Allison Winterbottom is a Chartered Physiotherapist who has a keen interest and understanding of the demands and mechanics of horse riding. Allison has ridden from the age of 5 and currently has an Irish Sports Horse which she Events, also competing in Dressage, and Showjumping separately.
Horse riding demands balance, flexibility, strength and “feel”. A Horse rider assessment carried out by Allison will assess all four of these elements and give you a clear path of how you can improve your balance or posture, your strength or flexibility and your “feel”.
Usually lessons are focused on the horse and the horse’s way of going and of course this is very important, but sometimes what is overlooked is the rider’s posture and feel and the influence that this has on the horse. A common comment is “heels down” or “weight through your heels”, however if you have a tight calf muscle or your pelvis is not positioned correctly the “heels down” will never happen naturally. It can often reveal a simple solution to a life-time of struggle!
These two photos go some way towards demonstrating crudely the difference the riders posture makes to the horses “way of going” and where his balance is.
1. Is a horse rider assessment like a riding lesson?
No, this is focused on the rider and the rider’s influence on the horse. In this way it probably differs hugely from your regular coaching sessions. I will trys to teach you that all important “feel” – this is the key to success.
2. Do I have to have them weekly or regularly?
No, not at all. I try to give the client key points to take away and then they work on those points. That should correct the specific issue that has been raised. If another issue is raised I am happy to come out again.
3. Where do these assessments take place?
I will travel out to your yard or the facilities you chose. We do need an arena ideally or at least a flat area that your horse will happily walk trot and canter on.
4. Do you have insurance?
Yes, through being a Chartered Physiotherapist I have insurance to cover these types of assessments.
5. What happens in the Physiotherapy sessions?
It is just what a Physiotherapy assessments would be in the clinic, I have a portable couch so I can use all the assessment and treatment techniques.
6. Do I have to have both a rider assessment and a Physiotherapy session?
No, you can one or the other or both – it’s up to you.