17 03 2013

So, no horse riding for me last week. I did rearrange my lesson for Tuesday as I think I said in my previous update, but a guest lecture at university about the origins of Bushido came up that evening in the intervening period and I thought that ought to take priority as it’s within my specific area of interest.

No horse riding for me in the coming week, either. I shall be away doing family things.

I have no real intention of resting on my laurels in this time, however; following the realization that if I worked on building strength in my core, a better seat and greater control would follow, I splashed out with the money I made from some recent eBay sales and bought myself an equestrian Pilates exercise DVD!

The one I have bought myself is Janice Dulak’s Pilates for the Dressage Rider. Also available in the UK is Gemma Tattershall’s Equestrian Pilates, which is actually the cheaper of the two and has more positive reviews on Amazon, so I thought very hard about which one to go for before making a final purchase. I chose the former because I was put off by what some of the reviewers had written about the Gemma Tattershall DVD: specifically, that the production quality was poor and it was difficult to navigate. The one (out of a total of two) positive review about Dulak’s DVD said enough good things about it to assure me that I wasn’t making a bad choice. I ordered it from The Book Depository for almost a third less than Amazon were charging and free postage!

Initial thoughts: Given what I paid for the DVD, I was a bit disappointed that the slip cover isn’t more professional-looking; to be honest, it looks like it was knocked up on someone’s home PC and printed on an inkjet printer, and I was initially concerned that the product I’d purchased wasn’t genuine. An inspection of the disk itself, and it looked like it was the real thing, just with cheap packing materials. I was a bit disappointed by the picture quality when I went to play the DVD for the first time, too. Nevertheless, I reminded myself that that wasn’t what I’d bought it for and persevered with it.

In terms of actual content, so far, so good. The sound is nice and clear on it, and it’s well narrated. Although I haven’t actually done a workout yet I have watched through the introduction and some of the exercises, and I found it a good sign that I found it hard to watch the explanations/demonstrations without going through the motions of the exercises myself! The commentary is very easy to follow and understand, frequently referring back to the significance of muscle groups and their uses in dressage so that you understand the relevance of what you’re doing, and the editing of the actual exercise demonstrations is executed very nicely to give you a really good idea of what you should be doing.

I will update on this again when I’ve actually done a full workout, and I’ll keep a record on here of how well I think it’s going and whether I think it’s helping.

In other news, I am also currently reading and really enjoying Monty Roberts’ The Man who Listens to Horses and becoming very interested in ‘natural horsemanship’ as a consequence… and the discovery that YOU CAN GET BITLESS BRIDLES has made me inordinately happy. One day… *sigh*




6 responses

18 03 2013

I am reading this while enjoying a big ol’ bowl of malted crunch ice cream…pilates…..oh man I am an underachiever.

Since this post have you tried the actual workout yet? I am looking for something like this that will help me strengthen my core, help keep my back happy and improve my posting trot. I am going to start running again, I have noticed that it keeps everything muscle wise feeling really loose but I do want to work on building some of those specific riding muscles…not just doing a ton of cardio. Maybe I will head over to youtube and see if I can get some sneak peeks on the available dressage pilates videos.

And funny that you mention bits…lol, as I am sure you have seen my post where I was enjoying a good rant on that topic. Don’t misunderstand, I am all for bitless riding as long as the horse is responsive 🙂

Looking forward to hearing about your next lesson.

18 03 2013

Not yet, no! I’ve had far too much stuff to sort out just recently. I shall certainly report back after I’ve had a proper go!

I read your post after I wrote this. I’m not judging anyone else for schooling their horse with a bit here; after all, if I am going to progress to dressage and historic equitation, as I aspire to, bits are just something I’m going to have to accept as part and parcel. Nevertheless, I do like the thought that there’s a more comfortable option for the horse 🙂

19 03 2013

What is historic equitation? I immediately think of jousting….am I way off target?

20 03 2013

Jousting is one part of it, yes. It’s basically the name of a school in England where they teach historical martial horse riding. I don’t know what better to refer to what they do as than what they call themselves, as it seems to neatly sum it up!

Incidentally, I sent a booking email to go and train with them for a day earlier on today… 😉

20 03 2013

Oh, you absolutely MUST take photos if at all possible. I would love to see that.
Lol, yes historic equitation does sum it up nicely I suppose…but you know, right after I thought of jousting I thought of how women used to have to ride side-saddle 😛

20 03 2013

Yes, of course! It looks like if it happens, it’ll be on the first weekend of September; unsurprisingly, they’re quite busy over summer! Still exciting, though.

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