In November 2015 I decided to combine my passion for Pilates and its link to helping improve horse rider position, influence and effectiveness still further by training to be an Equipilates™ Biomechanics Trainer™.
Already convinced about the many benefits of Pilates I was keen to further my understanding of the horse rider specific application of the Pilates principles. In addition I was interested to learn how to incorporate Intrinsic Biomechanical diagnostic techniques in to my current Postural Analysis screening process
The course incorporated a detailed yet easy to understand explanation of the research based techniques for assessing the intrinsic biomechanical function of individuals. This was followed up by practical, hands on sessions giving ample opportunity to screen each other and prescribe appropriate anti-spasm (muscle release) exercises based on the results and findings. The relevance to horse riders was very evident throughout the process and I really felt the benefit in my own body through doing these exercises.
Using a simple wooden saddle horse the ABC concepts of Alignment, Breathing and Core sense were covered in detail and all levels of rider seemed to benefit from the unrushed approach which gave them time to really analyse their own ABC without the distraction of an actual horse.
Throughout the course I had many ‘penny dropping’ moments relative to my own riding and could not wait to go home and put the techniques in to practice. The lines of communication between riding instructor and trainee so often get blurred in the heat of the moment. I could see how the body awareness concepts, terminology and exercises used on this course could be very helpful in improving this communication.
The small number of students on the course meant that there was always time to discuss and put in to practice each element. Lindsay is a wonderful teacher and has the ability to impart her wealth of knowledge in a super friendly manner. She considers both horse and rider in all aspects of the course and seems very open to hearing about other methods and research. It seems to me that the Equipilates method does not stand still.
Since the course our schooling sessions are more productive, our dressage scores are creeping up and I feel I can use my body more efficiently when jumping a particularly strong and enthusiastic horse! My own experience has also meant I am very keen to share this technique with others to see how they respond.
Since completing my case studies and qualifying I have used many of the methods and techniques learned on the course with my non horsey clients also with great success. All have really felt the benefit and enjoyed the different approach. I am now in the process of adjusting my teaching programme to cater for the increased demand in Equipilates courses in my area.