Dressage Rider Training Reviews
Read these dressage rider fitness program reviews and testimonials below. These are from riders just like you who have completed the program and then sent me these photos and comments.
I am 62 years old and I have been riding for 50 years. (How is that even possible??) I started DRT 1 about 16 or 17 weeks ago. I had to have a break for a month or so due to an injury to my foot…she spooked and kicked my ankle at a show but I ride anyway. 🙄
Eventing is my primary equestrian sport. And with dressage being the first phase, and my most challenging, I have found that DRT has really helped my core and allowed me to focus on my position Beasley can be a bit resistant to the aids and developing core strength, and the ability to use different parts of my body in unison, has really helped with this.
There is so much information available on the internet now, and I picked DRT because I liked the structure of the lessons, the time commitment and the fact that the instructor, Nicola, is a dressage rider. Options are given for exercises so that you can be successful.
I was looking for an exercise program that I could do at home to add to my current routine, with a rider focus, and this has been great! I have signed up for DRT 2 which I will be starting next week.
I highly recommend DRT and I am looking forward to carrying on and becoming a better rider.
Dear Nicola, I am very much grateful for the program and am looking forward to doing more. I usually am solo when riding so I don’t have a lot of pictures recently, so I am sending some pictures of an obstacles clinic that we recently did in hand. One thing for sure is that the program is helping me to achieve the goal of being more secure in the saddle. Balance and safety are very important to me since I do a lot of trail riding. My “ring work” (around the pasture and yard) focuses on western dressage, ranch type riding, and anything I can think of to help me meet my goals of riding safely out and about by myself.
Hi Nicola, just getting to the end of Week 10 now and I can honestly say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute.
It’s like finishing a jigsaw puzzle, all the pieces are now clicking into place, I feel so much more from the saddle and keep checking in with my straightness, balance and softness and I’m sure my girl is delighted not to have me bumping about as much on her back, especially coming back from her operation when neither of us are riding fit.
Enclosed a couple of pics and hopefully I will get to start DRT 2 after our September holiday.
Thank you once again it’s been a complete pleasure.
Kirsty and Gypsy
I started with DRT 1 after I bumped into it on FB in 2018. I was 60 yrs old and my right hip had worn out. I had ridden the majority of my life, but I found I could barely sit in the saddle as my hips were contracting due to the arthritis in my right hip.
During the course of DRT 1 I was amazed that at my age I could increase my strength and flexibility.
Then came DRT 2, why not go for it? I eventually got my hip replaced Jan 2020 and by March I was free to ride again and do any other physical activity.
As each DRT program was developed I got more motivated to work through each of them. Fast forward to May 2021, I purchased a 3 yr old TB gelding. Well bred & ranch raised here in Hill Country Tx, it was his personality that stole my heart. We had a great start, but a couple of unlikely accidents have put him in stall rest and rehab for almost half the time I have had him.
BUT… DRT has always been a part of my morning routine, and I might add, all your other yoga and strength programs. I have completed many of them more that once. I consider DRT to be Dressage for humans!. It is a methodical, systematic approach to improving fitness and stamina. Each week builds on the previous week and the workouts during the week highlight different muscle groups so it is rare to be too sore to work out. It has kept me, now 66 yrs, fit and flexible enough to get back in the saddle after several months off due to lameness.
As an extra bonus, due to the weight bearing and strength building aspects of your programs, my dexa scans (test for osteoporosis) have improved! I no longer have osteopenia (weakened bones due to age related changes) My scans are those of a premenopausal woman!
Your programs and the quality of your website is amazing. I have always had great customer service when I needed help. I expect to have you and Ben in my life for many years to come
Just hoping to encourage someone out there and thank Nicola for this outstanding program. I bought the DRT1 program in January of 2020 in hopes of getting stronger and having more energy. It took me 12 weeks before I could complete the first phase without sucking wind or collapsing. I was loving the progress. On May 16, 2020 I had a serious accident with my horse resulting in 4 spinal fractures (C3, C4, L1 and L4). Throw in a 1 month Covid setback and it wouldn’t be until January 25, 2021 before I began the DRT1 program again. Amazingly this time it was only 10 weeks to get back to week 5 workouts.
Once at week 5 I experienced another setback in that I strained a ligament in my back near one of the fracture sites (washing my LQ. Sigh) and I was down for another 2 months. I got back up again and progressed faster still. I am so proud to say that TODAY November 19th, 2021 I completed the final week 12 workout. I am stronger than I have been in decades. I have begun to ride my new horse. Having been able to only sit with him for a long time, then gradually groom, go for walks, bathe, ground work, and now progressing to riding I have had the opportunity to form a relationship with him that I am loving. My old buddy has gone to a good home of my choosing. He was/is a fantastic horse and the accident was no fault of his but I could not overcome the trauma aspect to return to him.
Anyway, I want to encourage anyone who may have had a similar experience that no matter how many setbacks you have, forward is the key. Each time you get knocked down you can pick back up and get back to where you were faster and move beyond. I am looking forward to DRT2 when it opens next time! Thank you Nicola for a fantastic program. My PT loved it as well and encouraged me to pursue it after finishing with him.
I was amazed to have completed the DRT2 program in the 12 weeks planned. It helped me gain so much more strength and flexibility and balance. It was after DRT2 completion that I actually began to feel stronger. I remember the first time I really realized I was changing was when I went to lift myself into the bed of my pickup truck and was surprised when I literally flew up higher than I needed to! I was thinking, wow, what just happened?
I finished DRT2 wanting more. DRT3 took me a bit longer to finish as I repeated some weeks before moving on. I found it to be helpful in increasing what I would describe as athleticism. That feeling of being more bouncy and youthful (although believe me at 53 I am well aware I don’t bounce like I used to but it’s all relative right?). I went on to DRT4 looking for the one component I felt I was missing, stamina.
Well, I am happy to say that I finished DRT4 this past Sunday and am pleased with the progress in the area of stamina but even more so perhaps in that I have gained even more strength. I have more muscle than EVER before. I plan to repeat DRT4 again in hopes I can gain more stamina still and try some of the harder options offered. I love this program so much. I truly feel it has brought me back to life. I love that Nicola keeps me safe. Just when I start to lose form she chimes in with some great advice or encouragement.
I am stronger and more fit and confident in my abilities than I have been since college (and that was a LONG time ago). The differences I find every time I ride my horse are astounding. I can execute instructions riding him that I was never able to do even before my accident. It is truly a great feeling. Thank you Nicola for using your skills and talents to create such a fantastic program. You are bettering peoples lives, and their horses lives too!
All the best,
I am delighted to have worked through DRT2 and to see the progress I have made. I was in two minds whether to move on to DRT2 as I felt there were some areas of DRT1 that I just wasn’t very good at – lunges and leg strength mostly. But I have worked through DRT2 in the 12 weeks and am very happy with how I managed.
I returned to riding in my late 40’s after about a 10 year period of not riding at all and although everything clicked back into place and I could ride well, I just didn’t have that easy confidence that I had had before.
DRT 1 & 2 have given me back that feeling. I am more balanced in my seat bones, more in tune with my horse, my legs work independently without involving my whole body and I am much more relaxed. I didn’t realise how much tension I was holding in my seat but that has now gone and I have dropped down a stirrup hole for flatwork. These are subtle changes but they have made all the difference to how I feel in the saddle.
Off the horse my posture has improved and I am stronger. DRT is now part of my life and I can tell if I miss a day or two but seeing the positive changes it has made makes it easy to keep motivated and the results are amazing. Thank you Nicola!
I absolutely loved taking part in the Dressage Rider Training Program, even though it was only for twenty minutes a day the results were unbelievable! My trainer recommended the program to me, and I have to say, it was incredibly helpful! I’ve seen a significant improvement in my position, even after the first week. What I loved most about the program was the ability to go back and watch certain videos over and over again and still receive positive results. I found the weekly goal breakdown to be very helpful in keeping me motivated. As my horse has large gaits, staying fit is important to keep up with his fitness. This program has assisted me in achieving that. I am grateful for purchasing the flash drive as it allows me to keep the videos forever and continue my progress.
I have done each week twice and I really feel the benefit of it when I do the second week so I have another 12 weeks to complete and I am thrilled with it, my core and legs have really strengthened and with my run in the mornings I am quite fit, My Harmony (my horse) is has a lot of blood and can be spooky so I value the extra strength in my legs, all needed, This is mainly why I did DRT1 and 2 and it has really helped, and my instructor sees the results too, me and Harmony have become more of a pair as I have much better leg contact which really can be seen in my flat work,
I am absolutely blown away from the changes I’ve seen having completed the DRT1 program! I had a really serious accident earlier in year breaking my lower back, sternum and smashing five ribs (all down the left side) which obviously left me with a lot of weakness and unevenness. I had three months of rehab to be back in the saddle at 12 weeks post surgery.
Riding again wasn’t painful, I had physio clearance, but I was so tight and braced, how tight and weak I was made me tip forward, I physically couldn’t sit in the canter, I was collapsed through the whole left side and my body from behind looked more like a zig zag than a straight line. Timmy is a very sensitive boy, and needs a soft rider, so my bracing and weakness caused a lot of tension and bracing from him in return.
Having finished DRT1, I feel so much straighter, I am strong enough through my lower back and core to sit tall in the saddle again, I feel much more even through both sides, and I am able to sit deep in the saddle and my leg feels LONG (even pre accident, feeling like I had a long leg was never something I’d achieved!). I’m riding softly and more correctly, and in turn Timmy is going softer and more correctly, we’re not bracing against each other.
I started this program as part of my rehab with the aim to get back to where I was before the accident, but I’m feeling better on a horse mere months post major accident than I ever did beforehand. I’ve gained the confidence back to get back out competing again!
This was my first time trying the DRT program and it has been a game changer!
Although I’m more of a pleasure rider; I dabble in everything from baby hunters to basic dressage (both English and Western), to trail and Endurance riding, and I think this program is beneficial for riders of all disciplines. My core strength and balance has improved. I am more even through my body. Those nagging old-injury stiff-and-sore-spots are much more supple.
I know the Batty pony appreciates my ability to stay out of his way and communicate more cleanly.
Working through this program has also helped improve my running. Love that!
I absolutely plan to continue working with this program. Thank you, Nicola!
Hi Nicola, Prior to joining DRT I was aware of that I needed to improve my strength and fitness if I wanted to progress with my riding. It has been great finding an on line programme specifically designed for riders.
I am an enthusiastic amateur, passionate about my sport with a single minded desire to progress.
I enjoy great satisfaction in having completed DRT 1,2,3. As a result my riding has improved, specifically my improved core strength has meant I can maintain my posture in the saddle with relative ease giving me the confidence to believe I will continue to improve.
I enjoyed the variety in the DRT 3 programme, this helped keep me engaged and interested to see what each weeks routines were, DRT 1&2 laid the foundation strength needed to succeed at level 3 . It is very rewarding to discover that with practice one can actually balance on a Swiss ball!
This is the very first time sitting on my new horse! It will be my first time riding a horse that is a blank slate, and is super sensitive! We have spent quite a long time on the ground, working on her balance and symmetry. It’s up to me to help her maintain and improve that by being the best rider possible – such a responsibility! This course helped me to identify certain areas where I need to improve my suppleness and muscle control as we begin our journey into riding. ~ Ann and Willow
DRT2 is a great step up! It’s been so beneficial, not just for my riding, but for my fitness as a whole. My posture and balance are so much improved. I used to lean on the reins a lot, but now I can balance on my seat. I’ve probably progressed more in my riding in the past 6 months than in the past few years! (I ride once a week.) I’ve even cantered without stirrups, which was so much fun! My stamina has also improve, and I don’t feel worn out before my lesson is done. This program is great investment, and not only for riding. Highly recommended!
I have just finished DRT2 which has been part of an amazing journey for me. I have struggled with confidence issues and ptsd following the loss of my 21 year old daughter and this has impacted my riding. I really needed to get my body and mind back on track and your programme has helped so much. I feel fitter and stronger both mentally and physically and I am keen to repeat much of the programme to really improve on my suppleness and strength. I have even been out competing and thoroughly enjoyed it! Along with my instructors you have helped me get back to enjoying my hobby without much fear and with a new stronger body and mindset. Thank you!
My experience in DRT1 was helpful in several ways. The routines kept me exercising regularly. Homework was easy to do in the den ( usually). The reading material encourages additional mobility and activities which are not stressful at all. It was enjoyable because each week was a little different. And the icing on the cake, Nicola has competition on the mat from her pup as do I …so I felt a connection.
I loved, loved this program. I was a swimmer in college and a high level nordic athlete in addition to a horseback rider. I developed chronic, exercise induced migraines and have found exercise difficult to keep up with due to my frequent migraines. I’m starting to get better with medication and trying to get back in shape. I’ve found this program just the right length and it makes me feel great on my migraine free days! Really there is no excuse not to try 20 minutes, even if I have a headache I can do the meditation or the light yoga. My plan is to repeat the program then sign up in six months for the next set. I’m off to walk my dog! I particularly love that Nicola is out there with her pooch.
I have had horses all my life, but it is a long time ago I have had youngsters. I will turn 50 before my youngster is ready to be ridden next year, and that made me conclude that I need to improve my physical abilities well in advance.
I came across Dressage Rider Training 8 months ago and I am deeply amazed! I am ready to start DRT3 and I have enjoyed every lesson so far.
I have improved massively and can really feel the difference when riding horses and in my everyday life. I am grateful and I am sure the horses are too.
As a vet I know how important it is to disturb the horses as little as possible, and we all owe our horse friends to stay or become fit and balanced.
Here you see one of my horse friends – the fjord horse breeding stallion Fjellkaisar from Denmark 💛 We highly recommend Nicola’s Dressage Rider Training programs.
Thank you, Nicola, for the DRT equestrian fitness programs! I have completed DRT1 and DRT2 and I am seeing continual improvement in not only my strength but in making my left and right sides more balanced in strength. I am stronger on my left and did not realize it until these programs. This is why I tend to twist and lean to one side in the saddle! The awareness I have gained lets me consciously correct this twist while riding and the strength I have gained makes this correction possible.
I have successfully used other fitness programs, but I now prefer DRT because it is aimed at riders and I benefit when you connect the lesson to how it will affect my position on the horse.
Here I am with Dibs after finishing a 10 mile intro to Endurance ride in the rolling hills of Fair Hill, MD. It was positively pouring rain, wind was 20mph, pelting the rain into my face and my horse’s face! Thankfully, the thunder and lightening had stopped right before we were to begin. I am so proud that I felt strong enough in the saddle to be confident enough to go ahead with this ride. This is a huge step forward for me! I will be signing up for DRT3.
DRT 3 has been my favorite for so many reasons. Almost all of the routines have received “stars” in my journal. I do that so I know which ones to repeat after I’m done with the twelve weeks. I enjoy the 4X reps in the core and fitness segments. I get better each time through, and my heart rate is really up when I’m finished! Your modifications are perfect for me. Since I’m 72, I need to use them especially the jumping ones, but I will say that by week 12, I was able to do small jumps without so much sounding like an elelphant landing. I didn’t care for the yoga when I started DRT1. Now, I cant imagine doing without it.
The conditioning routines are fabulous. I have downloaded them so that I can do them in the lounge at the barn where the wifi doesn’t work. I audited a clinic last week and by the end of the day, my shoulders were screaming from sitting on bleachers. I did conditioning #1, and the pain went away. Thank you!
I so enjoy your program. The organization and the ability to do it at home is perfect for me. I know that it has helped my riding, and I’m so grateful to be still able to ride. I have to say too that the way you present yourself on camera with your little dog and horses makes me feel that I actually know you. The birds singing when we’re in the middle of a gastly winter in midwest USA is sooooo wonderful.
Well done and thank you! Carol Howard
If you ride, you should do this course! DRT was on my radar for quite a while before I finally committed and signed up. I hesitated as I wasn’t sure if I would benefit. I’m 57, I am not a dressage rider, I don’t compete but I do enjoy riding my horse in a variety of disciplines. I already did Pilates, worked on my core and did hip flexor exercises to help my lower back but finally I decided I needed some structure to my exercise plan so I signed up and I am so glad I did.
Somehow, just the 3 x 20 minute sessions a week work wonders and after just a few weeks I could feel an improvement in my seat and now am able to hold tone but remain relaxed and feel so much more part of my horse. Off the horse I have much better posture, am stronger, more flexible and am aware of where my weaknesses are so know what to work on. The sessions are enjoyable and the multiple options mean you will always be able to do it, keeping your motivation to improve.
I worked through the course in the 12 weeks but am now repeating it, working on the areas I found the hardest and with so much extra content it is very good value for money. I feel fitter and stronger than ever, thanks Nicola!
Nicola, Thank you for your first 12 week program. It helped me a huge amount with my balance and also strengthening my core.
Here are a few pictures of Harmony, my 12.5hh mare, I have her three years but she is sharp and can never sleep on her, this is the reason of joining DRT, I wanted to be stronger in my core and legs, she has a lot of thoroughbred breeding in her and has an ability to hop on all four legs and it is hard to keep my balance so need all my muscles strong, I am also taking dressage and flat work lessons so really feel the benefit of your workouts, I do a lot of running too about 40km a week and when I started your training my poor legs couldn’t run, it took me about 3wks to strengthen but now I am flying, I have been doing your later weeks of the training twice, I am currently on week 9, for the second time, I feel I get more from them the second time but I love it, so much stronger and leaner, I am very interested in doing the DRT2 training course, so please send me any info on it!!
Background: I’m 62 and have been learning how to ride for 8 years. I have an old recurring hamstring injury and lower back pain and as a result quite unbalanced/sore. I dont own a horse but ride once or twice a week at a school. My ambition is to do a pony club cross country and ultimately a hunt!
I am so pleased I signed up for this course. 3 x 20 minute workouts and homework are totally achievable. I really appreciate that Nicola shows 2 to 3 different ways of doing each exercise depending on your fitness level.
I hadn’t done yoga before and found it challenging. Really appreciated the beginners sessions.
As a result of completing the 12 week course I feel a lot more balanced and relaxed while riding. Now enjoy riding without stirrups – best canters! And I’ve been riding a lot of different horses/sizes feeling confident and calm.
4 hour farm ride with awesome gallops/ canters on the weekend and no stops. Did yoga work out and roller for next 2 days after – no worries! 😁😁🐎
Nicola this course has been SO GOOD for me. I was so hesitant about pushing my exercises because everything hurt and i thought I was going to break something. But your program was so encouraging and achievable. I’ve repeated many of the lessons. I can mow lawns. Vacuum clean without having to wear a girdle belt support. Just feel really good and a lot less pain in my life. And of course achieving so much more when riding!
Still cant kneel on the swiss ball yet🤣🤣🤣 might let some air out …!!!
Thank you. Also I really like that you are a kiwi girl doing everything on your land with Lucy and your wee dog a part of it all . Love it.
I have recently completed your DRT course.
I am a total novice in horse riding sport and had felt very unbalanced in the saddle before the course. Also felt that the horse got frustrated when I was applying the aids incorrectly or clumsily.
Even though I had some set backs (horse got ill and work was crazy due to staff sickness) during the course, I enjoyed the lectures and I intend to repeat the course now to maintain and further improve the skills I learnt.
Since the horse, Penny, is sound again and work back to usual level of intensity, I very much look forward to repeating all the homework that I couldn’t do whilst I wasn’t riding.
Having completed the course, I feel a lot more stable in the saddle, lot more flexible and therefore in deeper connection with my horse. She seems to listen better and we have become a better team.
Far from perfection but we celebrate ‘the tiny gains ‘ which happen every day.
Thank you very much a very much look forward to further course work.
With Best Wishes
I held off on signing up for the DRT program because I assumed the exercises would be too difficult for me at 70 years old. My horse, Willis, who was 4 years old when I bought him is now 16, and I want us both to be riding together for many more years. Happily, I was proved wrong. Though some of the workouts were hard, I found I could modify them to suit my pace, while others were easier and could be made harder. Additionally, Nicola’s weekly emails are encouraging, informative, and inspiring. I definitely feel more balanced and comfortable in the saddle as well as more aware of how my movements affect my horse. Though I just finished the DRT program, I plan to continue with the workouts and explore others on the website.
The DRT 1 program was perfect for any rider! It definitely improved my balance and core strength, which was very helpful after my hip replacement surgery. Straightforward exercises in a manageable amount of time!
I’ve enjoyed the program so much and have felt the benefits in so many areas of my riding and training on my young Spanish gelding. Small old injuries and middle age interrupted my program with you but it’s great that I can drop back a week and redo weeks .I especially enjoyed the Swiss ball work and it was a game changer for me. The program was challenging without being torture.
I’m a 40-year-old, once a week rider with an office job. In my weekly lesson, I was always struggling to keep myself from leaning forward. I also had weak legs and couldn’t use them independently. After just a couple session of the DRT program, both my riding instructor and I noticed a difference! I was so surprised and pleased with how quickly I saw results, more so because most of the workouts didn’t seem difficult. I love the gradual build up, and I definitely feel stronger, more stable, and my posture is much better! The no-stirrups work really helped as well, and I can sit much better in the saddle and use my legs more effectively. Thanks so much for putting this program together! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wanted to improve their riding.
I have one more workout to complete my 12 weeks of DRT 1. I can hardly believe the changes I am feeling physically since the start of this work in January. I didn’t think that 3 short workouts each week could have this kind of impact, but wow, this has blown my mind! My body feels strong, balanced, and I can do things that I could barely handle a fraction of and that shift is profoundly rewarding. Your kind voice, amazing support, authentic and genuine videos, and lovely laughter made me happy to hop on the computer, roll my mat out, and get to work. It also made such a difference remembering I am doing this for my Fleur. Anything to become a better rider with greater balance and softer aids! This program was hardly “anything” though. I sure hope I can continue with the next round soon! I am now diving into many of the recipes (nutrient dense beef stroganoff is in the crock pot as I write this, and I downed a green GREEN smoothie today as well). Thank you for the thoughtful and effective program you have created. I LOVED IT!!
Missoula, Montana, USA
Late last year, my horse injured himself and as a result, I found myself having to (lucky enough to) ride a variety of other horses. I’ve ridden for over 23 years, but in all that time never really considered myself an ‘athlete’, even though I was a competitor. Now at age 40 and riding new horses all the time who weren’t moulded to my body as my regular horse was, I found myself with a real need to fitness up, balance up, and strengthen up.
In addition to being a rider, a mum of two, and a business owner, I also own and operate a 20+ horse riding school. So, my time is at a premium every day of the week! The DRT program has been a genuine life and game-changer for me. I never missed a workout in three months because it was so easy to fit the time in, and because I felt the results of the program in my body and in the saddle basically immediately. It felt so good to have carved out time, just for me. And my body has thanked me in so many ways the last 12 weeks, and I think my horses have too.
I had it all wrong in my 20+ years of riding – I HAVE to be a fit athlete along with my horse in order to give them the best of me. I’ll keep up my workouts with Nicola indefinitely. Can’t wait for DRT 2. Thank you Nicola!
I returned to riding at 50 yo and have tight, stiff, locked hips. My only wish is that I had joined the DRT 12 week Program a year ago rather than waiting. I have found Nicola’s program amazing and exactly what I needed. Not only has my flexibility and suppleness improved, this program works! I have also been able to establish a deeper seat and improve my balance, stability and riding in so many ways. The 20 minute sessions are easy to fit into my schedule but have high impact, I would do it at night and always felt and slept better after my work outs. If I was stiff and sore doing a workout would make this go away. I loved the weekly homework and can now ride with out stirrups better despite the first time doing it feeling a lot of pain however I am so much better now. The extra information Nicola gives you such as how each exercise helps you on the horse, how to use your breathing, having a positive mindset, aiming for 1% improvements each time and putting in the work which will all add up to improvements in the long term, have all been gold to me. I have learnt so much and use this each time I ride now, I loved every workout and I have come a long way. I will continue this program indefinitely it is so valuable. Thank you Nicola I am so glad that I found you and your RDT program. Highly recommend to everyone and just loved it. It will be part of my weekly routine from now on. My beautiful pony Gussy is very thankful to Nicola as well I have no doubt 😊
Thank you so much for all that you give Nicola.
I have very much enjoyed and appreciated your program. I have been looking for a rider-specific program for years and yours fit the bill perfectly. I am able to manage three-four twenty minute sessions each week. Your program has made me stronger and I feel much more confident in the saddle. DRT has enabled be to be an effective rider at 65.
To be honest, I need more Swiss ball balancing practice-I cannot yet kneel on the ball, but I plan to master that! I also want to repeat the last four weeks and better include the homework in my daily riding before I begin DRT2.
Thank you for developing this work. It is a pleasure to workout with you. I love your smile and your cheer.
Hi this is Majic. I have just completed the 12 week course, and loved it. When i first started i thought i would really struggle as some of the moves i found really hard, but with practice, and perseverance, i completed it, even the kneeling on the swiss ball. I now feel i am sitting deeper in the saddle, and more secure. I definitely would recommend this course . Thanks Nicola x
I am a 67 Year old FEI rider with 2 hip replacements. Each year I try to do something to advance my riding career. The DRT program was one of the best things I have ever done. Nicole takes a simple core-yoga-rider strength program and builds awareness between you, your horse and Dressage. I went though the 12 weeks using some of the modifications she offered to the exercises and ended up a better rider. Stronger and more balanced with a deeper understanding to the basics. If I rated myself 1-6 going though this program, I started at, core-3, yoga-1, rider strength-2. Now my rating would be core-4.5, yoga-3.5 and rider strength-4.5. I am very happy with my improvements and will continue to repeat this program. It is simple, well designed and not time consuming so it fit into my busy life-style. All you have to do, is to do it!! Best money I have spent on my Dressage career!!!
This program has done so much for both of us. I truly loved the program and was eager to get my email with the sessions each week It’s pretty incredible how quickly I improved in my strength, flexibility and balance. Your instructions made the connection for me between the exercise we were doing and how it pertained to how I was communicating with my horse Rabbi. Our connection is stronger, my riding has improved and I have a lot more confidence in the saddle. Can’t wait for DRT 2😊.
Nicola’s DRT program is amazing! I wish I’d found it earlier. I don’t own my own horse, nor do I compete, but I do have weekly lessons, love horses and want to get the most out of my riding. It’s hard to get better when you don’t ride all the time, and you’re beginning something new as an older person, however DRTs regular, targeted program has helped to build upon my existing fitness regime, improved my strength, stamina, and balance. Overall I feel fitter, more flexible and more confident with my riding. DRT is definitely challenging, however Nicola offers great encouragement throughout the program. It’s like working out with a friend. Nicola’s program has helped my riding improve dramatically. I can’t wait for DRT3.
I started DRT after graduating 6 months of physical therapy. PT helped me regain coordination after major abdominal surgery the year before, but I was still feeling weak and off balance in the saddle. The timing was terrible: my new dressage partner Fern is young, 17.1H, and moves more expressively than I had experience riding. (Fortunately she also has a heart of gold and is incredibly patient!) DRT has been an amazing investment in our partnership: I’ve gotten much stronger, more confident, and am able to mostly stay out of Fern’s way now by being supple and not bracing on her. Thanks to DRT, I no longer feel like I’m going to be the limiting factor in our partnership, and we’re starting to have moments of harmony that make me so excited for what’s to come as we progress up the levels!
Hi Nicola, thanks. I remain a fan of DRT, I finish on Wednesday as I’ve done 2 of the weeks two times. So many things come together in my body awareness and reaction times have improved, stamina is better, suppleness is better. My riding is better. I have also just been certified as an equine ergonomist from Saddlefit4 life and this knowledge and learning experience have also helped me in my riding as I now finally have perfectly fitted saddles for me and my horses. I do other of your programs 2, sooo happy.
Greetings from Washington, DC, USA!
During DRT 4, I started noticing the most significant differences in my riding that I have seen in the course of my DRT journey. Back in DRT 1, I quickly noticed changes in how I went about my barn work. For example, I could squat to do hoof care or put on bell boots. Along the way, I have noticed little changes around the house, such as the ability to carry heavier items with one hand, and the fact that I stumble and trip less. But in DRT 4, I noticed big changes in the way I sit in the saddle- particularly mobility and straightness. DRT 4- or the cumulative DRT program- opened my hips in the saddle. I find I can follow with my hips at the walk and canter much better than before. My pesky left seat bone finally can get deep into the saddle and “scoop” my horse up into a lively, jumping canter. After years of having limited success aligning my hips, shoulders, eyes, and elbows around circles in both directions, I find myself much more able to maintain my own body straightness now, with great benefits for the horse.
DRT 4 is definitely a challenge, but it is a reasonable step up from DRT 3, and anyone who has completed DRT 3 can approach it with confidence. I did find myself taking some options, particularly in the side planks, so I have plenty of homework to return to. I will most likely repeat DRT 4 slowly this year. I’ve also decided to run a marathon next year- my fifth ever and my first since 2015- and will be interspersing my DRT work with much more cardio.
Have a happy holiday season, and thanks for a great program.
Hi Nicola, I LOVE IT. Without your programme, your structure and mindset, I wouldn’t regularly take myself off to the gym I also wouldn’t be as strong and balanced in my riding as I am now. By doing your workout 3 x a week it gives me structure to the beginning of my day! I’m eternally grateful to you! Thank you!
DRT continues to be an important part of my training, working through the full range of the body’s motion while gradually working on improving strength. DRT 5 provides the same excellent quality found in the previous DRT chapters, but with a new set of workouts that stimulate the entire body in one session. My balance and stability continues to improve noticeably in the saddle. I’m starting DRT 5 again, but hoping there will one day be a DRT 6!
DRT 5 has been my favorite and most impactful DRT series yet. The other versions prepare your body for the increased demands at DRT 5, but the work is productive, fun, and very effective. I was reluctant to sign up for the first round because I lost my upper level horse just as it was beginning. Nicola assured me that DRT 5 would keep me riding-fit despite time out of the saddle. Since that time, I have been riding many diverse other horses (upper level dressage, eventing, jumpers, etc) and have felt great in the saddle despite all the differences. I credit DRT 5 and the whole program for keeping me ready to ride as sporadic as that might be!
Thank you Nicola for such a well planned, excellent program that improves overall strength and balance but is most appropriate for the unique needs of a dressage rider!
Many Many Thanks!
This is my lovely share horse Mai , a 17 year-old Welsh Cob. This was taken in September this year and whilst we did not achieve a win, we actually ended up with a 64% score that day – the best ever achieved so far.
My dressage instructor recommended you after she completed the programme herself. It really helped improving issues related to my back pain (spinal stenosis), which also affected the horse’s way of going . Mai – also a middle-aged girl – has osteoarthritis in her hocks: we really needed some TLC! Over the past year, we have been working so hard at changing ourselves to improve our musculoskeletal health and be able to work together in better harmony. I can’t believe how much stronger my core is! I also surprised myself being able to balance on one leg and hold a warrior 3 pose. The back pain slightly improved and your DRT yoga worked better than the physio exercises alone. I am recommending you to all my friends, riders and non-riders alike. Can’t wait for DRT2!! Thank you very much for what you do!
Hi Nicola, I am a 55 year old low level eventer (beginner novice). I discovered a lot of muscles I did not know I could utilize for riding. This is a picture just cross country schooling in 32 degree weather. Patriot and I still have a lot of work ahead at that sitting trot. We are grateful that I am slowly building strength.
Great program I utilized to get back into riding. I had taken a couple of years off waiting on my two young horses to get started and lack of funds to take lessons, because of money I was pouring into getting my horses started. Needless to say, I was out of riding shape. The program not only is easy to do at home, but targeted towards making you a more secure rider. Here’s me on one of my Friesians after a lunge lesson. Thank you for the excellent program! FYI, my company’s insurance paid for this program. No excuses! Vicky
DRT 5 got to the level of fitness training I had been at via other classes and activities. What I have appreciated about all the DRT programs are the rider specific exercises and the explanations about what is important for a rider to support their horse(s). DRT 1 challenged/reminded me to do much more no stirrup work, which was great as I was rehabbing my horse at that time so it gave us direction for that work. DRT 3, with the emphasis on fascia, was my favorite so far, especially the yoga. DRT 5 adds the level of challenge in the program that will be one I use again and again. Thank you so much for making the program available, Nicola!
Hi Nicola, I have attached a photo of my lovely school horse Finn. He is a dressage horse and a wonderful teacher. I have struggled to understand how to communicate with him and find that all I have learnt in DRT 1 is invaluable, particularly the independent leg control on the left rein. DRT 1 is an excellent foundation course for all riding disciplines.
Hi Nicola, I have absolutely loved the program! It has helped me gain more confidence and get fitter and stronger in the process! I feel that it is only fair that I am as fit and strong as possible considering I expect my horse to be fit and strong. I am looking forward to continuing this exercise journey. Thank you so much. It is fun, easy to understand and easy to process to higher levels.
Hi Nicola, thankyou so much for your fabulous programs.
It has enable me to build my strength and confidence to getting back to eventing as a 56 year old, and I can see my self being able to be still riding at 80 which is my aim.
The new strength has saved my quite few times when my young horse has jump awkwardly and or shied.
I would love to be able to continue with DRT 3, when it is available.
PS I did not think I would master the Swiss ball but I have !!!
DRT 2 definitely improved my core, arm & leg strength. Also my balance. Having Nicola guide the sessions, including repetitions of the sets, alongside me is motivating. Her positive attitude makes it enjoyable & clear description of the exercises makes it easy to follow along. I always looked forward to the next workout session, be it the Yoga, Core or Rider Strength. The concise length of the sessions was key to me being able to complete the program. I also appreciated the availability of the sessions for a time after the initial 12 weeks so I could repeat some of them to maintain my fitness. DRT 2 is a winner in my books!