Tools & partnerships

LOGA – Riding lessons with a touch of yoga

LOGA stands for Laurie

My way of working towards harmony between horse and rider in the PBI trainings matches beautifully with Laurie’s own mix of yoga and horse riding techniques. We therefore like to call her trainings ‘riding classes with a touch of yoga’. There is nothing too vague about it, but we do see value in riding techniques that go beyond the regular instructions. Examples of the things Laurie works on are breath regulation, seeking and relieving muscle tension, and visualisation techniques. Laurie also adds a large amount of riding skills, as a former (British) dressage rider

NOTE: For this photoshoot I briefly sat on the horse without wearing my helmet. I highly recommend wearing a helmet at any time. And of course, a helmet is required during all my lessons and clinics!

Laurens van Lieren Dressage

Does this world-famous Grand Prix champion need any introduction? Let’s just say I’m very proud to be working with Laurens van Lieren. It proves that even at the very highest level, it is still useful to work on the most basic aspects of your riding skills.

We coöperate by offering combined clinics where I provide my PBI training, while Laurens focuses on riding techniques. Laurens has also gone through many of my trainings himself, from the PBI course and practices on the Joker simulator to the rider fitness screening at Axis.

We are planning even more coöperation projects in the future, but more on that later…

The Correct Seat S(t)imulator: Joker

Since early 2016 I‘m also giving lessons with the help of Joker: the Correct Seat S(t)imulator designed by Kerry Sharp. Kerry is from England and works in Holland as a saddle fitter for WOW saddles. In this profession, he has to deal with lots of crooked horses and… crooked riders. This is what gave him the idea of designing the simulator.

Since I have been working with this simulator, I like to say: “Joker says more than a 1000 words!”

 A ride on Joker can teach the rider:

  • Proper muscle use (from core stability to relaxation)
  • The right movements to follow the hose’s movements (a rider can’t sit still by sitting still!)
  • Sense of balance
  • left-right equal movement
  • The right connection through the rein, from the bit up to the rider’s shoulders
  • Timing and coördination
  • Breathing regulation

The good thing about this simulator is that you have to generate all the movement yourself. Its interior has springs that are set in motion by your own movements. You can simulate a walk, trot, or canter. When moving in a way that would be the proper response to your horse’s movements, with the proper balance to prevent the springs from jamming, Joker will feel like riding a real horse. But if your seat is not yet correct, you won’t get anywhere – literally.

Joker will also make you aware of your own left-right balance. The saddle is not fixed in place and the spring construction is quite unstable. You can thus clearly feel when you’re out of balance, but will also notice immediately when you have adjusted yourself properly.

Joker has given useful eye-openers for riders of all different levels. This ‘horse’ is patient and very reliable, but has a ‘Sharp’ eye for details! Who dares to take a ride?

Image of international eventing rider Ilonka Kluytmans while practicing her light seat on Joker.

See how Joker can quickly lead to enormous improvements in this video on my YouTube channel.

Hylofit heart rate monitors for horse and rider

Note: due to Corona crisis, Hylofit unfortunately had to quit their business… 
Measurement of horse and rider are still possible but we are looking for a new solution to register these measurements together like we were able to in the Hylofit app.  

In 2018 I purchased the Hylofit app and heart rate monitors which can be used for both horse and rider from Cees van Beckhoven. Cees van Beckhoven, who made an important contribution in the development of the Hylofit system, helped me to get familiar with the use of Hylofit. The Hylofit app shows and saves the recorded heart rates of horse and rider together in one chart. You can also combine the heart rates with a video file, which allows you to watch videos of parts of your training and at the same time it shows the heart rates of horse and rider in the corner of the screen.

Your horse’s heart rate gives you information on the general physical wellbeing. A heart rate that is above average can be caused by lack of stamina, but it can also be an indication of pain, discomfort, illness, overtraining, tension and fear.

Measurement during training can show you which exercises influence the heart rate. This will give you a surprise about what is physically demanding or what comes naturally to your horse; something you can only find out through the use of the Hylofit app.

The Hylofit app shows the physical state of the rider, where most of the times we must admit that our horses are the better athletes! By measuring horse and rider simultaneously, you can find out if the rider influences the horse with his or her tension, or maybe it’s the other way round. Through this knowledge Hylofit can contribute to a better harmony between horse and rider.

During a private lesson or during one of the lessons of the PBI course (see page Position, Balance and Influence), for an additional 20 euro you can opt for a Hylofit registered heart rate measurement.

If you’re participating in one of my clinics and want to have a Hylofit assessment, please inform us together with your registration and we will do our best to fit this into our schedule.

After your training session you will receive screenshots and a short video by whatsapp or we chat.

Rein pressure sensor

Struggles with contact, symmetry or aids?

A training with the IPOS Rein sensor system will give you solutions!

The IPOS Rein sensor system consists of two rein sensors, to be placed on the left and right side, between the bit and the rein. The data is picked up by the IPOS Training Application where I can view Rein Sensor data real-time on my smartphone and send the registered details to my clients.

The sensors objectively measure the total  amount of pressure applied to the bit, which is a combination of what the rider and the horse produce. By analysing the pattern the software can calculate the base contact, your symmetry and the aids you’re giving.

The rein sensors are useable for every discipline.

Balance Pad Training

Since 2015 I’m offering training sessions with Balance pads. When using these soft pads, the horse stands on an unstable surface to train balance. This training can also be combined with a riding lesson.

This training method is developed by the American Feldenkrais trainer Wendy Murdoch. (Feldenkrais is a type of exercise therapy which is claimed to reorganize connections between the brain and body and so improve body movement and psychological state.) The pads are a useful tool because they encourage the horse to seek its balance. Wendy’s idea is that the horse literally learns how to make contact with the ground. This leads to a weight distribution that is more balanced between left and right, and between forehand and hindquarters.

The training can be done in hand or while mounted.

Many horses that used to be nervous or showed rushed movements have been helped by this balance training.(Note that a rushed rhythm is often caused by improper balance.) I have seen many horses improve their movements spectacularly with these pads. And because every horse reacts in its own unique way, it always makes these trainings interesting and insightful.

The Impression Pad

As an additional service, I can use the Impression Pad in my riding lessons. This pad is placed under the saddle to create an imprint of the pressure distribution while riding.

Made of ‘flexible dough’, the pad is shaped by the saddle’s pressure. An uneven imprint can be caused by crookedness in the saddle, in the horse or in the rider, or by a combination of those.

With the PBI training, I always use the Impression Pad to create an imprint of both the saddle and the seat bones. This way we can find out what exactly causes an uneven weight distribution.

Check this video link to see how we use the Impression Pad (in Dutch).

Anky Free Rider

The Flexchair – in coöperation with (horse and human) physiotherapist Joris van de Riet

video about the Flex chair is available on YouTube.

It’s not about dedicating your life to your training, but about dedicating your training to your life.

– Dan Millman –