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.

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Mark Krieg – Jenins, Switzerland

I have had many many dressage lessons. And I have gone to gym and done Pilates. Yet my riding was not satisfactory. I concluded that my core was not strong enough. Doing the DRT program showed that I had sufficient strength, I was not effective in the saddle. The way you combine the exercises with explanations of how one uses the muscles and muscle memory to ride, was of huge value and has made a fantastic difference to my riding. Wish I had this program 8 years ago when I hit difficulties with my super gelding. Thank you and best wishes, Mark

Bev Watson – Rutland, United Kingdom

Hi Nicola, I am still working my way through DRT2, and have taken a little more time over it because of a niggly old shoulder injury. However, I have found it every bit as enjoyable as DRT1 and love the 3 workouts per week which are easy to schedule and fun to do, wherever I may be. I see many riders spending lots of time and effort to help their horses get fit and flexible, whilst neglecting to ensure they are strong and balanced themselves! The programs have helped me so much to feel stable and safe in the saddle, and I think I’ve especially benefitted from the core and balance work. You definitely don’t need to be a dressage rider to benefit from these programs either! I’m simply an older ‘happy hacker’ but I’m enjoying my riding more than ever. Thank you for these great programs.
Kind regards,

Cathy Philo – Melbourne, Australia

The program is excellent – very well paced and every session is different which keeps it interesting – NZ is always sunny 🙂
I’m a total convert and really want to keep going, including revisiting parts of DRT1 and all the homework I missed during lockdown.
I am embarking on a journey with my new 6 year old – just had him for 3 weeks but its an exciting time for me to put all the DRT learnings into practice.
A genuine thank you for what you do – I’ve run marathons and done lots of running training but its really great to have someone who understands riding.

Donna Matthews – Manawatu, New Zealand

You don’t have to be a dressage rider for Nicolas programme to improve your riding. You can be competitive or riding in any discipline. Even if you don’t ride, this programme is fantastic. After a broken pelvis and ankle I knew I needed to try and rebalance my hips and spine so I was able to ride evenly again. The difference in my stability and mobility after the 12 week programme is really clear. I am going to repeat the second part of the programme so I continue to make gains. Thanks Nicola for your programme. It has truly helped me get back in the saddle with confidence. PS Looking forward to your next programme!

Vireena Peacock – NSW, Australia

Just keep your inside leg on the girth and your outside leg behind the girth”, instructed my coach during my lesson last week. “You should be able to move your legs independently”.

And I did it! And now I find I can position my legs independently FOR THE FIRST TIME! This very small step for the world was a huge leap for me as my legs have been lacking in control up to now. I also have so much more strength – especially on my weaker left side – I can differentiate between a kick and an increase in pressure. I can only put it down to much better core stability that has been achieved through DRT2. To say my pony is happier is truly an understatement!

Even though I am 55, I love that I am getting stronger, more balanced and flexible to a degree that I didn’t think was possible. This week to truly test my balance I had my daughter play catch with me while I knelt on my ball – I would never have thought that possible. I feel physically the best I have felt that I have felt since I was in my 20’s.

My final comment from my coach last week was “What’s the name of that program you have been doing? I’ve got another student who is crooked like you used to be. She could benefit from it to”.

With DRT2 adding so much more to what I had achieved with DRT , I can’t wait to see what DRT3 will do!

Pamela Langenberg – Victoria, Australia

Hi Nicola, thanks again for another great DRT program. This program really does live up to expectations. I found DRT2 more challenging than DRT1 however it was so worth it. I am stronger and more confident riding out now while not worry that any sudden movements are going to dislodge me. I am loving my new found strength.


As I eagerly await the start of DRT3, I am going back to week 6 (yes I have started a count down to DRT3) so by the time DRT3 starts I should be even stronger and fitter. WOOHOO! Keep up the good work. Here is a photo of my Connemarra – Mouse and I after a ride this weekend.

Tracey Keith – Taranaki, New Zealand

I am so very pleased I joined DRT, the program has helped me so much. I have a really old knee injury, no lower disc in my back as a riding accident crushed it and I have osteoarthritis in my neck (from an old work injury, turbulence in flight, I hit the roof of the aircraft) so, I started out in pretty bad shape, lol. I have an active lifestyle, did Pilates every morning, but still didn’t feel strong and confident in life or on my horse. I started the DRT program hoping it would help and wow even after the first week I felt a change, that is how I have felt all the way through, which meant there was never a time I didn’t feel motivated to keep going. I’m sure my gorgeous best mate Odi is eternally grateful as well, he was being ridden by a much more balanced and confident rider. My only problem was the weather hasn’t always been agreeable, boggy, wet paddocks are a bit of a problem. Roll on summer. Thank you Nicola from the bottom of my heart, I haven’t felt this good or happy with myself for many years, I’m looking forward to DRT 2. Warmest Regards Tracey

Germana Zollesi – Turin, Italy

Dear Nicola, thank you so much. I loved the program. For the first month it was fabulous: improved posture, improved concentration, lots of fun for both me and my mare. Then Tally hurt her hoof and is not healed yet. DRT was the lifeline to keep training. I am looking forward to using what I have learned and starting the new program.
Thank you again

Marilyn Hodgson – Washington, USA

I named my colt, Big Jim RM after my husband who passed away 3 years ago. At 74 I am working hard to stay in shape. DRT has been an amazing help in this effort! This photo is from the Region 5 Championship September 2020. I am preparing for the largest Arabian show in the world which takes place this coming February. I am relying heavily on DRT to help prepare me for the tough level of competition so I can make my husband in heaven proud of us!!

Sofia Sauvageot – Lorraine, France

Hi Nicola, I must say I really love these programs. I have taken a bit more time to do the DRT2 due to work and different events but I keep it up at a bit slower path and I really feel the difference in my riding!!! I have progressed so much in my fitness but also in my capability to relax and be soft when riding. I really feel so much more balanced in my mental as my physical body when riding. I have such an extremely sensitive horse and he for sure feels it and is so much more relaxed as well. I will complete the DRT2 program at my pace and I think I will run one of the bootcamps after to continue to work on my body and my fitness. It has been an amazing journey so far and I think it is the mix between strength, coordination and relaxation that makes the great success of these programs. Before I would not ride more than 3 to 4 days per week because my horse require very big mental presence but now I ride 5 to 6 days per week and my horse is really just asking for more. I am much more present in what I a doing and enjoying every minute with my horses.
Thanks a lot for this brilliant program that has been a life changer for me!

Rachael Howard – NSW, Australia

Hi Nicola, I’ve just returned from my first eventing competition this weekend after finishing DRT1 last week. Good timing! I had 18 years out of the saddle bringing up my children and busy with work so was naturally very unfit with no core strength. Thanks to your amazing program and lots of practice I ended up going clear showjumping and cross country. I let myself down on my dressage as I got brain fog and did half a circle too many but still ended up 9th out of 22 after the final scores. Thanks to your advice on putting mistakes behind you and keep the test going with breathing etc helped me get through the rest of the test. But I will definitely need to get a better mindset going into the test from the moment I start next time. So thank you so much as I wouldn’t have done it without your help. I thought I would never be able to balance on the swiss ball at the start of the program but was amazed how I could do it by the end. I am a definite starter for DRT2.Thanks, Rachael Howard

Melissa Law – Victoria, Australia

Hi Nicola, thank you for a brilliant program. I feel way more confident and comfortable in the saddle. Ted was a little norty at his first Adult Riders rally, but I sat his kick outs and kept on riding! I couldn’t believe how my balance had improved. My fitness has increased and I can sit trot without getting puffed, having sore abs or a sore back! Thank you again

Lisa Hart – South Australia

I had a 13 year break from riding whilst focusing on family commitments, and at the age of 53 decided it was now or never! In my over enthusiasm I booked a one hour riding lesson and that afternoon found myself barely able to walk with a pulled piriformis and pinched sciatic nerve! This resulted in several physio sessions and a 6 week ban from riding! It was a timely reminder that the muscles we use for riding are quite unique to our sport.
My good friend told me about DRT and I instantly recognised that this was exactly what I needed. I had started weekly riding lessons with a Rider Biomechanics Instructor, and the DRT program complemented it perfectly with Nicola following the same philosophies.

I slowly began to rekindle and improve my riding skills, starting to build up my strength, flexibility and balance with DRT. Nicola’s program is flexible and she provides options for each of the exercises. If you have an injury or difficulty, you can choose the easier option, or if you want to push your fitness a little further, you can opt for the more difficult alternatives. Over the weeks the program slowly increases in difficulty, but at any time you can return to a previous level if you are not yet ready to advance to the next stage. I have now completed 30 consecutive weeks of DRT 1 & 2 with Nicola’s 3 regular sessions, and a mixture of the extra exercises and stretches she provides on the other days.

It has made a huge difference to my riding, and my chronic lower back and hip tension has remarkably improved. It is special to find a highly qualified fitness instructor who is also an accomplished dressage rider, and therefore understands the unique challenges dressage riders face in an attempt to become one with their horse. Nicola’s friendly positive demeanour keeps you coming back, especially when you have had a busy day and could easily just collapse on the sofa! The DRT Facebook group from around the world is also fabulous, providing support and inspiration to keep you going when your energy is waning.

I will continue to recycle though the last stage of DRT2 whilst eagerly awaiting the arrival of DRT3 next year! I have a long way to go to improve my dressage skills but I am positive DRT is an essential tool to have on my journey. No matter if you are an up an coming Grand Prix star or an 80 yr old who still wants to be able to trail ride, this program will make a positive difference. Thank you to Nicola for all her hard work and enthusiasm, helping us all advance safely in our riding journey.

Louise Duda – Vermont, USA

I am so impressed with DRT program! I have had back problems for decades and thought I was at the end of my riding days. With herniated discs and stenosis pinching nerves, I struggled to even walk at times and sciatica cramps were excruciating. I pursued both traditional and alternative avenues for help and survived for years on epidural injections and meds to keep me going. I had been doing a routine at home daily for years that was yoga and Pilates based. I tried all sorts of methods to fight muscle imbalances that were twisting my body. My physical therapist, stumped at how to help me further, suggested that the instability in my si joint and core in general ( how could that be with all the other daily exercises I’ve been doing?) was the cause of some of my lower back pain. I decided to sign up for DRT 11weeks ago to supplement what I was doing.
WOW! Am I glad I did! The routines were perfect for me- challenging enough but doable. They increased in demand gradually as I gained strength so remained possible. Little by little I began to notice that my pelvis was staying in alignment instead of twisting. My seat bones began to stay level in the saddle and I was able to use my lateral obliques equally as well. My mare loved the changes. I did some part of the program every day, not just 3 days per week. Today I finished week 11 and my stability on 1 legged poses was confident and very far from the wobbles of the first week. I have much more flexibility in my hips and hip flexors and hamstrings . Lifting water buckets, bagged shavings, and grain bags no longer strains my back. IFEEL GREAT and travel through life in much less discomfort. My riding has improved greatly because I can be more stable and centered.

Nicola, this is a super program. I’ve always felt rider biomechanics were so important so your connections of exercises and body awareness to effective riding are the added benefit ! I also appreciate your generous supportive delivery and giggling smile, never too serious! Thank you so much for putting this program together. Much appreciated!

Joanna Philpot – Herts, United Kingdom

I have thoroughly enjoyed DRT2 and am really excited about continuing on to DRT3. Whilst I wait for DRT3 to become available, I am repeating the third section of DRT2 as I found these quite challenging (in a good way) and am delighted to find that the sessions feel easier second time round. I have also been enjoying doing many additional routines that are in the Gym, like the yoga and the core challenge and even some running, I hate running, but have actually found it doable, much to my amazement! Thank you for this magnificent program, I never want it to end! Jxxx

Megan Soellner – British Columbia

Thanks to Nicola I am fit and ready for my great big winter project that has just arrived. Judy has big expressive gaits so I am really glad I have been working on my core strength. The online work outs are perfect for me because I can do them anytime of the day and at home. I love it when Nicola’s dog comes wandering in. My dog is usually doing the same thing. Take care everyone!

Jan Sharp – Utah, USA

I am 74 years old and still love riding but have felt myself getting weaker. I started with DRT 1 and liked the changes so decided to keep going to DRT 2. I have had improved postural and leg strength. I notice quicker reaction times when my horse gets nervous. The picture is from a 2 phase show. We were first in dressage. Show jumping not so smooth. She was over excited and bucked after each fence. I had no problem riding them out thanks to my increased strength and reaction times. I really like feeling so much stronger. Many thanks to a well thought out program with wonderful explanations as to how they apply to riding.

Karen McManaway – South Carolina, USA

Nicola, I have completed both DRT1 and DRT2. I have had a lot of fun with the programs. I have been a workout girl my entire life, but I failed to consider balance, symmetry, and fine-tuning. I have been a regular at the gym and also a runner for many years. I grew up with horses, but just did simple trail riding. Fast forward many years…my sons grew up, I have my degrees and career. But I needed a passion, and something to challenge me. So I started training in western style barrel racing. I liked it but I didn’t love it. So I researched and decided jumping over things on a horse would be a blast. I started in February 2019. I absolutely love it!!! I know that I am not a young girl anymore, but so what? I want to be and do my best. So, as I progress in the hunter/jumper discipline and want to complete I realized that all the muscles I have worked over the years wasn’t enough. After lots of research I found Nicola. With my regular exercise and adding the DRT programs I feel like I am in great shape. I feel more confident riding and have made big strides in the arena. I am planning on doing the programs over again and doing the homework Nicola adds each week. I highly recommend this unique program and know that it will improve your riding skills. The picture is of Aaron and me. Aaron is my love and my therapist.

Susan Chamberlain – Virginia, USA

Hi Nicola, I just finished the last Rider Strength workout of DRT2. I love how much more flexible I am and how much my strength has improved. I know I still need to work on my arm strength more – I’m great at lifting a pitchfork – but the rest of the muscles in my arms hadn’t been used until I started the DRT programs. Going to keep working on parts of DRT1 and DRT2 until the next session of DRT3 starts. Thanks so much for creating this program.

Lena Larsson – Örebro, Sweden

This program has been very good. I really like the structure with the three 20 minute work-outs, it is doable even if you have a busy life. And it has become a habit that I dont want to be without as it makes me feel better, both physically and mentally. The way the program is designed with the build up of strength and skills is fantastic. I can now do things I could not have imagend to do when I started the program. I found DRT 2 in a way easier than DRT 1, probably because I have DRT 1 to build on and that I now have the routine established. The effects on my riding are also more significant now after DRT2. My weekest area are my shoulders so the focus on that in DRT2 has been good for me. I still struggel a bit with side planks where I need to become stronger. I look forward to do DRT3 and meanwhile I´m going to repeat DRT2.

Carin Holmqvist – Aland Islands, Finland

Hi Nicola! I saw quite a long time ago a notice on Facebook and later got emails about the DRT program. I was curious and saved the information on the computer and in my mind. After I got quite severe pain because of an injury in the lower back, I knew I had to do something to strengthen my muscles. As we live in the countryside it doesn’t always feel so nice to go into the car and drive back to town just to join some group training once a week. It takes a lot of time with the horses as well.

I finally decided to join the DRT program this spring, and this was exactly what I have been looking for, strengthen the core, practice some yoga, and I can do it in 20 minutes at home whenever it suits me.

I have done the whole program and can experience the difference in my riding. Suddenly I understand what my former trainer meant by “open up your hips and come down in the saddle”. After DRT 1 and the homework without the stirrups (which was a long time ago I practiced), I come much deeper in the saddle in trot as well as in canter. I have much better balance and body control. I feel I can better help the horse to understand what I want. My posture has become much better and the yoga exercises help my lower back a lot. If I feel from the lower back in the morning, I start with 5 or 20 minutes of yoga and that makes my day!

Nicola is very inspiring, pedagogical, and professional. I like very much that all exercises are well motivated to help improve the riding. I will for sure continue to DRT 2!!

Kathy Kennedy – USA

Hi Nicola!

So proud to have completed DRT1 today. Thank you for creating such a terrific Bootcamp geared toward dressage riding. It has helped and supported me in so many ways, including with my riding.. My breathing, strength & stamina have greatly improved my riding & lessons, along with finding the courage, no easy thing after a tumble, to finally canter my 18 hand WB baby. You’ve made me so happy that I can now really push myself and advance my riding skills. Being able to take part in your Bootcamp during the pandemic was truly a lifesaver for me. My trainer is very pleased with my results! Kudos to you. Can’t wait to start DRT 2 next week. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Most cordially,
Kathy Kennedy, USA

Catriona Ní Bhriain – Wexford, Ireland

Hi Nicola, I answered all my hesitations this morning after a lesson. I could do what I wanted to do, so felt happy about that. But then I looked back at a video of us, & I nearly started crying looking at what I could do, I just can’t believe it. I can’t believe that was me, able to sit so upright, on my mare. I’m really at the lower levels. So please forgive the photos, but I thought I’d pass them onto you to help show my appreciation of what you have moulded us to be. So onwards & upwards.
I’ve just signed-up for DRT3.
Power-on now.
Thanks very much Nicola!
Wishing you continued success, & regards to Ben!
Catriona, Ireland

Elke Breves – Germany

Hi Nicola, the DRT 1 program improved my riding far beyond expectations. I am so much more balanced, relaxed and flexible. My improved body and mind awareness made me so much stronger and controlled, my anxiety is gone and replaced by self-assurance, joy and lots of fun. My horses are so much lighter and supple, their straightness improved and they show more motion and motivation.
Thank you so much for this program, it is a real treasure.

Joanna Philpot – Herts, United Kingdom

Hi Nicola, love, love, loving it thanks. In between DRT1 and 2, I did the 30 day core challenge so I’m delighted to not be struggling with DRT 2 yet.

This is us at our first competition since 8th December last year when I exited at A in an ambulance with a badly broken upper arm and pelvis!! I took a massive amount of guts and determination and DRT was very much part of my rehab. We also put a double bridle on my monkey, which seems to be being a game changer!

I’m delighted with my new deeper seat and stronger core and am really looking forwards to DRT2 stopping my toes from turning out!

Minita Holloway – Massachusetts, USA

Hi Nicola, I am still looking for my forever companion, but until then , I am very grateful to be able to ride this perfect gentleman, Rusty. He’s such a patient teacher and I was on the lookout for an exercise program that would help me be a better rider for him. DRT has been the perfect answer. In a short while, I have seen great improvements in my balance, flexibility and strength. Nicola explains all the movements clearly and provides alternatives which allow you to grow into the most advanced moves. I am very excited to continue my journey with DRT! Thank you Nicola!

Brenda Reading – Oamaru, NZ

Hi Nicola, I have felt improvements, I have nearly completed DTR1 to week 12, some weeks I repeated, as I felt I would benefit from the work. It is all part of the journey, many parts of my riding have improved, and will improve more in time, It has helped our canter work. I would like to think my horse has also felt the improvement and benefit from his rider being more balanced, fitter and stable in the saddle.

Sharon Burt – Florida, US

Hi Nicola, I have completed DRT1 followed by a 21 day yoga retreat. I have really enjoyed both programmes.
DRT has helped me deepen my seat and lengthen my leg when riding and the yoga has improved my overall flexibility.
I am planning on redoing DRT1 as I want to improve some of the exercises and my balance on the Swiss ball before starting DRT2. Thank you Nicola for making these programmes and for making them pretty easy to follow and highly motivational. photo courtesy of photos by Furey.

Caitlin Hughes – Ontario, Canada

Hi Nicola,

I really enjoyed the DRT2 Program. It was challenging but I felt myself getting stronger as the program progressed. I’ve seen the benefits in my riding and am continuing on with DRT3. I really enjoy how all of the exercises are designed to make you a better, stronger rider. I am always trying to be the best owner and rider for my horse that I can and DRT2 has helped me on the path to becoming a better rider. I’m so glad I found the DRT programs, my horse and I thank you Nicola!


Nancy Jones – North Dakota, USA

I was unable to ride Luna due to saddle fit issues but DRT 1 kept me in great shape so that when the fitter arrived and fit the saddle, I was strong enough to ride her well. Thank you, Nicola for a terrific program!

Beata Vetter – Warsaw, Poland

Hi Nicola,
I’m about to finish DRT1. Later than planned but life is full of distractions sometimes.
When I started DRT in spring I felt really frustrated with my horse and my riding and I thought this is my last chance. I’m 47 and have three kids and a full time job so riding wasn’t always my priority but I took part in many workshops and clinics to help me improve my seat and my posture on the horse and help my horse go forward and on the bit but often the result was that I only got more frustrated as I didn’t really understand how to make the moves I was asked to make. And I wasn’t unfit. I went to the gym, I went jogging and you know with a job and a family you are permanently on the go.

So it wasn’t the question of lack of agility really. But on the horse my trainer (God bless her for her patience) always tried to explain me how not to stay behind my horse’s movement and push forward with the hands. But I just couldn’t do it, just got more tense trying too hard. And then after a couple of weeks of DRT I just began to feel in my body how to make the core muscles work but at the same time be relaxed and push forward.

I started getting less tired as I stopped waisting energy for unnecessary tension and my stamina got much better. My body awareness has changed completely. And when I ride alone I feel this wonderful connection to my horse and I’m happy! I also feel much more confident as a rider. Thank you Nicola for this program, for your enthusiasm and for making me believe that I can enjoy my riding again and be better. Who knows maybe one day I will join my daughter and do a dressage test. See you at DRT2 soon!

All the best,

Beata from Poland

Kate De Fraja – Newbold Verdon, UK

Hi Nicola,
Here is a picture of Dante. He is a 17 year old Belgium Warmblood and I have had ridden him for 3 1/2 years now and owned him for just over a year. I’m 58 years old and keen to do as much eventing as I can, for as long as I can.

We competed at BE90 level eventing. Unfortunately this year due to the lockdown from March we couldn’t compete so I decided to start the DRT1 programme to give me something to focus on whilst we couldn’t do our normal training with instructors and jumping was not advised. Doing this programme during lockdown has given me the time and space to focus on myself and my position. I rode everyday without stirrups doing flatwork and kept to the programme repeating the three sessions as well most weeks.

When i finally saw my instructors they all noticed the improvement in my depth of seat and fitness (and I lost some weight as well!). I started competing in dressage again in June and saw some improvement in scores. We started eventing in July and the picture is at our second event of the season where we gained a personal best in our dressage 26.5 and a double clear in the show jumping and cross country to be placed 4th my best ever result.

DRT1 has undoubtedly improved our dressage but also our jumping as well as feel so secure and balanced which I’m sure helps Dante.

Overall I’m fitter and stronger and just so much more in control of my riding and most importantly enjoying it!

I have just signed up for DRT2 as I am determined to continue with this journey of fitness, strength and mobility so important for me at my age.

Thank you Nicola for such an effective and doable programme!


Joanne Rees – Victoria, Australia

Hi Nicola, I absolutely loved DRT1 the improvements in balance and softness has been incredible.
cheers and Thank you

Forever Sweet – Ohio, USA

Nicola, I have loved your program! It has been a wonderful change in habits for me! I have never been this fit and confident riding! Thank you! After doing all three programs, I finished DRT3 5 weeks ago but still going thru them again. I have loved the timed workouts and the 5 min warm up before riding my favorite!!
Thanks again!

Sue Eckerle – Kentucky, USA

This is me on Pepper early spring before Covid. I was 1/2 leasing her. But I have been riding another horse mostly just hacking .
The ball is still a challenge but I am getting it!
Looking forward to the DRT2, I am 67 and have low back flare ups here and there. I realize the importance of “keep moving “.
Thank You

Ellen Rome – Ohio, USA

Thank goodness for Nicola Smith and DRT 1 and now 2!  Nicola’s upbeat Aussie voice has kept me sane before and during this covid-19 pandemic and in better shape than I have been in the past 10 to 20 years.  I love how it relates back to core strength for riding specifically.  I am not a lover of yoga, yet I appreciate her ability to keep me engaged while exponentially increasing my flexibility. Thank you, Nicola, for the gift of wellness you provide!

Elke Breves – Germany

Dear Nicola and team,today I started week 10 of DRT1. While Struggling on the swiss ball, I realized how much DRT changed my life. It is not only a great benefit for my horses, but also for my employees and friends. I am a lot more balanced (emotionally), resilient and patient. In overwhelming situations, the breathing technique for example, helped so much. More strength and a better posture makes me feel present and focused and – most of all – I feel a lot happier.
I changed my nutrition and currently I am really into green smoothies and start enjoying vegetables´. Next step will be to change my skincare routine. Thank you so much Nicola, DRT was one of the best decisions I have ever made!

Elise Power – Auckland, New Zealand

Before the DRT I knew I needed to be stronger, but struggled to find exercises and routines that targeted what I needed for riding. Finding this program has been an absolutely perfect fit! Having this program tailored for the horse rider meant I saw the benefits in just a matter of weeks. By the end of the 12 weeks I was doing exercises I’d have never even attempted at the start and as a result, am riding stronger and more effectively. I cannot wait for DRT2!

Thanks again Nicola, I really enjoyed it.

Amal Eldaraa – Doha, Qatar

I decided to join DRT programs after having different falls all caused by my inability to maintain my position with sudden horse movement. All my prior horses were experienced.
I could feel more strength in my Body day after day with all of these DRT sessions. Thanks to tons of core workouts included in the program;I was able to sit in many spooks with my completely green 4 years old horse. DRT2 helped me in identifying and working to fix my weak side; connected me with a community sharing the same passion and struggle; and motivated me to focus on one day at a time. I am very grateful and would definitely recommend the program.

Rebekka Blumer – Richenthal, Switzerland

Hi Nicola, indeed, the programme is done: amazing how fast 12 weeks can pass!

I enjoyed the programme a lot, especially the diversity of yoga, fitness and building strength. As a western rider, I don’t do dressage but at the end of the day, regardless what discipline you ride in, you need a good posture, balance and fitness to support your horse the best.

I signed up for the 21-day yoga and will wait for the DRT2 programme ….

Carol Armstrong – Florida, United States

Nicola, your program definitely helped improve everything about my riding. I cannot thank you enough for providing an exercise program that really works for us who ride!

Chris Salter – Australia

Hi Nicola, this is my lovely mare Faith. She is a very powerful and exuberant girl. As you can see, I have a bad habit of leaning forward. I’ve tried to mentally correct this by reminding myself again and again, but it didn’t seem to make much difference, which is frustrating.

Now, although I’m only up to Week 8, friends have commented that I’m sitting up much straighter. This is in spite of taking much longer than 8 weeks to get there, due to having knee and back problems, and having to skip some of the exercises the first time around. When I get to Week 12 my aim is to restart at Week 1 again, and continue to build strength and especially flexibility. I really struggle with the yoga, (never mind doing the plank, I am one!) and intend to repeat the yoga sessions more often in my next round. Who knows, I might even get to Level 2!! So I’d like to encourage everyone out there who is carrying injuries and some age, that although progress might be slower, it is progress!

Emily O’Connor – Kingston Ontario, Canada

I started DRT1 because of the COVID19 restrictions, and the mandatory closure of our barn. Without being able to ride regularly I saw the DRT program as a good way to stay in shape for when I could ride again. I was so pleased with it that even when the barn reopened and I was back in the saddle, I continued with the DRT2 program. It was even better with exercises that challenge the balance and flexibility needed for dressage and really built on the gains made in the first program. I was so pleased with how solid I felt in the saddle, especially after three months off. I could feel my riding getting more secure, I can school for longer and really provide the balance and stability my horse needs so he can improve his balance and strength. I can’t wait for DRT3 now!
Emily, Kingston Ontario, Canada

Debra Renwick – Nottinghamshire, UK

Hi Nicola, I have had a fantastic couple of days when I felt like a proper partnership with my horse Oscar. He is 11 years old now and I got him as a yearling. We have had some challenging times and have not always been on the same wavelength. However since starting DRT I really feel we have turned a corner. I can only put this down to my improved balance, strength and confidence. I notice now that I can relax my shoulders as my cord is strong enough to allow me to do this. My seat is much stronger and more balanced. The course has been fantastic. So easy to follow but still challenging. I even mastered kneeling on the Swiss ball though I can’t move my arms too much yet!!

I have now started on the Cathdral Cove 21 day yoga programme which I am enjoying just as much.

Thankyou for providing such a great product and support network. I am not a facebooker but do look at the DRT site for tips and encouragement.

Joanna Philpot – Rickmansworth, UK

I have just completed DRT 1 and am doing the Core 30 challenge until DRT2 is released. I have absolutely loved every minute of it and both my trainer and my saddler are amazed at how much better I am riding. I had a nasty accident in December last year breaking my upper arm and my hip. I decided to do DRT to make it less likely that I fall off!

Can’t wait for DRT2.


Mary-Lynn Sheridan – Ontario, Canada

Hi Nicola, while doing the course I truly saw my balance improve and my awareness of what my body was doing. I was extremely pleased with the progress I and we (my mare Reign) were making. I signed up for the course because at 55 and empty nested I finally have time to concentrate on my riding and I am just starting to back my 2 – 3 year olds and new that strength, stamina and balance would go along way to help me out on this next journey. Thank you for all the support Nicola and Dressage Rider Fitness!

Susan Hainsworth – Vaud, Switzerland

Qrac and I say thanks for your inspiring & empowering DRT programme! A rebalancing lifechanger!

Mary Barron – New York, USA

The DRT program has given me the physical strengths that I thought were gone forever. My hips are more flexible, my balance has improved and my chronic back issues have subsided. All of this has helped me be a better rider. Being physically better has given me more confidence which has translated to Micah being more relaxed and confident in his new riding career. The three classes per week are manageable and your teaching is encouraging and makes the workouts pleasant. I also enjoy the weekly homework and articles that you provide. Knowledge is power AND confidence. I am looking forward to Phase 2.

Thanks Nicola!

Mary Barron

Mary Meland – Minnesota, USA

Finished DRT 1. My American Saddlebred Willy B Wicked and I are in much better balance now. Our ages together total 100 years!

Isabelle Gorska – Quebec, Canada

I love your sessions, they are fun, effective and rise my body awareness.
Your way to transmit it is so friendly, that it puts me in good mood for the rest of the day.
At my age – 69 today – the exercises are not always easy, so I have to repeat some sessions.
But slowly I feel more balanced, supple and stronger.

Thank you so much for your very encouraging sessions, wishing you lot of success in
Your riding.


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