“A new horse at the end of last year came with the realisation that, if I were ever to ride him properly, I would have to up my game.
Gucci – a Dutch Warmblood had been owned by my trainer and had been competed at Medium level when I bought him. I had been Showing my Cob in Veteran Classes for the past few years but hadn’t ridden consistently for nearly 18 months due to my Cob’s injury and subsequent box rest.
Gucci is beautifully trained but he doesn’t ‘give’ if you don’t ask correctly! It soon became apparent that to maximise his potential, I had to put myself in a position where I could ride him to the best of my ability.
I’d tried Ridercise previously but with no horse to ride – I lacked motivation. Gucci was the kick-start that I needed to take my fitness seriously. I was ‘fit’ but not ‘riding fit’ – not strong enough to hold him through my body, not supple and balanced enough to move parts of my body without all the other parts moving in sympathy!
I’ve now completed two ‘9 Week Challenges’ and am following a maintenance programme with Clare. The Ridercise programme does just what it says on the tin – it improves riding fitness. I now notice the different results I am able to get from my horse and other people have seen the improvements, which is always such a buzz to hear! I’ve definitely developed a more independent seat, I’ve changed my position drastically and I hopefully now look more like a dressage rider than a lump of ineffective jelly!
I’ve realised that it is not a quick fix but what in the horse world is? There is little point spending money on your horse’s health, his tack and numerous lessons if you are not in a position to help him too. Rider fitness is an intrinsic part of the jigsaw and it’s ongoing. It’s all very well listening to your instructor telling you to change your position but if you lack the muscle and strength to maintain this – it comes to nothing.
Clare’s programme makes everything easy. The exercises are split over the week and the software is very self-explanatory. Recording personal bests and seeing the progress chart grow over the week is satisfying and offers a sense of achievement. Clare is always on hand to answer questions – tailor exercises to fit any aches and pains or specific needs – and above all – is very encouraging and professional.”
Caroline Davy | Dressage Rider