horse1Equilates is a sport specific training. The beauty of riding is the relationship and body language expressed between a horse and his rider. Whether your passion is hunting, jumping, showing, dressage, eventing or pony club the connection is the foundation for every discipline within equestrian sport. Understanding and putting into practice quality training techniques for all riding styles is what equilates strives to do.

Equilates promotes elongation of the spine, good posture, muscular flexibility, strength and balance, correct muscle firing recruitment, core endurance and strength, shoulder girdle strength, relaxed concentration and flow of movement to create the partnership between horse and rider.


With Equilates you can devise a specific program of moves on and off the horse to help the rider deal with the challenges of their postural misalignment. Through assessment I can determine whether the riders core and stabilizing muscles are firing correctly. Without core endurance and spinal stability the rider will rely on global muscles to stabilize (fixing an arm or leg). Through practicing Equilates we can learn to put our bodies into the correct alignment, increase core endurance and spinal stability. We will also learn to isolate muscles and switch off others creating body awareness. This in turn will create a strong secure effective seat.


By assessing the posture of a rider on and off the horse and understanding the limitations because of disability and injury I can begin to understand each riders individual requirements to strengthen the seat. For instance, if the rider suffers from a sway or a flat back the pelvis is tilted backwards. This makes the rider sit with their bottom tucked under them and leaning back. Certain muscles become elongated and weak and others become short and strong. The rider will be less stable in the saddle therefore will rely on extremities (arms and legs) to remain in balance. How can we expect our horse to travel forward and straight and in a relaxed manner with a rider that pulls on his mouth, grips his sides and is constantly behind the movement? Even riders with normal posture develop bad habits. For instance, many riders collapse one way resulting in more weight on one seat bone with a rigid and dropped hand. Again this misalignment will cause the horse to compensate in such a way that hinders optimum movement.


In order to get the most from our horses we need to communicate clearly with them through our seat. It is very easy for this communication to break down if we are crooked or unbalanced in the saddle. If we rely on gripping through our legs or hanging on with our hands to stabilize our seat, it is impossible to make a connection with our horse therefore we cannot make ourselves understood when asking our horse to preform even a simple task. Without a correct balanced stable seat our horse will find it very difficult to preform to the best of his ability.


I have been riding for 30 years and have competed in most spheres of riding on and off the Island. I enjoyed my younger years in Pony Club including being part of the games, eventing and show jumping teams. During my adult competitive years I enjoyed competing up to foxhunter level in BSJA show jumping. Now I enjoy riding my youngster and doing the occasional competition.

Pilates really does benefit you on and off the horse. I myself have felt amazing benefits from practicing Pilates and re-balancing my muscles and realigning my own body. I have improved my own position on a horse and regained some flexibility in my hamstrings which I had lost. For most horse riders their hamstrings become tight and dysfunctional. Can you touch your toes while standing without it pulling in your lower back or the top of the back of your legs? Many falls and repeated hard work through schooling can have a big impact on your body and Equilates really can help to get your body back in good condition with good posture.

Equilates can be taught as individual one to one sessions or small group sessions either in the day or evening. Although every individuals problems are different a lot of riders have similar problems so can work well in small group sessions of up to six.

You may be aware interested in the experience of the the eventing star Gemma Tattersall in regard to equestrian pilates: