Clare – Founder of RiderCise®
I am a qualified Personal Trainer and Soft Tissue Therapist with over 14 years experience working in the fitness industry. My passion for horses started at a young age and continues to grow every day as my knowledge of these beautiful souls increases.
As a physically fit person, I have spent many years training in various ways, to improve my strength and cardiovascular ability however, when it came to riding Annick, it wasn’t a great help. I was not able to control my body on a ballistic, dynamic, independent thinking horse that wouldn’t just ‘do as she asked’. This resulted in a fall, which seriously shook my confidence and made me question myself as a competent rider.
Annick went for professional training to improve her confidence but when it came to “getting back on”, I felt like a complete beginner. It changed everything for me, as a person, a horse lover and fitness professional.
I’ve spent 5 years reviewing myself, as a rider – taking accountability for my own development. I asked myself how I could improve and develop to enable me to be a better rider and concluded that being conditioned is more than being physically fit; it is being confidently empowered. I have thus trained myself physically to be strong, balanced, flexible, reactive and calm so that I am both physically and mentally fit for riding.
This personal experience and the past 5 years have opened my eyes to what I realised was a glaring obvious defect in the way equestrians approached the sport.
Equestrianisim is a Sport
Equestrianism is a partnership, 50/50, however, riders tend to spend so much time, money and energy focusing on the horse they often forget to look at themselves and improve the other 50% of the partnership. Equestrianism is a sport but more often than not, riders do not treat it as such. For confidence, enjoyment, and success in the sport, there must be equal input from both team members.
Despite equestrian sports being one of the most dangerous sports in the world, which requires an animal and person to work together, riders do not typically ensure that they are ‘fit to ride’ by performing exercise in general and certainly not through sport-specific conditioning exercises.
All sports, excluding equestrianism, as a rule, utilise some form of conditioning. Not only for participation performance but to enable participants to deal with the mental pressure of the sport, reduce risk of injury and improve recovery time post participation.
In a sport where the rider communicates with the horse, an independent thinking flight animal, through their seat, balance, leg and rein aids it is not only common-sense but imperative for the welfare of the horse and rider safety that riders are prepared to deal with the physical and mental demands that horse riding brings.
Today I work with riders of all levels in multiple disciplines from the everyday leisure rider to the Tevis Cup and Mongolian Derby competitors across the world, helping riders become more aware and in control of their bodies to improve the way that they move with their horses and competition success.
RiderCise® allows all riders the opportunity to be their best for themselves, their horse and the sport by providing them access to rider-specific workouts which are ‘Affordable, Accessible and importantly Achievable’.
Improving horse welfare and rider safety shouldn’t be a luxury, but a necessity.