Tutorial #3275

Pilates for Equestrians

5 min - Tutorial


Learn how Pilates can benefit riders in this quick tutorial with Julie Driver. She shares her journey with horseback riding and how it led her to pursue her dream of bringing horse whispering and Pilates together. She talks about how Pilates can help equestrians be in their bodies so that they can communicate better with the horse.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

(Pace N/A)
Dec 01, 2017
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Hi, I'm Julie driver and I'm here today to talk to you about philosophies for equestrians. My background as a child, I was a show jumper and I left home, had to leave my horse behind. And when I moved to London I decided never to have horses in my life again. It was too hard, too hard. And um, I had an early midlife crisis when I was in my thirties and I suddenly realized that horses actually needed to be in my life. And I went to Solvang, California about 40 minutes from here to train with a man called Monte Roberts. My desire at that time was to bring the world's of policies and horse whispering together. Um, I then had a skiing accident. Life got in the way, children got in the way and that's a terrible thing to say.

My children did get in the way. And um, I just life moved on and my dream was put to one side and then May of 2016 I met up with my horse, whispering mental Monty Roberts again, who looked me squarely in the eye and said, why aren't you following your dream? And it was a very, very good question. So in the last 16 to 18 months, I pursued my dream and that's brought me to be here today to talk to you about philosophies for riders. Plots works for everybody. Um, in my mind, there is not a single person in the world. It's so for maybe my husband that doesn't need to do is, um, I don't believe that you need to be reinventing the wheel for a specific sport.

However, I think if you are able to use the language of a specific sport to that client, you can make it more relevant to what they're doing. So for me, Palacios for riders is, um, it's such a great way of helping people communicate with their horse. What you have to think of with, uh, horseback riding is you have two living creatures coming together. Their spines are coming together and they are beginning to communicate with each other. Both of these creatures have their own asymmetries in their own biomechanics. So as riders, it is our job to make sure that we are the best, that we can be within our own body so that we have the least effect on the animal that is bearing our weight for the entire time we are on it's body.

That for me is my priority. When I worked with my riders personally, I like to watch people, right? I like to see where their asymmetries are when they're riding because then I can take it into their polities lesson and make it more relevant for them. However, today this tutorial is giving you very simple ways of dealing with riders who you haven't seen ride. And I'll also try and explain to you what we're doing within the exercise and why it's relevant for riding. So what we're looking at is, um, how we help all writers learn to disassociate their thighs, their femurs from their pelvis as they sit in the saddle. How we can learn to stabilize our upper backs so that we aren't either collapsing, we need to be able to take responsibility for the weight of our own torso. And how if we are unbalanced in the saddle and we are using the rains as a support mechanism, that's going to effect our horse.

The more we put on the rains, the more we are going to fix the balance of the horse. If you pull your horses mouth and bring the horses nose to a certain point beyond versa court, the horse cannot gather its hind legs underneath it to create the shape that you are desiring. So your ineffective riding or ineffective way of holding yourself as a rider can have a detrimental effect on what you are trying to achieve in the first place. So that's what I'm trying to achieve today is to give you an understanding of why we need to make sure our bodies are the best we can be for our horses. Because we need to build our spine stability and the ability we need to increase our scapular stability and mobility.

We need to make sure that we are able to move our limbs independently of our spines so that we can give good clear aids when the time is necessary. And then when we're riding, we can be as quiet and as simple as possible. We need to build our stamina if we're doing a nice long trail ride so that we can coordinate all of these things. That's what I'm hoping to do today. I hope I can share with you some of my passion that I have for bringing these two disciplines together. Horse-Riding and philosophies, and I have one less thing to say that's ridewell do less and clear the lines of communication.


3 people like this.
I have been teaching horse riders on and off the horse for twelve years and I could not have put it better myself. Look forward to future classes. Steve
Julie Driver
1 person likes this.
Thank you Steven, I hope you enjoy the classes!
3 people like this.
Beautifully said Julie! I too share your passion for bringing Pilates into the Equestrian world! This sport is unique not only involving two athletes but one being a horse! As Equestrians the majority of training is focused on the horses fitness and nutrition, but just as important is the rider ...Riders are Athletes Too! In order for your horse to have connection the rider must have good body control and feel the connection within themselves. Pilates shares the same principles as riding. Way to go Julie! I'm so excited to hear more from you and your future classes! And as an Equestrian I like to say, "Do your Pilates.... and find your PowerHorse!
Julie Driver
1 person likes this.
I love that saying Michele Harris Pilates "PowerHorse!' Thank you for you lovely feedback!
Myriam Kane
Lovely, Julie...I look forward to learning more from you that I can share with my equestrian riders!
Julie Driver
1 person likes this.
Thank you Myriam, this is a very personal part of my work and I am so happy to be able to share it and hopefully help more horses...and riders!
1 person likes this.
This is why I took up Pilates. I realised after many years of riding that I needed to take much more responsibility for my own body and find the independence in mobility of my body parts...and then I found I loved Pilates!
It's a match made in heaven.
1 person likes this.
This is why I took up Pilates. I realised after many years of riding that I needed to take much more responsibility for my own body and find the independence in mobility of my body parts...and then I found I loved Pilates!
It's a match made in heaven.
2 people like this.
Love this! Exactly what I have been trying to accomplish. As a professional equestrian I started pilates after a back injury. In 2016 the strength I had from Pilates saved me from what could have been a career ending accident, breaking my C2 on a goofy young horse. My rehabilitation involved pilates from day one from an arm chair! I am now a new pilates instructor I’m trying to meld the two for my students making stronger riders and happier horses. Can’t wait to see more! Thank you!
I began taking Pilates 10 years ago and within three weeks my trainer said to me “whatever it is you’re doing, keep doing it”. My shoulders were more relaxed, my seat deeper, my hands and legs quieter. Since then I’ve moved to Sacramento from New Hampshire, become comprehensively certified through Balanced Body and started training with Lyn Moe in the new discipline of Cowboy Dressage. My dream is also to bring Pilates to riders to enhance their skills and better communicate with their horses. Thanks for leading the way!
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