improve your riding from home with equistretch
what is equistretch?
Equistretch is a class designed by me that incorporates yoga, pilates, strength and conditioning and biomechanics movement that works on the specific requirements needed for the rider.
As a riding coach for years I struggled with how could I help my riders more when they were not in the saddle, I could see their positional issues, I knew they needed more than just the prompts from me in the lesson but every "exercise class" I had tried didn't quite hit the spot, they worked on one area whilst making another area harder for the rider to over come, they were too long to fit into the day, riders had to travel to get to them which meant precious time out of their day being taken and so they weren't a realistic option and non-riding minded pt's, physios etc didn't fully understand the needs of an equestrian.
Riding is a complex sport, requiring our bodies to do many things at once, the ability to be able to stay stable whilst in motion without loosing mobility, the ability to be very precise with body movements whilst also balancing on a moving animal, and to top that a constant challenge on our nervous system means we have to understand what we need from ourselves BUT on top of that we must understand how each specific thing we do affects our horses, it's not just about being correct for us as a human but more importantly correct for our horses.
After coaching purely the riding side for 20 years I then studied human movement, I began with yoga and qualified as a teacher in 2016, continuing my exploration I then studies other forms of movement based exercises, pilates, strength and conditioning, nervous system alignment, breath work, and a lot more. I've taught thousands of humans both on and off the horse, working with rider specific issues and also health issues that come along with a lot of us riders, I help people re-hab correctly after injury, pregnancy or illness and I help the everyday rider to understand their body more so they can make the corrections needed in the saddle when they do ride.
In 2021 I had a spinal cord injury causing me to have emergency spinal surgery and putting me into the place where I have found a lot of my clients, right at the start of a rode of recovery to ride again. Left with no sensation of my pelvic floor, no control of my bowel or bladder and a weakened left hand side I was given basic rehab by the NHS, but they very quickly were happy with "where I was" and so discharged me. The fact I could walk was enough for them, but I had bigger fish to fry, I wanted to ride again. Luckily I had been training or this all of my life, and so knew where to begin, with more study onto of all knew already over 2 years I rebuilt my body, this time without the feelings I was used to I had to learn about new ways to know I was doing things correctly, I also had a very acute awareness of how precious our spines really are, and so my focus on correct alignment was intensified to make sure that no other person went through what I did, and for those that unfortunately had to make sure they could find their recovery back to where they wanted to be too.
What I found through this is a lot of the "traditional" core strength work is fundamentally wrong, or easily done wrong and places extra stress on the spine, everything I teach is from a spine safe view point, I've gone from being carried up and down stairs and screaming in pain at the slightest of movement in my back to having the strength and stability to lift my four year old up, play and do the things I love, through doing he work I teach on myself.
I truly to understand pain, I understand feeling like you have a crooked and broken body, I also suffer with Rheumatoid Arthritis and a few other autoimmune and so deal with pain and inflammation on a daily basis. I do not teach from place of perfection, I am crooked and wonky and work hard to be as correct as I can be for my horse and my health, I bring this empathy and understanding to every class I teach.
Each class is set around a theme, for example, crookedness in the upper body or developing a deeper seat, I then lead you through simple movements that help to build muscles strength in the areas that need to be strong but also length and mobility so we don't become too stiff or too floppy.
All you need is a space big enough to lay down on the floor and some comfortable clothes, I don't use any equipment that isn't easy to grab from around your house as I want this to be as accessible to everyone as possible, I know how life changing this work can be and fundamentally believe that all riders should be able to access this.
The cheapest way to access these classes is to become a member of the academy, by doing this you get access to both live classes every week plus all the recordings, as I right this there are over 250 classes currently in the library, the Academy is £15 a month cancel anytime, click here to join, that works out at £1.87 a class!!
If being a member of something isn't your bag you can drop in and pay as you go for £10 a session. If you have a specific area you wish to work on only you can purchase one of my digital packages found in the shop