We have two simulators, a Racewood race Simulator and an Enlightened Equitation Equisimulator.
We also have a number of static horses which can be used for western riding, polo or polocrosse practice, mounting and dismounting practice and a range of other activities.
Affectionately known as 'Springtime' our EE Equisimulator, designed by Heather Moffett, is a spring loaded mechanical horse which is an invaluable training aid providing opportunities for riders of all abilities to improve their position, and balance as well as their confidence, fitness and core strength.
We were lucky to receive a grant from the New Anglia Business Growth Programme Small Grant Scheme part funded by European Regional Development Fund to part fund the purchase of 'Springtime'.
It can benefit riders who have never ridden through to advanced competition riders and is especially helpful for nervous or 'returning' riders or those who feel their riding is not progressing as quickly as they might like. It can be used with most types of saddle including GP, dressage and side-saddle. Riders can even bring their own saddle for lessons if required. The weight limit for Springtime is 14 stone, 89kgs.
How does it help?
There are many advantages to using simulators to help improve your riding.
Most riders will know that rhythm is the first step on the German riding scale, and that without correct rhythm everything else is more difficult for the horse and rider.
Because this is a rider powered simulator it requires the rider to move correctly in order to keep the horse moving with a regular rhythm. If the rider interacts incorrectly it will impede the movement just as it would with a live animal. As the rider improves their timing and balance they will feel the movement of the machine improve as it would on a real horse.
It is very helpful for training the muscle memory required for better synchrony with the movements of a real horse.
It allows the rider to experiment without having to worry about their impact on a real horses back.
Because the instructor is able to stand beside the rider, they are able to be hands on in assisting the rider in the precise movement of pelvis and lower back while the rider is working in walk, trot, or canter. This helps riders to correct their posture and improve both lateral and longitudinal balance for both flatwork and jumping.
It is possible for the equisimulator to remain in a steady balanced gait for as long as the rider is fit enough to do so, so unlike a real horse it will not tire or become bothered by riders mistakes.
It is excellent for developing rider fitness as it provides a good work out for the core and lower back muscles.
Balance is a vitally important skill for a rider to aquire. Our equisimulator can be really helpful for this.
Riders can safely work without stirrups or without reins if required in order to help them to establish an indpendent seat, where they are not relying on the reins to support them or the stirrups to correct their imbalances.
This type of mechanical simulator gives the rider instant feedback if their rhythm or balance needs correcting, because unlike a real horse, or an electronic horse, it is not able to keep going unless it is being ridden correctly.
What would be the best type of lesson for me?
Please call us on 01728 746916 if you have any questions or would like to discuss the options further before booking.
Private lessons: For private lessons we usually find half an hour is sufficient as it can be quite physically demanding.
Group lessons: 4 people for one hour. Ideal for pony clubs, riding clubs or groups of friends. This is a popular option as people can learn from watching each other.
Combination lessons: If you book a one hour private lesson, you can start on the simulator and the move onto a real horse, to put into practice what you have learned. We recommend a lunge lesson, but it could be off the lunge if you prefer.
Fitness sessions: Once you know what it is that you need to work on, you may not require an instructor to help you all the time, so we offer fitness sessions for those who wish to practice what they have learned by themselves, or for those who wish to use it as a method to warm up before their riding lesson. (This is only available for over 18's who have received an initial assessment lesson on the simulator)
As our riding ability progresses, we will often find elements about our posture which need refining. This is when it can be really helpful to work on the simulator. Returning to the simulator for a short session from time to time can save you many hours of practice on a real horse to achieve the same level.
You may also be interested in:
Balance and motion lessons using our balance balls to assist rider stability.
Lessons on our racehorse simulator. This is especially useful for those wishing to increase fitness levels for cross country or racing, but is also good fun for riding clubs and pony clubs as a group activity.
Lunge lessons with the vaulting handles. The vaulting pad and handles are especially helpful for anybody wishing to improve their confidence. The pad allows the rider to feel the motion of the horse more easily than with a saddle. The handles provide the rider with a greater sense of security than a saddle so it can be very useful for riders who need to improve their balance and core strength and is easier and much less daunting than traditional lessons without stirrups.