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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Iisobel Pope – Hampshire, UK

Dear Nicola, I have really enjoyed the online training, I have loved seeing your horse in the back ground and your sweet dog sitting on you sometimes, it has such a nice feel to it, it strengthens the connection to those of us who love our animals.

This is me at our last competition, taken by simply Event Photos, and I think my position is better than it was and more consistent. I was worried that I would not be able to keep up with the program but it has been easy, encouraged by you of course! I am also keen to continue with me exercises by rerunning DRT1 and will consider DRT2 but maybe not until next year. I am also feeling more secure in the saddle when out hacking as she is inclined to whip round sometimes when she sees something, don’t they all?!

A long side the DRT I have lessons with a lady who is trained by Mary Wanless, who exposes the Ride With Your Mind theory and DRT works very well with it, I don’t expect to be a top grand prix rider but I am getting better thanks to all your input too, thank you!

Charlie Trevor – Little Newsham, UK

Hi Nicola, DRT1 has been a huge help to me. A year ago I hadn’t ridden a horse for 10 years, having acquired a lovely youngster to ride I knew I needed to do something spectacular to do him justice. Riding everyday, yoga and DRT1 has given me a path to getting my fitness back at a rate of progress I couldn’t have managed with riding alone. My code strength and position have improved every week and DRT1 has been a huge part of that. Thank you Nicola!

Roslyn Cassidy – Gauteng, South Africa

I’ve definitely improved in all areas – core strength, fitness, flexibility – and that’s helped my riding enormously. The drills like working without stirrups, sitting trot exercises every day, stretching before and after riding all have helped me understand the physicality of dressage riding and the many options I have to get better at what I’m trying to do.

I actually only started riding 6 months ago after a long 10 years of not being able to due to a painful knee. In March 2020 I had a total knee replacement and spent a year recovering from that. Then in February 2021 my friend offered me one of her older horses, River Dancer, to ride and that’s when I discovered dressage (I’d only ever hacked and jumped) and that’s when I found your DRT course. In my first prelim competition 6 weeks ago I got a lot of 4s. Yesterday in my second competition I got 57% and 65% in the tests.

I love that you’re a Kiwi. I knew from the moment I saw you were based in NZ that I’d be getting an elite athlete experience. Like South Africans, you guys take your sporting life very seriously. But unlike us, you have a lot of resources in terms of the quality of training available to you as coaches.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I got a lot out of the DRT 1 course and I plan to do it over again in the next 3 months while I still have access to the videos. I also loved that you sent us 30 day challenges for core work, rider fitness and yoga.

I wish you tons of good things for your life to repay the huge contribution you’ve made to mine.

Chris Kleinke – Washington, USA

I’ve enjoyed the class and it’s made me so much stronger! Today I trotted around the arena twice with no stirrups and it felt so good! I’ve loved that the program is self-paced because I’ve needed to take a few weeks off and repeated some weeks, but still felt motivated and continued making progress. I love that all sessions are relevant to riding too, I can feel the differencein the saddle.

This is me with my boy Beau and my partner in equine crime, my mom, Mary and her boy Reggie. This is why I work out. Beau is still pretty green, but my physical progress has really helped my confidence overall. Having the time of my life!

Love DRT. Thank you Nicola!

Nicole Bours – Manawatu, New Zealand

Hi Nicola, even though I had to cut short the DRT till now, the difference it made after only 5 short weeks was amazing…that what I thought I would just have to accept one stirrup one hole longer…was magically repaired! no more unlevel stirrups to feel level! besides the amazing feeling of being able to sit up truly behind the shoulders so Appleton has the freedom of movement he needs 🙂 I gush about the DRT to all my students too 🙂 thank you so much Nicola! love DRT

Allison Hartman – Westminster, USA

I can’t say enough good things about the DRT programs!! I have spent years pursuing all sorts of fitness programs, but none of them were geared towards riders. Nicola’s program provides all the necessary strength and fitness to be the best rider you can be. I saw results quickly and from start to finish, there was nothing intimidating about the program. She offers multiple challenge levels within each workout so you can customize your experience and proceed at your own pace. I would highly recommend this program to anyone looking to take their riding to the next level.

Bente Åsnes – Haslum, Norway

Hi!DRT1 and DRT2 have been fantastic for me! I’ve gained ‘body confidense’ when riding and a better body awareness have shown me where my weak spots are. This have helped my riding a lot! Best part is that a stronger core have helped in my work as well. I’m a dentist and during a work day often sit in some crocked positions. After I started DRT training I havent had the need to visit the chiropractor once! ( ( Before DRT I needed chiro treatment every 2. to 3. month.)
Thank you!

Annemarie Yoder – Pennsylvania

Nicola, I have absolutely loved the program and it has helped us immensely as you can see in the photo below. We got a 73% at this team event. Could not have done it without your encouragement and expertise. You should be proud of your work.

Kirrily Milton – NSW, Australia

What an awesome program you have created, deliver and continue to improve the well-being, fitness and capacity of riders across the world!

Susan Hainsworth – Vaud, Switzerland

Hi Nicola, I have nothing but utmost admiration and appreciation for your exuberant guidance during these 4 DRTs … with your ongoing encouragement to keep looping back and building strength and balance, with focus on the basics. Wow – kudos. The results speak for themselves. A truly remarkable rebalancing life changer…Thank you and best wishes

Tanja Gotthelf – Martfeld, Germany

Dear Nicola, the exercises in DRT 2 helped me a lot to understand the relationship between body and riding. I am much more balanced in the saddle and my seat is much more independent – what my horse really appreciated. The exercises are well explained and are a lot of fun. I am really looking forward to DRT 3.

Christine Higgins – Chiltern Hills, London

“I’ve just finished DRT2 and I’m looking forward to more. I discovered DRT just after buying my first horse at 60 and needed to get riding fit and improve my seat and balance. There are many great things about the programme, but one is that it keeps you challenged and focussed on improving and of course Nicola is always super encouraging. My riding seat is much improved – legs longer, core stronger and more secure, which is hugely good for my confidence when faced with unexpected horse antics. It’s wonderful to hear from so many riders my age and older and of their success – I’m aiming to keep riding for many years to come and DRT will definitely help me achieve that. Thanks for everything Nicola. I hope you like the photo of Tango and me out for a ride in the Chiltern Hills, not far out of London.”

Anette François – Vauvert, France

DRT 3 just finished. What a program once again. During DRT 1 and 2, I’ve built up my strength and core stability to a good , perhaps even very good, level and gained more suppleness via the yoga sessions. The meditations add relaxation and improves mindfulness, the capacity of concentration and being in the present moment.

In DRT 3, I’ve been able to follow the challenging sessions and improved further my stability, coordination, action times, freedom of movement and stamina. I get better and better in my riding, more automatic pilot and less thinking about how to……

I am now ready to start DRT 4….

Kaaren Staveteig – Maryland, USA

Hi Nicola,
Just completed my last 20 minute workout of DRT3! It was the perfect follow-up to DRT 1 and 2. Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful program. I have benefited greatly from it and am looking forward to signing up for DRT4!!

In particular I liked the sequence format of DRT3 where we repeated five 60-second exercises. That really kept me moving! The conditioning routines were an excellent addition to the program that helped me loosen up before rides on days when I wasn’t working the program. The introduction of interval training was also good and I found it an easy element to add to my daily 12,000 step workout. As with DRT1 and DRT2, I found it helpful to repeat a phase before proceeding to the next to make sure I got the most out of each section. As with the earlier DRTs, the homework and articles rounded-out each week, giving context and greater depth to the program. Overall I have seen a tremendous improvement in my balance, strength, mobility and stamina which has made me more confident in my riding.

Unfortunately I have had some connectivity problems during the last few months so having the USB option has been a God sent!!

Thank you again for creating a dressage rider training program!

Naomi Hill – Gauteng, South Africa

I started DRT because I really wanted to develop the fitness, core strength and suppleness required to do justice to my horse’s potential. At the age of 56 I find I need to do more off the horse than I ever needed to before in order to realise my aspirations! To be honest, I was sceptical – both about the value of the program and my ability to stick with it. However I was an early convert. The programme does more than improve your riding, it gives you a positive spin on life itself. After completing DRT 1, I immediately signed up for DRT 2. Yes, I can balance on the ball! My leg is longer and flatter; my core strength hugely improved; I am sitting taller, and moving with my horse, rather than against her. I have been hugely inspired by the number of riders on the DRT Facebook page who are in their mid sixties to seventies – my anxiety about counting down my riding days has abated, which has been an added bonus. Thank you Nicola – its always a boost to hear your voice, and see your lovely horse peeping into the sessions on screen.

I LOVE the programme, and am getting back into it post covid!

Kim Johnson – California, USA

Hi Nicola, I am enclosing a photo of me with my partner Galan, a PRE stallion. I have just completed DRT 1 and wanted to express my appreciation for all the benefits I have received from this program. After having my second hip replacement last December I needed to jump start my fitness regime with emphasis on both strength and flexibility. This program has really helped me do so. Thank you!

Carol Howard – Wisconsin, USA

The money I spent on the program is absolutely one of my best expenditures ever. Having a way to improve my fitness and my riding in the dark and cold days of a Wisconsin USA January was a godsend. I’m so glad that I listened to the reviews of other older women that said that this program is doable for us. I’m turning 71 tomorrow, and I want to keep riding forever. Your program is now a part of my life. I did the 12 weeks and then started over again. I’m getting so much more out of the exercises and explanations the second time through. People at the local shows that I go to and my trainer have mentioned my improved riding. I really can’t say enough about this DRT and Nicola. Nicola is so relatable that I feel as if she lives just down the lane from me! Thank you!

Charlotte Reback – Vermount, USA

What I can say now is that I love the programs. What is most important to me is the explanations that you give regarding what muscles should be engaged per exercise, where we should NOT be engaged and of course how the exercises relate to riding.

By the way, my husband did start DRT 1 and he really likes it as well. He has nothing to do with horses other than filming me or petting Lily.

Mariska Fröger – Utrecht, Netherlands

Hi Nicola,

Really enjoyed DRT3 as well as DRT1 en DRT2!

I’ve kept an eye out on your program for so long. Last year I finally made the decision to sign up. Now I regret not doing this sooner! I used to go to our local fitness centre once a week but I always missed the link to riding and it was a lot of strength training.

In covid- time I really wanted to stay fit en improve my riding as well. What I love about your program is the different elements of balance, coordination, strength and reaction time. I love the yoga routines especially now when working from home. The conditioning routines also help a lot with this and they are only 5 minutes so I use them as a sort of ‘power break’. The link to fascia en mobility I found very interesting. With al the exercises to improve fascia and mobility I very much feel a difference.

In my riding I notice that my balance and reaction time has improved. I can sit more easily in the canter. I’ve always had unsteady hands but I feel like that is improving as well. I can relax more through my shoulders, my back is stronger and because of that my posture has improved and my hands are quieter. My riding has improved so much over the last year because of this program! I do have to work more on my fitness levels with the interval training. I did a few in DRT3, but now the weather is improving so I can pick this up again.

Today, I did the first core workout of DRT4. Really enjoyed it and I’m really excited to see what we’ll do over the next 12 weeks and to see the progress.

Keep up the good work! Already looking forward to a DRT5 😉

Best wishes,


Andrea Stuhec-Leonard – Ontario, Canada

Hi Nicola, DRT2 was everything I had hoped for and more. I really enjoyed DRT1 but wasn’t sure where it would go from there. You continue to motivate and inspire me to continue on my fitness journey through these easy to follow, small time commitment and very focused workouts.

I am always happily surprised with the progress I have made since the beginning of these programs. While I do not have a horse to ride at the moment I notice my increased strength and flexibility in everything I do, especially farm chores and training my baby horses. I am now registered for DRT3 and can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in this next program!

I have attached a picture of my two baby horses. They may not know it but my commitment to your DRT programs is for their benefit, in the hopes that once we start riding we’re all in the best shape possible.

Vanessa Way – Taranaki, New Zealand

Having just completed the DRT 3 program I am just blown away by my personal strength and flexibility since joining up to this program.
It has totally improved my effectiveness and also posture while riding . My competition results have also raised as a result of my new found fitness. Thank you so much for this incredible program- I am addicted for life.

Elke Breves – Germany

Dear Nicola and Ben, I enjoyed every minute of the DRT programs, but DRT 3 is something else. All the skills and improvements I gained through DRT 1+2 were transformed to a great magical sensation in DRT 3. Not only my body is so much stronger and balanced now, but my “new” mindset and confidence helped me get over my worries and anxieties regarding my young hot mare. The independent seat is not a mystery anymore and I am relaxed and happy every time I hop in the saddle. DRT definitely changed my life for the better, not only with my horses but in every aspect of my daily life. Now I am looking forward to DRT 4 :).Thank you so much for your wonderful programs, your efforts, support and love you put in them!

Annemarie Yoder – Pennsylvania, USA

Nicola, Wanted to write you a note about our first schooling show. This was my first time showing this horse I imported from the Czech Republic and spent all winter learning to ride this schoolmaster. We got a 68% and 72% , 2 blue ribbons!! Our season is just starting and we are looking forward to having many fun rides together. Your help has been invaluable and a large part of the reason for our success. Many thanks,

Nicole Kildare – Tauranga, New Zealand

A truth that is not often spoken out loud is that fear of riding and being unfit and weak go hand in hand. I spent years and lots of money on horsemanship programs and lessons to make my horses ‘safe’ as an adult beginner rider who was literally scared stuff and came off with the slightest spook. DRT1 and DRT2 have not only given me my childhood dream of doing ACTUAL dressage but my general riding is so much fun, and when my horse has a moment I laugh it off instead of wanting to dissolve into tears. DRT has given me the strength and stability needed to give me joy in riding. I’ve managed the programs at my own pace and with so much support I’ve managed to put it down and pick it up again with multiple abdominal surgeries. It has in fact been hugely beneficial in my recoveries. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Nicola and Ben for all you’ve given to these programs and your customers.

Penny Storr – Nottingham, UK

Hi Nicola, I have so enjoyed this course as it gave me something to aim for in very difficult times we are all living in. I have learnt a lot about how my body directly influences my sensitive horse… I have also noticed that the more I can relax and remain balanced directly impacts Scarlett’s paces. I finally got to travel over to my trainer, he noted how more supple and forward scarlett was. A much happier horse and rider ….Thank you. I am looking forward to starting DRT 2.

Cyndi Graham – Dunkineely, Ireland

Dear Nicola and Ben, I’ve just completed DRT3, Yay!
It has been a brilliant experience and I couldn’t recommend your programs highly enough to anyone who wants to unlock their own body’s potential to improve communication with the horses they ride.

For me, I found DRT1 changed and improved my core strength and range of motion. As they say, motion is lotion! DRT2 continued that journey and gradually I felt my flexibility improve because of the strength gained. Happy bunny!

DRT3 has been the icing on the cake! I feel it has taken me to a new level, it feels like all my “new and improved” bits have learned how to work together, and separately, properly. To be able to breathe with movement, allow the muscles that aren’t needed to relax, and activate others at the same time is becoming so much easier. Keep doing what you do, you guys are awesome! Thank you so much!

Sally Neihart

Hi Nicola. Just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate having been able to do drt1. Last fall when I thought about not being able to ride very much during the winter months I was afraid my balance and fitness which I had worked very hard on last summer would soon be lost. But because of being able to do drt1 I not only stayed fit and balanced I was able to improve! My first lesson this spring after drt1 my trainer commented on how much better my abs are working this year then they were last year. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to improve their riding or simply wants to improve their posture and become more fit. I used to get a bad back pain when I tried other workouts but not with drt. Thank you for such a wonderful program!

Sally Neihart – Florida, USA

Nicola, thank you so much for bringing us the DRT series. I’ve just completed DRT3 ( a couple of weeks behind due to some vacation interference) and I’m already signed up to begin DRT4. I loved DRT3. I very much enjoyed the focus on fascia. I appreciated the education on how important it is and how it affects our riding. I could really feel the affects of the yoga routines that targeted the fascia. I feel stronger in my legs and in my upper back in particular. My riding instructor and lesson mates have noticed my increased strength.

I appreciate the addition to the beginning of each session of the list of exercises and the quick video cameo of what they look like. It helped me to gather the right toys for the workout and to understand what we would be doing.

This time around I also took some time to explore other resources in the Online Gym. I did some additional yoga and went through the nutrition course. I got some great ideas about eating healthier whole foods. I have also added the Primal Defense Probiotic and Collagen Protein into my nutrition routine. I really enjoyed having the yoga routines and DRT since I could not go to Yoga class due to the pandemic. I really enjoy doing exercises at home now.

I am 62 and retired. I’ve always loved horses (and yoga) but have never had to opportunity to have my own horse. Over the years I’ve taken sporadic lessons and done trail rides with friends on their horses a few times a year. Two years ago I had a bad fall from a friend’s horse and my confidence plummeted. I questioned if I should continue to ride at all. Thanks to the increased strength I’ve gotten from the DRT series and your encouraging words, I resolved this year to exercise more and have more time in the saddle. I’ve increased my lessons to twice a week and I’ve seen improvement in strength and skill and confidence. I feel better physically overall due to DRT and I am happier being able to pursue my lifelong dream of spending time with horses.

I’m really looking forward to the new adventures of DRT4. Thank you so much for all you do. I look forward to joining you and your critters for another round of improvement.

Anna Brockhurst – Cambridgeshire, UK

Hi Nicola, first competition for 25 years. On the same horse that only a few months ago I could almost cry with frustration and lost energy getting him to move forward, not to mention the months of feeling dread mixed with fear as I drove to the yard and my lesson.

Fast forward to my Novice unaffiliated two tests yesterday, achieving a 2nd and a 3rd!!

At the end of the day it wasn’t the horse’s fault… I can directly link this improvement to DRT1, all the homework, walking and now daily yoga with your 21 day challenge.

This time last year my 50 year old body hurt so much that I was feeling very low, wondering if this was it and from now on life just had to be slower. It’s taken the year, with DRT the last much needed push. Connecting exercise and the hobby you love is the most motivating experience.

Germana Zollesi – Orbassano, Italy

Dear Nicola, DRT2 is a very special program. It’s fun, challenging and always different. I really loved this program and my riding is more more enjoyable. DRT1 is beautiful, but DRT2 is also special. Thank you very much.

Magdalen – Florida, USA

Hi Nicola! DRT1 has been a Godsend, a real game changer for me! I have amazed myself doing this course. I now ride pain free – no more hip or knee pain! My wrists, which hurt like crazy at the start of the course – well, I can plank no problem now. I am physically stronger, more flexible, with increased balance, endurance and with noticeable muscle tone. In fact everything is better, especially my riding. The workouts were just hard enough, so that I was definitely challenged every time. I’m 63 and ride my cute, hot and tense PRE 5x a week. I actually thought that I was fit enough and that I was past the age of getting any result other than soreness from workouts – I was so wrong! Dressage is an incredibly challenging, rewarding journey, and DRT1 has made a major, positive impact not only on my riding but on my return to real fitness! Many thanks Nicola!!! With gratitude!

Mary Young – Brookline, USA

Hello Nicola!I was a few weeks behind, but I finished DRT2 this morning! I have been very happy with the program but was apprehensive about the second level at first. It turns out is was exactly what I needed and I was successful in completing it! It advanced my strength and confidence just to what I needed. This has improved the flatwork that I’ve been doing all winter in an indoor arena, as I feel much more balanced and have been softer with my hands when I stop and breath for relaxation on the horse. Thank you, and I will be repeating DRT2 for now to keep up with strength, core work, and balance! Thank you again!

Miquel Salva – Barcelona, Spain

Hi Nicola, thank you very much for your interest. Indeed I haven’t finished DRT1 since I decided to repeat phase 2. In any case, I can tell you that your proposal is excellent and is helping me a lot to improve my riding skills. I started horse riding very late, five years ago, when I was 52 years old. Age, in this case, makes thing more complex, and the proposed exercises have improved my sitting significantly; at least, this is what my instructor says!! I don’t own a horse but wanted to send you a picture of me on a horse that is the star of my riding school. His name is Lukas 510, and he won several TREC championships. Thank you again.

Charlotte Thomsen – Sønderborg, Denmark

Dear Nicola, Thank you so very much for the DRT1 program. I can honestly say that it is the best training program I have ever tried.
Here is why:
It is short, so you can manage to do it.
The level is good, not too difficult not too easy.
It is effective! You can feel the improvement week by week.
The homework is fun and challenges you in a new way.
The reading brings me good and useful knowledge… All together the program completes in a really great way.

I only ride 2-4 times a week because I don’t have my own horse right now, but I can still feel a major improvement on my riding. On top of all that you get a great supportive FB group with horse-people from all over the world. To me this is great value for money. I have just bought DRT2 and cannot wait to continue the journey. Here I am on my old horse when he was only 4 years old.

Kym Casterton – Auckland, New Zealand

Hi Nicole, I want to thank you so much for your fantastic programme! I have grown in strength and confidence, which I know my horse Janna has appreciated & it shows when I feel like we are moving together in harmony & balance. Still much work to do but on the right track. This photo is me with my young mare Janna at an event yesterday, having won champion combination. Having loads if fun too! Looking forward to the next stage.

Suzanne Dangela – Maple Ridge, BC, Canada.

Hi Nicola, I was part of the Covid winter/spring 2021 cohort of DRT1. I considered taking this program for some time and felt the winter months during Covid was the perfect opportunity. I really enjoyed the program and it definitely made me stronger and more body aware. You have three aspects to it; core fitness, yoga/flexibility, and rider strength. I definitely found the rider strength the most challenging. I feel like my overall fitness, balance and body awareness has improved considerably. I was lucky enough to continue with riding lessons during my participation in the program and really felt the benefit of both your fitness program and regular lessons. I appreciated having access to all the additional support material and information and hope to dig deeper into that now that I have finished the scheduled DRT1 program. Basically I was able to keep up with the weekly programs but due to my schedule I had to adjust the days and occasionally the weeks in which I could complete each set. I wrapped up and was able to balance on the ball with just a toe resting against the wall for extra balance. I loved your enthusiasm, connection back to riding , and very personalized video sessions. I especially like the one with your little dog doing the yoga beside you. I would definitely recommend your program to anyone who is serious about improving their riding. Cheers Suzanne

Susan Chamberlain – Virginia, USA

Nicola, I just finished the last riders’ strength workout of DRT3. A couple of weeks late since spring brings so much work outside that can’t wait. I can tell you that DRT3 is my favorite of all the DRT’s by far. I thoroughly enjoyed the Yoga/Mobility workouts of DRT 3 where I often dreaded the Yoga in DRT 1 & 2. All the work in DRT3 seemed to help loosen up joints and muscles as well as strengthen. I do feel more bounce in my step and all the core work has made barn chores easier.

Thank you so much for such great programs. I started DRT 1 at 59 and now at 61 having completed DRT 1, 2 & 3, I feel much more fit and flexible than I did at the beginning of this journey. Thank you again.

Marion Schmitz – North Carolina, USA

Hi Nicola! I recently retired from my career as a physical therapist after almost 30 years. Your program not only gave new variety to my existing workout routines, but the combination of core, yoga, and rider fitness sessions challenged my fitness with refreshing and effective techniques. And, did I mention it makes me smile!!

The information on diet, sleep and motivation have improved my energy and outlook. I look forward to continuing DRT to continue my journey towards better fitness and riding for myself and my horse!! Thank you for all of the guidance and fun!

Jan Sharp – Utah, USA

Just finished the DRT3 program this morning. A little behind due to skiing which ended yesterday for me and several all day riding clinics this spring in very cold spells. I am pleased how much stronger I am overall and how much my upper back strength has helped me have a straighter posture. The minute long sequences were harder at first but they were very aerobic. I bought the flash drives for all 3 levels so will continue to keep circulating thru them so I keep my core strength and posture up. Love the programs, your cheerful energy, your wonderful explanations on how everything applies to riding. I especially appreciate your emphasis on variations to fit ones physical limitations. Your program is very well done. Many thanks.

Selina Smith – Modbury, South Australia

Hi Nicola, I have a photo of me and Thai, finally! Here it is – the two of us after a very good lesson working in pairs doing drill work. I worked in my longer stirrup length which really highlighted how much we use our stirrups to support our seat a lot of the time. With the longer stirrup length I could feel my seat balancing and how I could support myself without my legs doing most of the work! Thanks again Nicola!

Regina Lang – Weimar, Germany

I love the way Nicola does the dressage riders training. It is challenging and friendly – the opposite of a humourless drill-sergeant-style. And her way helps me alot, I’ve got a better balance, more strength and mobility. Good for whole life not only for riding. Photo: My andalusian horse Unico and me during a coffee-Stop in Weimar, Germany.

Pauline Jaggs – Herefordshire, UK

Hi Nicola, Just to say how much I have enjoyed DRT 1. It gave me the structure and focus to maintain my fitness whilst without a horse to ride and definitely to improve my flexibility and balance. Being back riding now for a couple of weeks on a new horse, without any hint of stiffness after 3 months out of the saddle, and minimal loss of fitness, says a lot for DRT 1 (especially as I’m 65!). Difficult to assess the effect on my riding as this horse is quite different but time will tell, and I suspect DRT 2!
The only thing I really struggled with is kneeling on the Swiss ball without hands, complete failure so far!
Thanks so much for a fab course, really loved the Yoga especially. I’ll send you a photo but it is of me last autumn with the horse who was injured.
Kind regards

Joanne Ducrot – Kaiapoi, New Zealand

Kia ora Nicola, My name is Jo and this is my big beautiful standardbred Missy (aka Marley- her new name) who I bought from the awesome charity Stable to Stirrup which reschools standardbreds to be reliable riding horses. Thank you so much for your fantastic programme Nicola. It has helped me gain strength, balance and confidence to get back to riding again. The programme is really doable; even when I ‘m busy. It is much easier to find time doing it at home and I feel like I am really doing my horse a favour by being more balanced which she really needs.

Narel Wilson – NSW, Australia

Hi Nicola, thank you so much for the program, I have found interestingly that DRT2 was a lot easier than DRT1 but see that as purely a reflection really of how far I have come since before starting DRT1 where I really had a lot not working too well back then (eg: basically very poor core strength and was very uneven through my body in strength and ability which is much improved now).

And in between the two programs I kept on going with quite a few of your other online gym programs as well – including 3 yoga programs, and the core work too that I alternated between yoga and core work. So I think that doing all of that in between the two DRT’s really put me in a good place to go on with, so needless to say I felt very proud of myself! I ended up doing DRT2 myself without Ella but will definitely continue on as have felt enormous benefits. Thank you SO much for everything, xx Narel

Annika Pohl – Linköping, Sweden

I am glad I started with DRT. I did DRT1 for more than 9 months. My way to sit on my two horses improved and I mastered most of the challenges in the program. Now I am on my second time of DRT2. I think I will do that at least 3 times…The yoga is the most difficult for me. I like the balance between different moves in the program and it is a good motivator to see what happens with the riding. This is my big Holsteiner Klas 21 years. I got him 4,5 years ago and he has learnt me a lot. Happiness on four legs!

Karen McManaway – South Carolina, USA

I am so grateful that I came across the DRT programs. When the lockdowns began I could no longer go to the gym and had to find a way to keep in shape. The DRT programs really changed my entire workout routine for the better. I have been in a rut for years doing the same exercises over and over. I am back at the gym now, but will continue to incorporate the DRT programs and Nicola’s yoga routines. I feel I have gone to another level of fitness and not only has it helped me to ride better, I look and feel better. I didn’t even realize how out of alignment and stiff I was until I began these programs. I just finished DRT 3, but will continue to do DRT 1, 2, and 3 over again. I plan on adding her mediation next to help calm my very active mind and hopefully it will help with the anxiety I have when competing. I work full time so I have to stay focused and structured. It is well worth it (although it really hurts sometimes).

Mairead O’Flynn – Cork, Ireland

Here is me and my wonderful 9 year old Irish sports horse Indie. I had been so focused on getting indie to start using his own body properly that I never really thought of the part I played in all on this. Insert DRT 1 and an eye opening experience that followed over the next 3 months!

I really enjoyed the DRT program, it was challenging (more so then I had expected) but as it was only 3 sessions a week for less then 20 min, I was able to convince my brain it was manageable, and it was not going to kill me.

I have definitely seen a massive improvement in my riding, my position, my balance and my ability to isolate movements. Our lateral work has never been this good and I’m really excited to see how I continue to progress.

Mascha – Switzerland

I always had troubles to sit straight in the saddle. My horse was somehow putting me in a crooked position. As time went on my body started to react and I was really in pain. My right side from the hip down was hurting a lot, I could not even sleep without taking some medicine. That was the time, when I remembered the advertising from the DRT on my Facebook site. So I thought – let’s give it a try…

And now, 3 months later I am without pain and I really felt an improvement. I know that I need to continue the workouts and it will always stay my weak spot. But that’s what’s riding all about… You never stop developing yourself being a better rider 😉

The program definitely helped me to make my body more strong and more flexible. But the most important thing for me was the weekly structure and the planning without being overwhelmed.

It’s not the case that I would have lack of sporting activity, thereof I have plenty. Only the explicit workouts and streching where missing… and that was conditioned by lack of motivation!

The workouts and the weekly program is designed that any of us can handle it – I rarely needed to motivate myself to practise them.

Well, the homework and the foaming roll was not my favorite thing but I compensated it a little with professional fascia massage. Now I’m already looking forward to the next program and to see more of the pleasant videos from Nicola.

Perle Deutsch – California, USA

I signed up for DRT after about a year of intensive lessons and R&A to improve my dressage riding. I felt frustrated that I seemed to improve very slowly although with a great trainer and cool horses. I really felt powerless with my progress somehow. I finally understood that in order to get better I needed to improve my seat and core strength and that the rest would follow. This is when I started the program. It immediately gave me a sense of control: I couldn’t practice on horses all day but I could do and repeat the workouts at will which was great. Nicola is great at explaining how the biomechanics of riding and training intersect and how to use our body to get the results we want, as well as how to have a great mindset and enjoying the journey. The workouts are very doable (especially, for me, as I worked through them twice during each week) and I really enjoyed watching the beautiful horse paddocks and backdrop.

What’s happened since week 1:
a. for the first time I really enjoy working out
b. my trainer seems happier with me and does not correct as much as she used to
c. I seem to be better able to apply what she tells me to do, i feel more in control of my horses and my body, as well as more confident
d. the horses I have the privilege to ride get on the bit faster and stay on it, have a better trot, canter and all moves are generally better
d. several people have commented that my seat is better and I seem to have improved a lot lately.

I can’t wait to do DRT 2 and 3 and get even stronger, fitter and more supple. I really recommend DRT to anyone who wants to fast forward their riding progress. It is a wonderful tool!

Lise Benoit – Quebec, Canada

My horse Manhattan appendix/friesian 7 years old. Thanks DRT program to help me with my balance and confidence.

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