I’ve not long returned home from a fascinating equi-pilates session. It was the second session in a series of three and the insights were brilliant.

Last week’s session was an assessment.  Leonie (the instructor) asked me to do some very simple movements and assessed my range of movement and how developed various muscles are. I was given some exercises to do four times a day….

…I’d like to say that I’d done them, but I haven’t…..more effort required next week, or this will be a waste of my money!

This week’s session had me sitting on my saddle while Leonie assessed my position.

It was fascinating.  Seems that my pelvis is pretty good and well balanced but in looking down at Abbey I’ve developed some really strong muscles around my neck and shoulders that I shouldn’t have!  Looking down puts nearly a stone of weight onto Abbey’s front legs and makes it much harder for her to lift through her shoulders.

I scrunch up through my ribcage on the left and twist slightly to the left.  Leonie asked me to lift my left arm and then lowering it while keeping the ‘length’ I’d just gained.  It felt very strange but it worked and I could see from the reflection how much it changed my frame.

The last session will be an assessment on a moving fake-horse and  a full-on pilates session with exercises that target my specific problem areas.  I can’t wait!

Leonie also does mounted sessions which I will be booking in for.  I’ve got so much from the unmounted sessions (even though I haven’t done my homework!) and I think I’d get more from doing them with Abbey.

The Horse and Hound e-training series is keeping me motivated while temperatures have plummeted.  This weeks lesson was on center lines which we’ve been practicing after some wobbles in the last couple of tests and the test was Prelim 13 (full report below).


This weeks test was Prelim 13:

I don’t go to the edges because the school is 50m wide not 40m.

Our center line is ok, a bit of drifting just after x. Abbey’s a little behind the vertical throughout (need to push her forward into the contact more) but it’s a good sized/shaped circle considering they aren’t any edges to the school.

I was pleased with our second center line. The 20m on the left is a good size and shape too but I’ve notice that my hands are a little low and wide – something to remember for next week.

The first canter transition was good but it was a shame that Abbey lost her concentrsation, and dropped onto the forehand very quickly after.  Still we recovered and the rest of the circle was pretty good.

Coming out of the circle, though, she gets distracted again.  I don’t think that there is much I can do about that.

Onto the second 20m circle and the downwards transitions….it’s not the best we can do, but not the worst either.

Abbey swings her quarters to the left on the downwards transition to walk and doesn’t take the contact forward on the start of the free walk (but does toward the end).

I am really pleased with both the upwards transitions and the 20m circle right.  We do gather a little momentum on the long side but we’re working on those. It felt better than a couple of weeks ago, when we resembled a racing car heading down the straight Silverstone!

Again there are a couple of lapses of concentration, but she quickly comes back to me and what we’re doing.

The downwards transition is much more balanced on this rein.  We do have a hesitation before the diagnol….have we been practicing too many FWLR?!

I thought that the last center line was the best of the test and the halt was pretty good (though not 100% square!)