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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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!!

Diana Klybert – USA

Hello Nicola, Thank you for asking for our photo and a couple words about our DRT1 riding program. I think something that helped me so much was the work without stirrups. Really opened up my hip flexors and I enjoyed it with my horse. He is so good and I trust him so much. The metaphor is stretching, and often stretching through discomfort makes us stronger and better. I have much work to do still on my DRT 1. And I’m really looking forward to it, together with Levi. Cheers to you and our entire community, Diana!

Kathy LeReverend – British Columbia

Hi Nicola, DRT3 was much more challenging than the previous 2 problems – which I appreciated. The workouts would get my heart rate up and I would feel the effects of the workout the next day!
The focus on fascia was something new and really fascinating for me as I have very poor flexibility and this program brought greater insight into why I might be so inflexible and how I could work on fascia instead of just stretching my muscles to improve. I really liked the emphasis on the body’s reaction time as well. Really excellent program, worth repeating!
Thanks for your great programs and support

Barb Siray – Canada

Hi Nicola, so enjoyed your 12 week program! I kinda have a unique situation with my riding. I’m a total novice and just started riding part time about 4 years ago as a senior “young” rider!! (LOL I’m 60). Last year I was given the opportunity as a “green” rider to back and work with a “green” horse!! Many would say (I’m sure) that this is not a great situation as we are both learning everything together but I’m in no hurry and have a wonderful coach who’s patiently helping me through the hurdles!! We are progressing slowly but surely and since Torro is an untrained horse he tends to spook at crazy times. Your program has given me the ability to ride these spooks especially the unexpected ones! Also just a couple weeks ago we attempted our first canter transitions and my stronger core allowed me to sit quieter and more stable as we learned the steps together! What an adventure it has been! I look forward to continuing to develop my strength training with you to hopefully improve my training abilities with this youngster. The pic is the first time I backed him in the round pen.
Thank you again for all your help!!

Lee McLean – Keystone Equine Alberta, Canada

I’m a 57-year-old ranch wife, horse trainer and stroke survivor. I’ve spent my whole life managing to ‘get by’ without really looking after my whole self: my body or my sense of inner worth. Only now, after proudly completing DRT I and loving the effects of the strength training and yoga for flexibility, am I aware of how beautifully our bodies serve us. Oh, the things we could do if only we’d give ourselves a fighting chance! Both my horses and myself seem straighter and more comfortable at the end of this course. Will I be continuing on? Absolutely!

Lara Schwartz, Washington, DC USA

Dressage Rider Training is an effective, supportive, fun program for anyone who wants to improve their core strength and balance- on horseback or not. When I started the program in January I was recovering from a back injury, could not do a full deep squat, and had residual balance issues from a concussion I sustained in 2019. Through daily “homework” of stretching and foam rolling, plus manageable, easy to follow 20 minute workouts, I developed the best strength and balance I’ve ever had.

The program of core strength, yoga for mobility, and fitness in each week is not only a wise way to get stronger while protecting one’s body from injury; it’s also reminded me of all the ingredients of being fit and ready to ride. It is a judgment-free, positive environment with the ever-encouraging Nicola Smith offering support.

I recommend this to everyone- riders or not- and particularly those of us who are trying to stay active and energetic as we age. I’m excited to try Core 30 in the interval before the DRT2 class begins.

Rebekka Blumer – Richenthal, Switzerland

Dear Nicola, I have one more week to go: so I am just turning onto the center line for the final approach.

I started with DRT1 a year ago and I felt the positive impact it had on my riding, my posture and my movements within the first few weeks. It was amazing and I really got into it. After the 12 weeks, I did not only feel fitter, more agile and healthier, I also felt much stronger in the saddle in a positive way.

Then I did the 21 days Yoga Retreat Cathedral Cove. What a great programme! I was not aware that one can add so much strength to its body by “only” doing yoga, using nothing but your body.Then came DRT2 and I signed up immediately. Again, a great programme with high intensity training, balance, strength and suppleness. I liked it from the start.

I wanted to do a different routine after DRT2 just as I did after DRT1 but DRT3 was launched and so I joined. The 60 seconds training adds another level of variety but also complexity to the programme. The mind is challenged quite a bit, not only the body J The focus on fascia in the yoga sessions was great and a special experience.

What’s next? I think I will do the Power Yoga Retreat Programme and then return to DRT3 to repeat it.

Conclusions? Your programmes definitely made me a stronger person in body and mind. They made me being more supple in body and mind. This had a positive impact not only on my posture and my weight J, but very much on my riding. I am convinced, that my horses felt the change in my riding ability as well – it definitely had a positive impact on our performance as a team.

Thanks for your creativity and efforts in putting these programmes together. Great job!

With my best wishes to the entire 2- and 4-legged team.

Lola Coleman- Smith, Cheshire , UK

DRT 1 has been excellent, worth every penny. I have considered enrolling in DRT 1 for some time but as I did regular (but once weekly) Pilates wasn’t sure what it would give me. This January I enrolled and wow has it made a difference having a rider based programme. My core strength has enabled me to handle my big moving horse so much better. I can now “hold “ him as well as drive him from his back legs. My abdo muscles are firm. My hips are still not as flexible as they might be but I have never been one to be able to cross my legs right down sitting on the floor. I can keep working on my hips. And the beauty of the programme is once downloaded I can revisit all the workouts. They are so easy once you have gained the strength. I will proceed to DRT 2 at some stage when I have mastered the Swiss ball balance

Sabine Bühlmann – Germany

I was feeling much stronger and fitter both on the ground and in the saddle. The right mix between core strength, stretching and yoga moves was really helping me to gain way more flexibility in my hips. I knew some of the moves from a jazz dance training I did years ago, but totally had forgotten about it and how it might be connected to my riding. My horse felt a lot more loose and relaxing once I was able to sit better and more stable in the saddle. I am very thankful for the program and have recommended it to several friends, also one who recent had a hip replacement and was unsure how to work on her rider fitness with regard to this major operation. Thanks again for providing this very helpful training to us.

Anna Rudd – Queensland, Australia

Hi Nicola, I cannot begin to describe how much I have loved this program. I contemplated for years as I followed your social media, and finally took the plunge. My stability and mobility has change dramatically now the saddle. Every part of my dressage training has improved and my 4 year old thoroughbred can clearly notice the difference in seat and body communication as well. So grateful to have this sort of fitness training!

Naomi Flynn – Brisbane, Australia

Hi Nicola, I must admit to being a skeptic for a long time before starting DRT1. I wasn’t sure how much I would get out of an online program and was hesitant to spend the money. After completing the program I am pleased to be able to say that it was worth every cent. My fitness, balance, strength and overall well-being has improved significantly, and I am sure that this will benefit my riding. I’m sure my horse (Custard) will appreciate it too! The program is so well designed that you can step up gradually from beginner level. Instructions are easy to follow and everything can be completed in your own lounge room with minimal equipment. I think that this has been instrumental in its success, as I find gym memberships can be too hard to stick to but there’s no excuse for not finding 20 minutes in my day for DRT! And the recipes and online gym are a fantastic bonus to the program. Thank you Nicola for creating DRT – the positive reviews were right and it was money well spent!

Victoria Wall – Waikato, New Zealand

I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Dressage Rider Training programme. I feel it’s helped me get stronger and more
mobile. I think it’s an excellent program easy to fit in around your life and I love how it’s tailored to our sport. Thank you, Nic!

Sarah McCarty – New York, USA

I toyed with this program for over a year before deciding to do it with a friend. I was worried about time. It’s absolutely manageable! I had the perfect storm of being a public school teacher and mother of two in the COVID-devastated and deep-frozen USA and found myself suddenly buying a horse just after starting. I had been riding young horses for almost two years while I searched for my new partner. DRT has renewed my position, aids, and confidence to enjoy a more seasoned yet dressage-green new horse. Thanks to DRT my horse and I have had a wonderful start together. The physical and mental exercises helped me to bond with her. I’m planning to redo pieces of DRT 1 with her now that our prime season is beginning, before going on to DRT 2. But I’m really looking forward to that! Lastly, in the depths of winter DRT helped me feel connected to riders and my sport even when actually riding was inconsistent. Thank you!!!!

Sirpa Mäkitalo – Finland

Your program has helped me and my riding a lot. I sit much deeper and my confidence in saddle is so much better than before. Hallkatla sees sometimes dragons and whatever beasts but I haven´t fallen down ever since I started DRT. I have heard my riding has improved a lot and has raised to next level. I´m so happy I found you and the DRT. It´s amazing what difference 3x20minutes can make. Thank you Nicola for creating this wonderful program.

Lauren Schnabel – North Carolina

DRT2 has really challenged me to reach my next level of fitness and achieve better balance, strength, and mobility in and out of the saddle. As for DRT1 I have thoroughly enjoyed each of the workouts and love that they fit so easily into my work hectic schedule. Nicola is so motivational and fun – I find myself looking forward to repeating old workouts just as much as I do the new ones! Can’t deny though that I am counting down the days to launch of DRT3 and continuing on my dressage fitness journey!

Clare Stapley – Cambridge, United Kingdom

I did the DRT 1 programme last year. I really wasn’t sure whether to spend so much money on an online training course but feel it was a very good use of money and I really enjoyed it! It certainly has improved my riding and general fitness. I am a pretty fit 32 year old who’s always done sport to a high level and I still found the programme was incredibly beneficial as it was so specific to riding.

Unfortunately a few weeks after starting I had to semi-retire my 12 year old horse as he has kissing spines and arthritis in his coffin joints and hocks. However I continued with the programme and it is of course still benefitting my riding despite no longer having any competitive aspirations. I will continue doing the DRT 1 sessions mixed in with running and riding. And of course reading your brilliant blogs!

I hope in the future I will do the DRT2 programme.

Susanne Karg – Switzerland

Hi Nicola

Thanks for asking! Its going well, the workouts are quite challenging but very effective!

I finished DRT1 and immediately started DRT2 last week and wow my riding improved a lot since I started your programme. I also became very aware of my imbalances and now I am able work and fight them, which benefits my horse.

Joining the DRT gang and starting this programme was one of my best decisions last year! Oscar (enjoying his pasture time in snowy Switzerland), my 10 year old Quarterhorse thinks so too.

Greetings from Switzerland

Diane Levin – Colorado, USA

I love the DRT program! It is a whole lot harder to procrastinate or talk yourself into skipping a workout that is only 20 minutes a day and done at home! But my favorite thing is that it can be self-paced. The workouts can be downloaded and saved and I found it helpful for me (being pretty out of shape) to sometimes repeat weeks before moving on to the next one. There are tons of resources-extra exercises, articles, etc. I thought it was an incredible bargain!

Rebecca Mobberley – Wairarapa New Zealand

Hi Nicola, Over this year I have completed DRT-1 and DRT-2 and am looking forward to DRT-3. Earlier this year I made the transition from ponies to horses. It was important to me to step up physical and mentally and to have the stamina to be able to keep up with the big horses. I am now more stable in my seat, body and posture and am mentally stronger and faster. DRT has taught me to be present and more focussed which has helped me in my competitions where I mainly compete against adults. DRT has also taught me about the symmetry of the body and how to work to achieve that in everyday life as well as in my riding. I am able to balance myself better which allows my horses the freedom of movement in self carriage and means that my training is able to progress further. In terms of the DRT programme I find it helpful that, in places in my body where I am strong, I can opt for the harder movements. Where I am weaker I can complete the modified, easier movements. The support you offer helps to maintain my motivation and I enjoy the weekly homework and articles.

Camille Squire – London, UK

Dear Nicola,

I am 43 years old and I ride my horse Chico for fun whilst working towards pre- lim dressage.

I completed Drt 3 a few weeks ago and I am actually repeating it again already. I found this programme challenging in a good way compared to the other Drt programmes. The extended time for each exercise makes a big difference to the overall work out and I can definitely feel it by round 4 whilst wishing for the final buzzer! I am stronger, fitter, more balanced, more flexible and my reaction times and seat have all improved over the 12 weeks. I can finally allow my horse to move freely under me and we are both enjoying the confidence this has bought to our partnership.One aspect that stands out for me in this programme is the intention and mindfulness during exercise and using this as a daily practice on and off the mat. This programme has been invaluable in allowing me to be more present and breathe through discomfort whilst also teaching me the ability to relax around tension. I am so glad that I discovered Drt for a multitude of reasons as it has helped me progress in my passion and kept focused and sane during the pandemic and the challenges that 2020 has thrown up.

I am also really enjoying your on-line gym and I have been combining the yoga retreat programmes with the 20 minute workouts on Drt3 to work more on my flexibility and mindfulness. I will definitely continue when and if there is a DRT 4. I also really like the way that you explain how and why we are doing the exercises and I have recommended the programme to other equine friends.


Vasilena Boteva – Madrid, Spain

DRT program helped me to loosen my seat, explore new feelings and gain more sensitive ride and experience. I’m an amateur eventer that has always struggled with the dressage but felt starting to improve my relationship with the horse after the 2nd month of the program and being able to better use my body and aids. So much looking forward to go in depth into level 2 and see what this new year can offer me.

Chantel Thomas – Clonbinane, Australia

My horse Lovely and I absolutely LOVED your DRT program. I cannot believe the difference in my riding position and core strength I gained within 12 weeks. The beauty of DRT is how manageable and time productive the workouts are with my busy schedule. I am now sitting so connected with my horse, and my seat feels lighter and more secure through my core, which I feel lovely is moving better underneath me. I am lucky enough to have completed the program with five supportive friends, we encouraged and supported each other all the way to end of 12 weeks. I am so looking forward to starting DRT2 in 2021. Kind regards Chantel & Lovely

Sasha O’Donnell – Manly, Australia

I loved DRT! I live in Hong Kong and, during the pandemic, I was separated from my mare who is in Australia due to travel restrictions. I decided to try DRT to keep me fit while out of the saddle. I have found the course to be very motivating and a way to keep my mind and body connected to riding. As the pandemic has lingered on, I have recently taken up lessons on local horses. It’s clear to me that DRT has been nothing short of transformational! My core is stronger and, in the saddle, I find myself thinking before I act. “Ribs down, core engaged”. I will definitely do DRT 2 and make this course an ongoing part of my routine. Thank you Nicola!!

Cathy Philo – Fairfield, 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.

Lauren Schnabel – North Carolina, USA

My trainer highly recommended DRT to me after overcoming a major injury and switching disciplines to dressage. DRT has exceeded my expectations in every way – the workouts easily fit into my hectic day and are fun and effective. My strength, balance, and mobility have dramatically improved and have translated into a much-improved riding position and seat. I was so sad to finish DRT1 that I ordered DRT2 as soon as I could and am now loving the challenge of these next level workouts! I’m excited about the future and very grateful to Nicola and the entire DRT team for such an exceptional program!”

Jo Tooze – Usk, United Kingdom

After 40 years doing a desk job I have now retired and bought a fabulous mare – Daisy, so I can live my dream.  This programme has made me much stronger, my dressage marks have improved and everyone is commenting on how well I am riding.  The sessions are sometimes tough but always fun, Nicola is a brilliant coach, and her giggle is infectious so I’m smiling even when it’s hurting.  Have already recommended it to friends.  Best thing I’ve done in years – will do DRT 2 after I’ve repeated DRT1,  thank you Nicola.

Lara Paroz – Northern Territory, Australia

Hi Nicola, I would like to thank you for the opportunity of doing a program like this. Finding something that focused on helping my riding as well as my fitness has been brilliant. I love that this program allows you to take things at your own pace. I feel so much stronger and fitter, which I’m sure in turn has helped with my motivation and confidence. I really think my horse has benefited as well. The improvements in my fitness and balance have helped with the way he moves and some of our rides lately have been awesome. I’m looking forward to starting DRT2.

Jeanette Levine – Ontario, Canada

This program is fabulous. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for DRT2; I found the last few weeks of DRT1 very challenging. But it was ok, I did wks 1-4 twice and then carried on. I’m on wk 10 now. There has definitely been an improvement in my position, I’m able to control my body better and my horse is happier with my more subtle aids. My coach, who has trained me on four different horses, is very pleased ( and I think surprised) with the change. I’m one of the oldest of this group. And I’ll do anything to stay fit enough to ride. Thank you, Nicola.

Vanessa Way – Taranaki, New Zealand

I am a professional Dressage Rider and Coach who competes at the top Grand Prix level, pushing my horses and myself physically to the highest level. I joined the DRT dressage program as I was wanting to improve my strength and performance in the saddle and gain any resultant advantage to my riding. Also, I had noticed that my flexibility had been deteriorating over recent months. I was finding that it was a constant struggle to remain even in the saddle due to several past fractures and resultant bad muscle memory. I can honestly say that joining this program has not only totally improved my evenness, but it has strengthened my ability to activate my core with a total new depth and understanding. I have become addicted to the app, loving everything from the recipes to the mediations and the generally great health advice.
This is by far my best purchase in years

Mary Robinson – Houston, Texas

Hi there! DRT1 has been a fantastic program! I was looking for a dressage specific workout program and DRT was recommended to me by a USDF gold medalist. I love how strong and balanced I’ve become – and my trainer has definitely noticed! My horse, Leo, and I are connecting so well during our rides now. I’m excited about the progress we’ll continue to make! Thank to Nicola for such a great program that really produces results!

Mary Mielczarek – Kentucky, USA

I’ve finished DRT2 and am going back over it to get more competent with the routines. DRT2 is challenging me to really target the moves that are particularly difficult for me as an individual. I feel that as I get better at the workouts, I will be at a significantly higher level of fitness; much more like an actual athlete. I’m looking forward to that. What I like about the DRT program in general is that it’s paced really well and targeted for fitness for riding. My riding improved from DRT1, Week 1. I was stronger and had more control over my body right away. I found each successive week to be an improvement on the one before without any plateaus or weeks where I did not feel progress. I also never felt like it was too hard or discouraging. The twenty minute segments are perfect for my lifestyle: when I’m finished with my morning workout I’m ready and energized for the day. I love this program. It is a huge part of my feeling like I’m always improving as a rider.

Cate Cockburn – NSW, Australia

When I started DRT 2 I was tentatively riding at novice level. After the 12 weeks Of DRT 2 my riding has improved out of sight and my coach Encouraged me to enter an Elementary test. Here I am on my way to getting 63 % .not bad for this rank amateur! I can’t believe how much stronger fitter amd more supple I am! Thanks DRT.

Rebekka Blumer – Richenthal, Switzerland

DRT2 is a great programme! It’s great to experience what one can do with his body and how this immediately relates to ones riding. I achieved a lot over the 12 weeks and I am sure my horses are happy with me working so hard: it is to their benefit! Thanks for the great work you do – keep up with it.

Christine Baxter – South Lanarkshire, UK

I completed DRT3 last week and it was an amazing feeling! It’s taken me a week to get my head round how much progress I have made over the last year. I now have the most toned legs ever, I’m 65 so that’s a lot of ‘ever’, my upper body is also much stronger and this has had an impact on my riding and how my horse reacts to my aids. I loved being able to keep up with what you were doing throughout most of the sessions, There were a few that I needed to take more slowly so that my balance and coordination could kick in but the feeling of achievement once I got there was amazing. The session on the gym ball with the resistance bands acting like reins reinforced just how much my balance and strength have improved. I could kneel up tall and strong, I could draw my elbows back together and individually, my shoulders stayed soft and down and I could do this easily. This really brought home to me the impact that my improved strength and fitness must be having on my horse as he no longer has to compensate for my weaknesses.

I had major stomach surgery last November and as a result my abdominal muscles are not as strong as I would like. I probably, subconsciously, protected them while working through DRT 1& 2 meaning that while my legs and arms are fantastic my abs are not as good. I’d love an ab specific element to work on. Is there such a thing already in the online gym?

Thank you Nicola for the help, guidance and support you have provided throughout my journey to fitness over this year. I intend to revisit DRT1 and 2, working through the more challenging choices this time so that my newly acquired fitness and confidence don’t suffer a relapse.

Kindest regards to you, Ben and your 4 legged support team

Susan Zuehlke – Littleton, USA

DRT has been a game changer for my training progression with Marty. He’s a young horse and the DRT program has given me more confidence in my abilities which has definitely translated to an increased confidence in him. Thank you for a sensible and outcome oriented program. I can’t wait for DRT 2!

Jolene Last – West Bend, USA

This is me and my horse, Teddy. I feel that I am your typical amateur (happy to have a horse that I can ride and snuggle). Work, family, and home life take up much of my time. I am fortunate to be able to start my day at the farm before the craziness of my day begins. The DRT program was the BEST program for me. Working out just 20 minutes a day was exactly what I needed to stick with the program. The explanation on how each workout was geared to my riding was wonderful and kept me engaged. I now have such a better connection with Teddy. My posture is better on and off my horse. I also have the stamina to ride for extended periods of time. My confidence in myself has skyrocketed, which only helps my dressage and jumping. I am extremely happy that I signed up for DRT, and I am fairly confident Teddy is too. Thank you, Nicola!

Ingrid Evers – Boutersem, Belgium

Hello Nicola, the program is very well tuned to the dressage riding. I enjoyed it a lot and it helped me develop flexibility and strength over the past period, also the yoga was very pleasant (and “zen”) to do. I also lost 4 kilo’s (8,82 pounds) that also helped ;-), still need to go further down with 3 kilo’s.
Unfortunately I could not do the homework during the last period because the saddles of my 2 horses are not fitting well and it takes a while before the saddle fitter came to us measuring… Also the work without stirrups is not yet a regular thing for me, I still need to exercise more. It is hard for me with my current consulting work (virtual working, sitting all day) to make enough time to train my horses. I hope next year will be better :-)…
Thank you so much , I plan to also follow your next trainings!

Mary Meland – Minneapolis, USA

Hi Nicola. I’ve completed levels 1 and 2 and am on my way through Level 2 again because I don’t want to ever lose the advances I have made in flexibility and balance with strength thrown in. When the pandemic permits, I am an active and very enthusiastic rider at age 78 with two prosthetic hips. I may just be in the best physical shape I have been in for the past 10 years! The variety of approaches to fitness that Nicola offers keeps me coming back for more and I love her positive attitude. It seems as though I’m training with a friend. I thought I would stop riding at age 75 but now I see no reason to stop something I enjoy so much. In fact, I just bought a new horse to ride when our barn reopens! Thanks, Nicola!

Judy Little – California, USA

Hi Nicola, I have been living overseas for many years and in the U.S for over 20 years. My riding has been sporadic until 15 years ago; I was able to take up Fox hunting in Georgia, U.S. I have enjoyed your course immensely, especially during the pandemic as we continue in Lockdown. Two aspects drove my motivation for the course. 1. my horse and I suffered from a painful back, and 2. we favor our right sides. While I can dream about being in NZ, I am working on tweaking all the “right” muscles so we can both enjoy our hunts without the aches and pain. I know my horse will appreciate the new me once I can travel to Georgia. While fitness has always been important to me, the focus on riding has been invaluable and unique. I feel confident that we will be happier and safer.

Mary Barron – New York, USA

HI Nicola: I just wanted to say Thank you for the DRT program. I have finished DRT2 and have found that it was a great addition to the DRT1 program. From the program, I found myself to be more balanced, physically fit to manage any riding issues and have better and more successful aides for Micah. The yoga, mobility and strength sessions, combined with the meditation series and the homework, are a well rounded program for any rider. Being a better more confident rider has made Micah a more confident horse and we are becoming a true team! I am looking forward to DRT3 and starting a great show career with Micah. Thank you!

John Rueter – Oregon, USA

Nicola, I had to restart DRT2 twice. The progressive nature of the program has helped me improve gradually over DRT1 and now into DRT2. I especially like the mixture of core, yoga, strength and homework. I think my riding has improved quite a bit since I started DRT1. For example, the other day I rode a spook on my new mare while in the 2-point. That’s an essential skill for me as an aspiring eventer. Thanks for all you do for us.

Manuela Witt – Switzerland

I love your training. I am so much fitter, happy and healthier.
My horses appreciate it too, I feel a big difference in my riding.
My posture is stronger and I can ride more horses now without getting exhausted.
Including my new Lifestyle I lost 10 kg.
Very happy customer. Best regard.

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