Racewood Simulator Session with Sally Toye

If You Are Looking For Answers, Need Solutions. I Can Help.

As a Rider Performance Expert, UKCC L2 Coach, Human Soft Tissue Therapist and Rider.

I  provide Rider Performance Sessions and Workshops at the Racewood Training Centre to show riders that it IS POSSIBLE to Progress, Improve Performance, Boost Confidence and Riding Ability by changing the way riders function on the ground. 


Over the years, I’ve helped many riders of all levels and disciplines across the world improve their rider fitness, boost their confidence and reduce the riding aches & pains and risk of injury with Short, Simple Effective Workout Routines in the Comfort of their homes. 

But I do much more than provide rider fitness programs. The majority of what I do is coach and mentor.

As a coach, I guide clients on how to smash simple achievable goals that move them towards their aspiration – ‘Becoming the Rider They WANT to BE‘. 

As a mentor, I share all my knowledge, skills and experience so that riders develop and grow. They become empowered equestrians.  

Aside from creating workouts for my On Demand Platform and creator of the Strong Confident Rider Program. I also work directly with riders, from the everyday rider to the aspiring elite and the more adventurous riders such as the Mongol & Gaucho Derby and Tevis. Creating Bespoke Programs to allow riders to smash their goals and reach their aspirations. 

These sessions provide YOU with valuable insight into why you may not be where you want to be and the Solutions to Get You There

Image of Clare and her horse Annick

Rider Performance Sessions

The sessions available are designed specifically for you based on what you want to learn and achieve.

They can include anything you like but here are some examples:

  • Postural Assessment. Understanding your static posture is crucial to progressing your riding. Our static posture is often the reason which holds us back from progressing. This is a highly educational element of the clinic.
  • Riding Review. Using the simulator, we will assess your riding based on your static posture and your objectives. This gives Clare the opportunity to start piecing the puzzle together.
  • Functional Movement. By performing simple exercises and movement patterns on the ground, Clare will fit the pieces of the puzzle together to improve and progress your riding. You will be giving clear expert advice and coaching cues.
  • Transference. Using your new knowledge and understanding of your body awareness and control on the ground. You will implement the movement corrections and coaching cues to transfer to your riding on the simulator.
Rider Core - Racewood Simulator

Chat with Clare

Because the sessions are completely bespoke and built to your specifications. It is best to chat with Clare to discuss what you would like to learn or achieve

Karen April 22
Beginner Riders - Improving Riding Position

Karen is fairly new to riding after taking over her horse from her daughter. She has come a long way but is now looking to improve her position and confidence more.

Although Karen was fairly confident in her outlook to riding it was clear that how she was using her body to ride was making her unstable. Her instability was making her feel vulnerable.
A large majority of riders don't know they do, even the higher-level riders. However, when riding like this it causes greater instability, making you more vulnerable and unable to provide clear effective aids.

Many riders when starting or returning to riding tend to grip with their inside thighs and use their knees to stabilise themselves. The main reason riders do this is because it is a natural automated reaction. When you are worried, you instinctively grip. It doesn't help that it is also taught in riding schools.

You are telling the horse to slow by gripping but squeezing/kicking asking for go. The lower leg swings around and constantly nag the horse. You tip forward and backward with the stride of the horse and are prone to collapse through transitions.

In this session, we used the Franklin Balls to give immediate feedback to Karen, every time she gripped. I also gave coaching cues to consciously squeeze the glutes to push her up into the rising trot position and control the downward motion to sit. After 5 minutes, we took the balls away and Karen used her body, engaging the right muscles to stabilise her and move with her boy. You will see that occasionally, Karen loses control and the lower leg swings, she grips and struggles to rise and sit.

Charlotte March 23
Improving Riding Posture and Position - Rein Dependancy
Charlotte wanted to improve her position and her wandering left leg.

As a Coach, it's my job to see how I can make the most impact in the short time that we have. For Charlotte, it was showing her how to be more independent in the saddle so she was less vulnerable and her horse could work more through their body and learn to balance themselves.

Rein length was a concern here as the horse needed its neck to balance and with the restriction, it was creating hollowness and rigidness. To allow Charlotte to let some of the rein go. We worked on creating a positive push up and forward rising trot using the glutes and bringing the shoulder blades together to control the contact through the shoulder, not the arms.

Engaging Charlotte's posterior chain (the back portion of the body) meant that she was able to support the anterior (front portion). Instead of the front doing all the work resulting in a collapsed and vulnerable seat.

Charlotte's position did improve and the wandering leg was resolved in the process. Most importantly, both horse and rider experienced what it 'felt' like to work independently, to work together.
Karen 1 Year On
Karen 1 Year On - Beginner Riders - Improving Riding Position
It has been coming a year since I first worked with Karen. She has come on leaps and bounds since then! This video is a comparison of where she is now, to where she was.

Karen has a more independent seat and is no longer giving mixed signals of go and slow. She is not reliant on the reins and has a purpose in her session. As a result, her horse is more forward, using his body better, is more balanced, and has started to develop muscle in the right places.

This is massive progress for a rider who rides 1-2 times per week.

Improving your riding is more than just becoming better in the saddle. It is developing self-belief that you can progress. You can become more confident in your abilities and enjoy riding more.

Karen has achieved all those things. What you see in this video is more than a rider who has become more independent in their seat. It is a rider who is assertive, focused, happy, and has a plan of action to get to where she wants to be.

She understands that it is a process and she will continue to make progress if she keeps working on herself as a rider. Her reward is the positive impact it has on her horse and her feeling of achievement.

It's important to understand that these changes take time. For horse and rider. We typically put too much unrealistic pressure on ourselves and our horses to be at a certain point by a given age or timeline.

Progress is progress.
Nikki - October 2022
Nikki - Riding Posture, Details Matter
Nicki wanted to improve her posture and feel more confident of being in control. Whilst her overall posture was good. We needed to change the muscles she was using to stabilise her when her boy was moving.

Nicki was using the front part of her body (anterior dominat) which mean that with every stride she was being pulled forwards rather than leaning. Her centre of gravity shifted, she came out of the saddle and was vulnerable to a fall.
By refocusing her to use her shoulder girdle to stabilise her contact. Lifting her rib cage to engage core with her back and glutes engaged she was able to move more fluidly with him. Was more secure in the saddle and was able to control the speed through subtle squeezes from her pelvis.

Obviously I didn’t say all that! 🤣
I provide easy ‘cues’ that Nicki could remember but understood exactly what I was asking so she could execute and remember when she got home.

By improving the posture to facilitate the movement of the horse. Nicki became more stable. Because she was stable and learnt to use her body to communicate. She felt more confident and in control.

When coaching. It’s important to understand how a rider is using their body. It’s not a case of just sitting up, heels down, breathe. Details matter.
If you can pinpoint what’s creating the negative the rest falls into place.
Kim - October 2022
Kim - Mixed Signals
Many riders use their inside thigh and knee to stabilise their bodies. This is taught when you learn to ride. Although wrong, it’s still taught.

‘Using’ your inside thighs to lightly grip and still the pelvis is part of the aid to slow and half halt. So when you ride with these muscles constantly engaged. What are you asking? What are you teaching your horse?

More importantly why are you then saying ‘No, I want you forward’. When your body is saying otherwise? - So confusing.

Kim has lovely giving arms and soft hands which makes this video overall look good. A good representation of the majority of riders.
There are moments when her horse looks round which makes it even more ‘pleasing’. But is it true roundness?

The way we use our bodies has such an impact. Using the wrong muscles has a big impact in our horses way of going and ability to use their bodies correctly.

We would all love our horses to be round and through. This takes time. They must first learn to use their bodies correctly. Be in front of the movement and balance. Only when they have mastered that can they start to ‘perfect’. Dropping the head and more into the contact.
In the after video the horse is using their body much more efficiently. Over time he will gain strength in the right muscles that will allow him to be more ‘elegant’ with it.

Same for Kim. Her legs are off, the horses is travelling. If she starts to improve her strength, the right way, off the horse. Her lower leg will become more stable. From her hip.
The way you use your bodies have an impact on how your horses move.
Sally - December 2022
Sally Nervous Riders & Position
Sally came to me wanting to improve her position. I spent the first 10mins watching, chatting, and learning about Sally.

Yes, we could improve her position but overall it’s good. For where she is right now. What affects her position is when she becomes nervous. Sally adopts the fetal position, clamps on and uses the reins as stabilisers. With the reins short already this affects Spirits ability to use his body and causes a greater negative reaction in Sally's position with each stride.

Right now, she lacks feeling in control which is the CAUSE of her position holding her back.

I could give her coaching cues, take the knees of the saddle, improve the lumber curvature, have more weight through the stirrups. Ride more through the shoulder than the arms but all of that is pointless. Because until she understands how much control she does have. Believes in herself. She will never be independent in her seat and will always go to her ‘flight’ response.

I taught Sally that she could ask for go, whoa and more energy through her body. Starting in walk. Sally quickly grasped how to stop, start and control the tempo without picking up the contact. Progressing to trot and repeating.

Feeling empowered by her achievements we went for canter too!!

Now Sally isn’t reliant on the reins, Spirit is able to work effectively through his body, use his lengthened neck to balance and is not getting mixed signals to move forward and stop at the same time. 

Now they can start working with each other, not against. It’s essential we improve causes, not symptoms. Otherwise you never really make any improvements. Just create more problems.
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