Pilates For The Rider
I have ridden all of my life and I want to continue to do so for the rest of my life! I am no longer young but can still ride effectively and probably even better since doing Pilates.
I truly believe that in order to be a safe stable rider people need some sort of fitness routine this is especially true if you are an older rider or a competition rider.
Pilates is particularly beneficial to riders because it works the body uniformly and will help to highlight and iron out any imbalances in the body. A stable balanced body is essential when riding horses.
Riding and working with horses inevitably puts strain on your back, shoulders, hips and pelvis. Pilates really helps to strengthen, stretch and build endurance into your body making it more resilient and effective when riding.
Dressage riding particularly demands balanced, controlled and subtle aids. Pilates helps to develop the rider’s body awareness and coordination so that the aids are invisible and do not affect the balance of the rider or horse.
Pilates develops core strength; this leads to an independent seat and so the aids are not confusing to the horse.
Pilates exercises are performed with concentration, precision and control. These are important qualities when riding horses especially in competitions. It develops body awareness and feel and therefore you can anticipate and readjust your aids much more effectively.
All of the above benefits help to develop rider safety and therefore confidence which in turn lead to a confident horse and more harmonious rider/horse partnership, which at the end of the day is what we are all striving to achieve.