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.

Filter by a Program
by a Country
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.

Selina Smith – South Australia

Whether you are shooting for the stars for Grand Prix level or ride once a week in school horses like myself, DRT will be for you. DRT1 laid the foundation and DRT2 really gets into the strength and balance. I can’t wait to see what DRT3 will offer!”

April Sarna – Oregon, USA

Hi Nicola, at 63 my husband said I was too old for dressage and he wanted me to quit. I was so fatigued after a lesson that I fell off trying to dismount at the halt and broke my wrist! Fortunately, I found your program and now my trainer is amazed and calling us superstars! Now I can ride for as long as I want. Thank you!!!

Charlotte Lawrence – Somerset, UK

Dear Nicola, your program has been wonderful, the yoga my particular favourite and it has certainly helped with my posture. When I started the program my aim was to ride my young horse but I have also treated myself to a 6 year Lusitano, so I have definitely got back into my riding with the help of your program. I have attached a picture of my on my KWPN four-year-old and of my Lusitano. Huge thanks for all your wonderful help.

Kim Brossoit – Michigan, USA

Hi Nicola, I love the program and worked my way through about week 6 and then got Covid, so had to lay off for awhile. With that said, I definitely felt myself getting stronger in my core, balance, and ability to use independent aids. I am 53 and just got back into horses a couple years ago. I owned 2 Arabians up until I went away to college and had to sell them. I am very grateful to have this opportunity again, but it has been a journey for sure in this older body. However, I did prove to myself that I can do it and have the energy and strength I need. So, I am going to restart the program again here shortly and get ready for show season! I will plan to join the online gym to do that… Here is picture of my Arabian gelding Dom and me, he just turned 6 and we are planning to show 1st level, maybe second level this year. Thank you so much, you are a very inspirational person

Rachael Howard – NSW, Australia

Hi Nicola, I’ve just finished DRT2 and am absolutely amazed at the strength in my body now and improvement to my riding. After an 18 year break from riding bringing up our children and running a busy horse farm breeding thoroughbreds, I was keen to get back eventing but had no core strength. Finding your program was the best thing I could have done, and I found your 20 minute workouts so easy to fit into my day. I am so hooked I’m back doing DRT2 again now and will certainly be interested in DRT3 if it happens. Photo attached of myself competing last weekend on my gorgeous boy MY COOKIE MONSTER. We came 5th and finished on our dressage score with clear rounds in showjumping and cross country. I just need to improve my dressage score now to get in the first 3. With lots more practice and fitness I’ll get there! Thanks you so much for all your great workouts. You’re an inspiration to us all and have done a great job putting this program together to help everyone’s fitness, riding and mindset!

Mary Douglas – New York, USA

Hi Nicola, Clyde and I thank you for guiding us to become better partners by helping me take better care of myself. Your program helps me stretch and work at being stronger by being more centered and balanced. Our journey with your program will continue as long as I am able to have the privilege of having horses in my life!

Mary Douglas (age 70)
Clyde (age 10)

Andrea Woods – NSW, Australia

Hi Nicola, After 12 weeks of this program, my fitness has made a great improvement. The bonus is how this has lifted my confidence. I am sitting the canter so much better now and in turn my horse is maintaining a relaxed canter for longer because I’m not in her way. Due to having to work in the city at the moment, I am living away from my horses for weeks at a time, coming back and riding better! Even my horse is impressed. It’s been an epiphany for me – rider fitness is an essential component to improving your partnership with your horse. Nicola is encouraging, natural and is spot on with this great program. Thank you! Can’t wait for DRT2! I will also be following up with Core 30 in the meantime.

Leah Sinclair – Southland, NZ

I bought a new young horse and am in my late 40s. I was an active rider but haven’t done much in the last ten years. I wanted to really do my best by my new horse and Nicola’s Dressage Rider Training Programme came up – I could do it at home. It was good that I didn’t see I could pause the programme in the first weeks as I got behind, the thought of wasting my money and that the programme would end was a wee incentive. I AM SO PLEASED I MADE THE TIME. The benefits are great I got myself sorted out and set up a regular time 20mins 3 times a week is easy for a big changes. I noticed a big difference in my seat stability particularly when I went from my dressage saddle to a jumping saddle. My legs are stronger and more stable, my rising trot is better, as well as my sitting trot. I feel I a helping my horse better with his balance (well probably I am not unbalancing him as much lol) Most of the exercises have options to help you. The yoga has been great, I didn’t realise I was so stiff in places and being more aware of my breathing helps when I’m riding too.I have completed the 12 weeks of DRT1 and looking forward to the next programme. In the meanwhile I am repeating DRT1. Many thanks to Nicola

Marion Bailey-Canham – Ottawa, Canada

Thanks Nicola – I speak so highly of all that you are doing and how the exercises I have been able to do has had a huge and awesomely positive impact on my riding and connection with Matteo!!

Julie Smith – Rossendale, UK

I was ready to stop riding because in my early 60s I felt I was losing strength, flexibility and reaction time. I didn’t feel safe and had a few falls after never falling off in 10 years. Your unique approach of addressing all of these areas has given me back my confidence and my 2 horses are improving massively. We all want a responsive, supple, strong and balanced horse- well hey guess what – they want the same in a rider! Many thanks and keep up the good work.

Belinda Brereton – Shropshire, UK

Hi Nicola, I have really enjoyed doing the DRT2 programme. Have to admit I’m not the best at doing the homework etc but the workouts are brilliant. I’m one of those that if you say “10 of these”, I’ll do 12 or just keep doing them whilst you’re talking!!! I hate running so didn’t keep that up for long, but then picked it up towards the end and couldn’t believe how fit I felt doing it. Now I will carry that on as the cardio fitness is what I lack for the big dressage tests.

Sara Reynard – Loughborough, UK

Hi Nicola, So this is me and my boy Benjamin out and about at the first comp since lock down, and since DRT. He is 13 years old and had since 4. We event at the lower levels but having ago at some BD dressage this spring. I feel stronger and much more aware of my posture and body. I am twisted from old injuries but through the programme helping me when my muscles get tight, and makes me feel good. I am mid way through wk 11 as repeated one week. I love the variety the program brings with something new all the time. We scored 5% more than when we previously rode the same test, yes a different judge, but do feel that we have improved…I will complete and repeat some of DRT 1 , and look forward to part 2!

Charlotte Stormer

I have truly enjoyed taking part in the DRT1 program. It has helped me to increase my core strength, hip mobility and to become straighter. Its also inspiring in a period where its not possible to train anywhere else but home due to Covid. I will for sure continue but will also repeat DRT1.

Fleta Sokal – Maryland, USA

DRT1 has increased my stamina and improved my posture and balance. My riding instructor has commented on it. It helps me help my horses in their balance. I feel great at almost 66 years old. Thank you Nicola

Ewa Deelman – Calabasas, USA

I really enjoyed both DRT1 and DRT2. I have been active and doing cardio classes, some yoga and barre work, but what I was really missing were exercises specific to horseback riding. I am not very patient, so doing a 1hr yoga class was a lot for me. With the DRT program, I get just what I need: enough yoga and strength to ride better. Also the core exercises helped me much more than the exercises I did in my cardio classes. Doing 20 mins 3 times per week is very manageable. Even when I did not feel like doing the program, I would think to myself that it is only 20 mins and then I will be done. I have to say that I was always very happy to have put in the effort. In the end I do feel stronger and more balanced when riding—thank you Nicola!”

Diane Gilmore – Washington, USA

Soon after I started DRT my instructor started commenting on how nice my horse moved. After that she started noticing how straight I was on turns. I am much stronger in the saddle. Roxy decided to throw a tantrum and not want to move forward because of some imaginary demon. After many circles and diving out my left leg (my weak leg after an injury), I stayed strong in the saddle with my heals down. I don’t think I would have been able to stay in the saddle had I not been doing the DRT workouts.

Annemarie Yoder – Pennsylvania

Nicola, The DRT program has benefited myself and my horse more than I could possibly have hoped for. I signed up on the advice of a friend because I bought a new horse that was a schoolmaster and we were having trouble communicating. He preferred a solid, well balanced seat and I was an older rider in not the best shape. The workouts are short but very effective and by 8 weeks I was realizing my riding was going to the next level. At 9 weeks I did my entire 30 minute lesson without stirrups. By 10 weeks we had mastered some very respectable tests and now preparing for our first show. I don’t think we would be where we are now without this program. I am fitter, healthier and my horse loves Nicola for making this happen! Many thanks!

Rie Nakamura – Iwate, Japan

Dear Nicola, Joining DRT1 had positive side effects. I now get up early and go to bed early. I’m not sure if Joey can tell any difference in my riding. But I feel that I can follow his big movements a bit better. Thank you again for your encouragement!

Marlene McGrath – Manassas, USA

Hi Nicola, Signing up for and completing the DRT 1 program is the absolute best thing I have ever done for myself in order to better my riding. Since I had never committed to any exercise program before, I was surprised at how even within the first few weeks of doing the program, I could feel how differently my horse was reacting to my balance, my seat and my aids, I have come to the conclusion that strengthening my body with the exercises in DRT has benefited me far more than all the lessons and training I have taken. The self awareness of how I am carrying myself on my horse is thanks to this program and I now can’t imagine not having the program, and will absolutely be continuing on with DRT 2. Thank you for making this wonderful program available and so user friendly!

Katja Mueller – Deutschland, Germany

Dear Nicola, I cannot tell you how glad I am that I decided to join DRT. I joined because I felt that after several health issues I was in no physical condition to start riding young horses again but youngsters are the only horses we have at the moment so it was time to take action.
Your programme has really made a difference for me, not only physically, but also mentally. I feel so much stronger, more balanced and in an overall better place than I did 12 weeks ago. Even my lower back pains which have plagued me for years have nearly vanished. I have always worked out quite a lot in order to manage those but it seems I’ve been doing the wrong things. After just a couple of weeks in DRT 1 felt better than in years and I must say, I am absolutely hooked on the programme and already impatient to start DRT 2. In the meantime I am going to further explore the whole online gym with all its wonderful educational resources and the perfect workout your every day and every mood.
The quality of your workout videos is outstanding (and I have tried a lot), your whole personality is absolutely inspiring and encouraging and not one day did I have to force myself to work out, it was always a pleasure I have been looking forward to! I even dared to climb on the back of a three year old, which I haven’t done in years, so thanks a million times and see you soon for DRT 2. Virtual hugs from Germany

Kerry Holland – Kokopu, New Zealand

Hello Nicola, Here is me on Coffee. Not the best photo but all I have. lol. I am 58 with chronic lower back issues from 30 years of nursing and riding but otherwise healthy. I have thourougly enjoyed doing your DRT 1 programme, and am certainly feeling the benefit of it. I feel much more upright in general and certainly stronger when riding. I recently competed at one of our local events and managed to get first placings in level 2 on both days. At least 4 different people commented on how well I was riding, and I can only attribute this to doing your course.
My husband did the course with me and he also feels the benefit. Awesome job

Tanja Gotthelf – Martfeld, Germany

This wonderful program helped me a lot! After my accident, I feel so much safer riding now. I sit much closer ‚„in‘“ the horse and my hole body is so much more in balance. To feel safe because of the balance I got and so having much more fun makes my horse and me to a fantastic team. Thanks for that!

Iris Vanrompaey – Schoten, Belgium

I finished the 12 week Dressage Rider Training Programme and I feel great! My body is getting old and has lots of injuries and issues so when I saw the programme I thought it would be good for me and my horses if I signed up for it. 12 weeks later I am so glad I did. A few years ago I had to work hard to get back in the saddle with the same seat that I had before. It was hard especially since my physical therapist took some time to find what issue was the cause of the problem. Getting worse at riding was the worst feeling ever and I dont want to go through that again. Now with DRT I found the perfect programme to stay fit for riding. Nicola Smith knows her stuff and makes you work every muscle that is important for riding. She also worked on balance and mindset. The programme didn’t only work I enjoyed is as well. Thank you Nicola!

Karen Hopkinson – Canada

Hi Nicola, hard to get a photo of me riding but here are two recent ones. My lovely mare is 13 years old, 16.1 hh and an Irish Sport horse. I’ll be 70 this year and while I’ve been “riding” all my life, I have really learned this past year how much I didn’t know! But yes, your program has been a wakeup call. Not sure how I found it – probably on facebook, but I’m so glad I joined up. I especially love the progression of the yoga sessions – they are my favourite. I’ve found that because of your program, I sit straighter in the saddle, my hips and spine are now more flexible and I can feel my horse better now than ever before. Plus being stronger and more supple, well, it just helps your whole experience on the horse.

For me, the DRT AND hiring a trainer AND buying a very lovely dressage saddle has made the world of difference in my riding and in making my horse happy. Kilby is now getting clear aids from me, I sit lighter, and we actually work a program in the ring and then oftentimes we go ride the nearby trails. I may even try for a beginner dressage test! Except here in BC we’re on a lot of restrictions because of the COVID pandemic. However, thankfully, we are able to keep our normal barn routine going.

That’s about it!

Brenda Schreiber – Georgia, USA

Hi Nicola, I am in my 50’s, a new rider, and haven’t exercised in a while. Your program started slow and allowed me to proceed at my own pace. I got to week 4 and the exercises were getting difficult for me so I went back to week 2 to strengthen my body a little more so I could go onto the harder weeks. I liked the stretches too. I try to do those a few times a week just before I ride, I found I have a better ride when I do. I really enjoyed your program and saved every lesson so I can go back and forth as needed.

Susie Jones – Arizona, USA

Hi Nicola, I absolutely loved DRT1. Even though I was fairly fit when I began the program- I really feel that I have connected with my horse on a greater level because I have better balance and core strength. I am looking forward to beginning DRT 2. Here are a couple of photos of me and my 13 year old Half Arab/Half Saddlebred Oliver ❤️

Christine Jurs – Illinois, USA

Hi Nicola, At 51 years old, your program has been helping me stay in shape for riding and showing in Jumpers with my horse Benevolence (Ben). As I get older, it’s a challenge to stay in top shape to enable me to keep riding at this level! I have enjoyed the program, and the encouragement from others on the forum. Thanks Nicola!

Joanna Bottomley – Suffolk, UK

Hi Nicola, I think the caption to this photo could be “If in doubt, keep smiling!” I decided to take the plunge and sign up for DRT to keep me ticking over during lockdown. It did much more than that. The strength and balance I gained improved my confidence enormously and had a positive impact on my riding. My horse is a typical mare in that she likes to do things her way if she can get away with it. Now I feel we have respect for each other in our partnership and she is enjoying her work with some clearer boundaries. Getting me in better shape, physically and mentally, is the best thing I can do for my horse. She deserves it! I’m looking forward to repeating DRT2 and then moving onto DRT3.

Brenda Lofstrom – Calgary, Alberta, Canada

DRT1 COMPLETED!! At the start I wasn’t sure I could do this, but 12 weeks later … GOAL ACCOMPLISHED!!
After 12 years out of the saddle and at age 68, my riding is now so much better than I thought it could ever be again. Amazing difference in my body from 12 weeks ago, my degenerative hips can now handle most of the yoga mobility stretches with an ease I never thought possible! During the first 6 weeks of the program, I was not riding my horse Rampart, due to Covid restrictions in Alberta. When I started riding and lessons again in mid February 2021, I had better balance, sat deeper in the saddle, improved endurance. And by mid-March, I was able to drop my stirrups by 2 holes – that’s a huge improvement for me with my tight hips!! I have done Raja Yoga for over 50 years but have never found an Asana practice (or teacher) which seemed right and positive for me. The Yoga Mobility workouts in DRT1 proved to be doable, enjoyable and a direct benefit to my passion in life – riding my horses and dressage work. These workouts will now be an important part of my yoga practice. Nicola’s workouts do challenge us but she always gives options if we find something too big a challenge at that moment. But as I worked through each phase of the program, I was continually aware at how much better I had become, compared to similar workouts in earlier phases. Nicola provides an amazing amount of information, advice, videos and support in her DRT program and Onlinegym. Doing DRT required a big commitment on my part, but the benefits gained for myself and my horse are huge and tangible. Feeling very grateful to Nicola!!

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 17