Enlightened Equitation Simulator Workshops
These workshops aim to clarify and demystify the techniques of riding, through simple, but very detailed explanations and visual demonstrations, coupled with unique 'hands on' work to ensure that each student really is given the correct feel of how to synchronise with the horse. In this way, the rider learns far more quickly to adhere to the saddle, enhancing safety and enjoyment and also, most importantly, saving the horse much discomfort from the rider bouncing about on his back.
The Equisimulator allows us to show the rider the precise movements of the lower back and pelvis, so that instead of the instructor telling the student to 'sit deeper', 'relax your lower back' or 'follow the movement', all of which are more or less meaningless to the novice rider, we are able to show the rider precisely how to mirror the horse's movements, in a fraction of the normal time taken to learn by the old 'practise makes perfect' methods of teaching. Practise does indeed make perfect, but only the right sort! Putting it simply, the horse has two sides to his back and you have two sides to your rear end. Put two and two together, in sync, and you make one. When you move together as one unit, riding becomes effortless. If you are being taught to use so much effort on a horse that you are the colour of beetroot when you get off, then you are working much too hard! Every extra movement that you make also means extra work for your horse. To have to carry the rider's weight is not natural to him, and every time the rider loses balance, the horse has to readjust his own balance.
Many very experienced riders come to East Leigh for remedial work on their position, ability to absorb the horse's movement, or frequently both. Very often the explanations that they learn here are an absolute revelation - the phrase 'But why have I never been told this before' has to be one that we hear during every workshop!
Equisimulator/Introduction to Classical Riding -
2 Day Workshop
Maximum 6 participants. There are 4 Equisimulator machines here at East Leigh Farm. As a specialist seat trainer for 50 years, Heather Moffett has more experience than anyone in the world, teaching with these machines internationally and in the UK for over 20 years.
The workshop will cover a lot more than just work on the simulators. Refinement of the aids and generally demystifying riding with clear, logical explanations and demonstrations. Accommodation is not included but there are many excellent B&Bs nearby. Refreshments are provided on both days (tea, coffee, biscuits, crisps etc.) but please bring your own sandwiches.
Meet in simulator room and Heather will brief and also ask you to tell us a bit about yourself, and what you hope to get out of the workshop.
Heather or her assistant Tallulah McIntosh will demonstrate the rights and wrongs of riding, on one of our Iberian horses. Questions welcome throughout!
Dismounted workshop to clarify and explain what we will learn and practise on the Equisimulators.
Demonstration on the simulators.
Assessment of each participant, on the simulators. Practise what needs to be addressed.
Later if time, video lecture showing correct and incorrect interaction with the horses movement.
Practise on the 4 simulators to correct and improve all participants. We spend as long on the machines as students can manage!
Further practise on the simulators and any topics of discussion further clarified.
£250 per person.
For those who would like to put into practice what you have learned, but on a real horse, lessons are available at Fitzworthy Equestrian Centre, by prior arrangement (please contact them direct). Private lessons at Fitzworthy £50 an hour. Beautiful new indoor school and decent horses.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
I have spent the last couple of days at Heather's yard in glorious Devon. Yesterday watching Heather, Kay and working pupil Tilly work their horses and today riding the simulators and watching Heather ride the lovely Lorca. The simulator course is absolutely fantastic and I cannot recommend it enough. I have been completely unable to canter 'up and back' on my mare and it has been driving me insane but today i did it! With Heather's expertise it took seconds, yes seconds to put nearly 30yrs of polishing the saddle and rowing a boat with my upper body to bed! Also went from bobbing in sitting trot to using my seat bones independently in time with the movement of the horse. Never sat so still and looked so 'proper' in my entire riding career. Thank you soooooo much Heather, Kay and Jennie Jordan. Get yourself on an Enlightened Equitation Simulator course, it's a revelation!
— Nikki Aitchison