of balance/loss of stirrups to name a few benefits.

If done correctly, the rider should not grip with the thighs. Thigh muscles remain snug against the saddle but don’t exert inward pressure. It’s the outer thigh muscles that are the dominant stabilising muscles.

It can be done on a quiet, well balanced horse on the lunge but I really like doing it on a simulator because rider’s struggles have no adverse effect on the horse 🙂

How to do it: 

1. Start in sitting trot without stirrups. Make sure you sit in neutral pelvis position with your spine just naturally elongated and core muscles engaged appropriately to your horse’s trot movement (flat moving, smooth trotting horse doesn’t require much effort from core muscles of the rider but big moving, happily swinging horse will give a rider a run for their core if they are to look as if they are doing nothing)

2. Starting from your knee, move your lower leg too far back from it’s normal position. Feel as if you were kneeling on the imaginary stool, one under each knee (your seat weight should feel nicely distributed into left and right thigh i.e. evenly onto horse’s ribcage)

3. Start rising 🙂 It will feel very alien at first but try to simply use the bounce of the trot, the leverage of your thighs and up-forward movement of your hips to maintain the rise.

Emma rides on Aspire’s Development Programme and makes this exercise look easier than it is for a beginner or novice rider but rest assured, it can be done by all levels of riders with great results 🙂

Happy practice!
Wiola

Using Equine Simulators in all-round rider development

Emma
15th September: using Ithacus to help the rider achieve more confident, effective jumping technique. Emma’s comment after training day: “Definitely feeling the muscles today The practice on the mechanical horse before getting on the horses is great for a workout and getting in the practice without worrying about what the horse is doing. Thank you for a wonderful training day!!”

It’s been crazy two weeks with an especially busy last weekend so it’s now back to the blogging board with updates 🙂 On Saturday 14th I had a pleasure to run a training day at Milton Keyens Eventing Centre for a fantastic group of riders whose horses underwent rehabilitation at Rockley Farm. I will write a longer blog about this tomorrow as it deserves a proper write up on its own.

Today, I will chat a little about the Sunday 15th training day during which I used a Racewood equine simulator again. I am becoming increasingly fond of Ithacus, the mechanical horse, because he is showing me his fantastic value in training of amateur riders. As I am sure you can gather from this blog, my particular coaching interest lies in training a kind of “in between” type of rider…The clients who tend to find their way to Aspire are not professionals but neither they are average recreational riders per se (even though many would be classified as such in theory).

Over time I realised that the riders who enjoy Aspire ethos are those who, like me, love exploring their own abilities, knowledge and skills. They are seeking riders with inquisitive minds. They work hard to both understand and help their horses develop physically and mentally, to help the animal be in best shape for carrying a rider.

Teaching riders like this makes me too feel challenged and encouraged to enjoy learning everyday.

Mechanical Powers

Ithacus is a many riders’ dream horse. He never colics, he never has back issues, his legs and feet are never a problem. He doesn’t buck, rear or bolts. He is a perfect body awareness schoolmaster…

Continue reading Using Equine Simulators in all-round rider development

“SITTING PRETTY” – is that really the point? Pondering on body position vs body use

A few days ago I received an email enquiry from a rider interested in my lessons. I read with interest about issues the rider has with her horse and then I arrived at the sentence concluding the enquiry. The person writing had heard I work a lot on the rider, their position and way of riding and wanted to make sure this wouldn’t be the case with her as she wanted to work mainly on the horse.

Pauline3
Photo taken during Aspire Coaching weekend at Cullinghood EC

This email made me think of other riders who perhaps think the same so I would like to clarify a few things. Although I do put a lot of emphasis on rider’s seat it is not at all to achieve a pretty picture. In fact, my increasing interest in posture and seat of the rider has very little to do with visual outcome. My greatest fascination with rider’s biomechanics is due to an incredible effect a correct body use can (and does) have on communication with any horse.

Continue reading “SITTING PRETTY” – is that really the point? Pondering on body position vs body use