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Pilates Minded Exercises for the Equestrian

by: Michele Harris, BASI CTTC Teacher

Michele-and-Chardonnay-300x225To be honest, I had heard about Pilates quite a few years ago.  I wasn't interested.  It didn't look challenging enough for me.  I wanted to do powerful exercises with weights or on equipment like the Chuck Norris & Christie Brinkley's Power Gym as seen on TV!

Pilates, it just didn't look like they were doing anything!  You know, just like riding a horse "the horse is the one doing all the work,"  the rider just sits there.  "Whoa!! Wait a minute...Did I get your attention now?  All us horse riders are going to tell you a whole different story.  Riders sweat, our heart rate elevates, our inner thighs and calves burn!  What do you mean we're just sitting there doing nothing?

So shame on me or judging Pilates, appearing to look to easy.  That's one of the similarities between Pilates and Riding.  In Pilates, you learn to stabilize parts of your body.  In rider lingo, independent hands, seat and legs.

When the rider appears to be motionless and doing nothing, it couldn't be further from the truth.  For the rider, appearing to sit motionless on the moving horse is an art and a talent but could not happen without strength and control over muscles and mind.

In every workout session, Pilates strengthens the body as a whole, creating symmetry in muscle development, reeducating the brain for better mind body connection.

For more information on how Pilates can improve your riding, call the Tsawwassen Wellness Centre at 604.943.8823.