Using equipment to enhance your off-horse training

Ok, so The photo at the top is of Baz, demonstrating how to wear both Kinesiotape (K Tape) and TheraBand to increase the intensity and specificity of his training. But we humans can also use all manner of different equipment to modify how our bodies work during training sessions.

I will be covering several different pieces of equipment over the coming weeks, and once the You Tube channel ( the planning is coming along) is up and running, I will put lots of exercises up there for you to have a go at.

You might wonder why equipment might be useful or worth trying at all. Generally speaking, adding resistance, instability or control targets to any exercise will make it harder. Not necessarily more physically demanding, but almost always more technically and mentally challenging. This is great when you consider that riding a horse is technically and mentally challenging too. Riding also constantly challenges our balance, so improving that off the horse is only going to be a good thing.

I tend not to use K-tape as per Baz’s attire during Pilates sessions, but I do use it from time to time with private patients (equine, canine and human). The following I use routinely in Pilates:

TheraBand – for resistance and proprioceptive feedbackimg_20190504_184122399.jpg

Foam rollers – for balance, spinal alignment and scapula controlimg_20190504_184449571

img_20190504_183617847.jpg

Gliders – for dynamic stabilityimg_20190504_184944863

Spiky balls – for fascial release and postural feedback

(This is not a tumble dryer ball by the way! They are a bit on the firm side.)

img_20190505_194211937.jpg

Ova balls – for positional feedbackimg_20190504_183800671.jpg

Less routinely I use Gym balls for dynamic stability; I only use these less frequently because logistically I can’t take a car full around with me so I have to have a group who all have their own balls to do these classes.

If you have any of this equipment lurking at home, now is the time to dig it out. I am as bad as anyone at not doing the exercises I SHOULD do – for example for shoulder girdle stability and there is nothing like someone else giving a timely prod! Hopefully with a bit of help from me you can get the motivation and enthusiasm to maintain your exercise programme.

Keep an eye out for the next post,

Louise

PS – Apologies for the poor lighting in the above photos. I did them in the evening and I look half dead! A learning point before I start filming for You Tube at least….

 

Published by Louise Towl Physio

I am a Chartered Physiotherapist with Pilates training, and I am an ACPAT (the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy) and RAMP (Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners) registered Veterinary Physiotherapist. Away from work I have ridden all my life, competing in various disciplines and now focussing on dressage. With my retired horse, Baz, I competed at Advanced level, and I now have a younger horse, Lizzie, who is currently competing at Elementary.

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