Dressage Rider Training Reviews
Read these dressage rider fitness program reviews and testimonials below. These are from riders just like you who have completed the program and then sent me these photos and comments.
I am 110% pleased with the DRT1 program…. and plan to continue on to DRT2 at a later date.
I am very impressed with the variety, challenge, balance, rider relevance and progression of exercises offered in each week of DRT1… not to mention the motivation and encouragement provided in your weekly emails as well as in your FB posts.
THANK YOU, Nicola… yours is the absolute BEST fitness program I’ve ever participated in?
I’m a 53 yr old rider who has been riding for 12 yrs. My horse is an 18 yr old Cheval Canadian gelding (a rare breed). He has owned me for 10 yrs. I took two years off from riding, so my daughter could train and compete toward earning her USDF bronze medal. Now that she is off to college, its My Turn!
I was feeling frustrated in my riding. I wasn’t putting in enough time in the saddle and wasn’t having the successes I was hoping to have. I joined a gym, worked with personal fitness trainers, only to find neither was helpful with improving my riding.
When I learning about DRT on Facebook, I was impressed to find a work-out program that is suited for the dressage rider. The DRT workouts are broken out into perfect segments Core, Yoga and Fitness. The lengths are manageable for fitting into a busy schedule, and best of all you can do them at home! I like that there was always an alternate method of doing an exercise if one was too difficult at the time.
After many years, at the same barn, working with the same trainer, I packed up and moved my horse in February to a new barn, and got a new trainer. I’m putting lots of time in the saddle now. I ride every weekday morning, and making small improvements each week. Having ‘eyes on the ground’, my new trainer has been crucial in correcting my seat, position and my building confidence in the extended canter, which is my biggest fear. Boy, is it ever hard to bring a freight-train extended canter, down the long side, to a working canter 15 meter circle without going Splat and breaking gait!!
I will be competing in my first rated show in May. My biggest fear will be stage fright. I may have to knock back a strong martini before I enter at A and halt at X.
Thank you Nicola for creating a wonderful program.
Yes I loved the dressage rider training program. Even after a few sessions, I noticed my balance and strength improved in the saddle.
The biggest ‘hurrah’ was when my trainer asked after just a couple weeks what I had been doing differently!! As she noticed my core and balance strength improved — I am glad I bought the USB as well so I can repeat these exercises often!
Thank you Nicola for offering this great training program for us dressage riders, though I think it would benefit anyone wanting to get fit and more supple.
I have to admit when I first saw it I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend the money as I hadn’t heard of DRT before. However, I was in both a physical and mental slump after losing two of my best friends and my older dog in December. I needed something to get me back into shape and ready for showing again so decided to give it a go.
When I first started your course I was so pleasantly surprised that apart from the physical training you also offer so many calming tips too. I didn’t always find it easy, (I’m in my 50’s), but I enjoyed the variety of exercises and yoga and it felt good when gradually I realized I was getting stronger and fitter.
Then there is the wonderful healthy recipes and I loved the video of your talk at the NZ Dressage symposium which was very inspirational and started me to really think about the food I was eating. I really like your holistic approach to fitness and riding.
Since starting your course I am now both physically and mentally in a better place, have lost weight and ready to show my 6 yr old Hanoverian gelding in 2 weeks time.
I would and have already recommended your course to friends and anyone wanting to get back in shape and improve their riding at the same time. and I am looking forward to continuing your online series. Photo is of myself and my horse Leonidas. Thank you.
Nicola, I will wholeheartedly promote your program to all. I have benefitted greatly from it. The photo I will forward to you I have full rights copyrights, it is from my ride at the WDAA Worlds.
Dear Nicola, I have really enjoyed the DRT2 program. I have found the 20 minute workout great to fit into a busy schedule and have been surprised by how much my strength, flexibility and balance have improved over the 12 weeks.
I feel more secure in the saddle when riding my big moving Warmblood and quick moving TB and feel motivated to keep improving my fitness to be a better rider for my horses.
Thanks so much for a great program – I’m looking forward to DRT3!
Hi Nicola, I have really enjoyed the DRT program, I managed to complete it and keep up, which was a real surprise to me, having had a hip replacement 3 years ago, and so my flexibility is not so great!
I’ve been suprised with my strength and stamina, and feel that I’m much better connected to my horse now, despite not being able to do very much of the sitting trot work, which is still a bit painful, but working on it! I also managed to lose 15kg in the 12 weeks, as I changed my diet as well at the same time, so feeling like a different person now!
I intend to do the whole 12 weeks again, just to cement it all into place, and see how I have changed since the first round. I really needed DRT, as I have a young horse that I’ll be beginning to ride in the near future, and really needed to improve my core strength for that, as he has a big movement!
My horse Freeway and I are developing a much better partnership now that I’m not collapsing all over him, so he sends his thanks too!
Dear Nicola, I joined the DRT1 programme as I was always being told by my instructor that I needed more leg strength.
The programme has given me so much more than that! The routines are just the right length and fit seamlessly into my week. I have gained core strength and generally feel fitter. My riding has improved beyond belief and I am sure my beautiful horse Max has gained from it too as I am more balanced in my seat.
The sessions build in difficulty at just the right pace and continue to challenge me. I have enjoyed the whole experience and whilst the riding homework has been difficult due to the awful weather we’ve had I will make sure that I continue with over the coming months.
I am certain that I am a better rider now than when I started and will definitely be signing up for DRT2.
Hello from Belgium.
I have the chance to be a bit back and starting week 11! Not yet the end! At the age of 47, I had never felt the need so far to do some workout to improve my fitness. Than I had some back pains that made me think about how I was aging. We are only at the half of our live!
I made some researches on youtube to find some yoga for riders after reading an article about a french professionnal rider of 62′ that said that he was even fitter than in his 40′ after beginning yoga and changing what he ate (I may link the article below for french speakers if you want?).
I must say that Nicola’s programs have changed my life. I was working out for riding but finally working out will stay for all my life and I realised how the body may change and improve with not so much efforts. I don’t have back issues anymore. I realised how a healthy body (as I didn’t have the feeling to be so down) can improve the mind and help to be more positive in your daily life. Maybe it is obvious for a lot of people but I only experienced this thanks to DRT and DRT2.
I am so happy I met you Nicola Smith! You changed my life?
I also need to thank the DRT community that is so kind and supportive. How could I imagine from Belgium doing a gym program from New Zealand with people from the entire world! When can we meet in NZ??
I just wanted to say thank you and tell you how your program has helped me.
I tried lots of programs before DRT, but none of them were specifically for equestrians and they didn’t make that much of a difference in my riding.
The 2 months leading up to DRT I was riding a Grand Prix schoolmaster competing in the Children’s FEI in Wellington, FL. I had trouble sitting the trot at times, I was having a hard time keeping my shoulders back and chest open, and my lower leg would either flop or brace.
I was only in Wellington for 8 weeks and I started DRT the week before I left. When I got back home there weren’t any horses for me to ride. My trainer goes to Wellington for 6 months and doesn’t return to her farm in VT until May, so there are several months where I only ride a couple times a month. I was doing all the workouts, but hadn’t been able see all the work benefit my riding until last week.
I was shocked at the huge improvement in my riding. Sitting the trot was actually easy and the trainer only had to remind me once to keep my shoulders back! I was so much more balanced and elastic. It was so much easier to keep the horse balanced, because I wasn’t losing my balance. When doing the flying changes I stayed centered and my aids were quiet! I am so thrilled with the progress!
Thank you so much Nicola! I can’t wait for DRT2!
I was first attracted to DRT as the exercises I saw advertised were many of the same exercises I was doing at physio for a lumbar compression fracture. At the time I had only started the physio because I woke up one day and just decided I was sick of being in constant pain, and it was starting to put me off riding, so DRT looked like it had the potential to help me recover my mobility.
At the time I was also suddenly noticing how many of my friends that I rode with in my teens, twenties and thirties were no longer riding. I noticed how many were dropping off through bad falls and injury. I thought many of them looked fit, and I thought that I was fit! I wasn’t hugely fat, but sure I’m a solid unit and always have been. I have six horses (four in work) and a rural holding to look after, so I’m always lifting hay bales, picking up manure, fixing fences and chopping wood. I’m a mother and wife so cook, clean etc. Oh, and I work full time in an executive role, with lots of air and ground travel to meetings around the country, and lots of desk time (although I do have a standing desk).
Boy was I wrong about my fitness. DRT has not only improved my stability when things go awry in the saddle, but my endurance is improved exponentially, and um, well, this is embarrassing but no longer worry if I laugh or sneeze with a full bladder. Not only do I go home after a weekend show jumping still feeling bright, but I managed seven days at Horse of the Year show, with three horses stabled 500 meters away from our truck (i.e. its a lot of walking!) and came home not feeling like I needed another week off to recover. And jumped big tracks every day for five days.
To anyone who thinks it is just for dressage riders and happy hackers, then think again. Yes at first the focus on long dressage legs may seem unhelpful, but stick with it and you will be more than ready for a George Morris no stirrups session. And don’t be put off because some part or other of you is broken. Two bad knees, tennis elbow, a lumbar compression fracture and two separate cervical fractures and I’ve clocked up 28 consecutive weeks.
I achieved my personal best last week, no ribbons but I did what I never thought would be possible by riding the biggest, most complicated technical track of my life on the most difficult horse I have ever owned. A couple of rails sure, but I nailed every turn and every related line and the treble combination. I was only able to achieve that because I was my best self, physically and mentally, and I wouldn’t have got there without DRT. I am now addicted to this programme, so there needs to be a DRT3 before I get bored with repeating DRT1 and DRT2.
I have finally finished DRT 1 and all I can say is ‘Wow!’ it’s fantastic.
I am 61 years old, have had both my hips replaced and have owned horses most of my life with a special interest in dressage. This programme has made me feel 20. I don’t think my balance has ever been better. I am so much stronger, more supple and confident. I can feel how much more relaxed I am and that horrible twist I have in my seat, which makes me sit unevenly, has almost gone completely.
Unfortunately, my horse was out of action for quite a lot of the programme and that’s why I’m just feeling the benefits to my riding now. How often do you find your riding has actually improved when you haven’t even been riding!! But because of this, I’m going to go back and repeat from week 5 again, this time with the ridden exercises and sitting trot. I will definitely be looking to do DRT2 when my horse and I are fully up to par.
The DRT program has greatly enhanced my fitness as a rider and has enabled me to show my big horse off to his best advantage.
I recommend this program to all of my students as Nicola does a great job of explaining rider biomechanics throughout her workouts making them relevant to our sport.
DRT1 and DRT2 are fantastic programs designed especially for horse lovers!
My riding has improved and the credit goes to both programs because each session was a building block and I was able to improve each time! I believe Nicola has done a stellar job in designing, developing and demonstrating each class for us! She is brilliant utilizing her horse knowledge with her education and love of exercise. As a result, I do have a stronger core. All thanks to Nicola’s genius in producing both programs, DRT1 and DRT2!
I have become stronger, more flexible and confident in my position and in my riding abilities. Best part of all, my horse partner recognizes my efforts and appreciates it!
If I can do it then you can too! I promise you that your joy and love for riding will blossom even more!
The enjoy factor was high and the effort factor depended on the day.
After having completed both DRT 1 and 2 I slacked off entirely for a few months… no riding, no morning exercise which, naturally, resulted in softer core and less energy. I am now starting DRT again, going more slowly and doing each section twice before moving on. I am amazed at the depth of the programme that I completely missed during the first time I went through. Congratulations for developing such a seemingly simple but highly challenging programme.
I am now more fit and flexible, have better balance and now rarely lose my left stirrup and tip off the right. Horse travels better too. Unfortunately, this isn’t the fountain of youth but as an older rider I am much more able than I was. Thank you so much from both horse and me.
I am thrilled to have completed DRT1 + DRT2.
Jeeves is going through many positive changes at the moment & my trainer tells me that we are on the brink of everything clicking into place like dominoes flipping. So I am really looking forward to that.
That said we have made huge strides forward since starting DRT 1 & completing DRT 2. My confidence has increased hugely & therefore his too. This is because the courses have provided me with the balance & strength & understanding of the importance of presence whilst riding.
I am doing things with Jeeves that I would never have been brave enough to do 6 months ago. I am no longer worried if he spooks I can deal with it. If he tried it on which he does at times I can deal with it. We have become one after 3 & 1/2 years of owning him. He arrived with me as a rising 5 year old, he is 16 hands, I am only 5ft 4ins, the wrong side of 50 on under 9 stone. It has been a bumpy road at times but the DRT courses have been our saviour, thank you so much Nicola.
I have decided that I will repeat DRT 2 & have started again already. This is because during most of the course my Mum was in hospital which has meant that I have been short of time & sleep & therefore feel I may not have got as much from DRT 2 as perhaps I might have done otherwise. So I am really looking forward to my onward journey with DRT2 & looking forward to reaping yet more results from re-doing the course.
All the best to all those who decide to do the course it is SO worth it.
I love this program for so many reasons. It was always available at my convenience and the instructor is enjoyable to “be” with – encouraging, intelligent, knowledgeable, funny and very real. Not getting upset when the dog or horse chooses to walk on her set is so engaging.
My riding has improved significantly. More balance and stability and all the wonderful things that it does for my horse. Yesterday my hand grazed my belly and I had to do a double check. No more jelly! I’m not saying it can’t improve, but I was surprised at how much my muscle tone had changed. Thank you!
I highly recommend the DRT2 Program.
Having completed DRT1, I confess I was sceptical as to how much more the DRT2 Program could deliver … but as I had found DRT1 really effective, I decided to give it a try.
I was really impressed with the way the course continually challenged me, without overwhelming me. The formal course ‘finished’ a couple of weeks ago, however I am repeating Week 10 (again – until I am happy I have it ‘right’). Just this evening I successfully knelt on the Swiss Ball and ’wood chopped’ with a dumbbell! – I would never have believed I could do this when I started.
The additional strength, balance, coordination and body awareness the DRT2 course has given me is worth every cent – and every groan 🙂 And importantly, it has translated into enhanced confidence both in and out of the saddle.
Thank you Nicola – I wish you continued success and if there is a DRT3, I’ll be signing up!
I love the DRT2 program!
I turned 47 this year and feel better than I have in a long time thanks to Nicola and her guidance. I truly believe that staying fit and active keeps us healthy and makes us better riders.
The workouts focus on many areas that we need to be strong and balanced in the saddle. The “extras” that she provides with yoga, mediation, nutrition and inspiration help to remind me that even though my aspirations may not be to ride at the upper levels I am still an equestrian athlete and need to treat myself as such and to not let other areas of my life overshadow my passion. She really does take a holistic approach to health and wellness.
As a busy mom of 3, I work full time and have 4 dogs and 3 horses. My time is limited on most days. The DRT1 and DRT2 workouts are designed to help me stay on track even on my busiest days as they are short enough that I can usually fit one in at some point.
With everything being online I can make the workouts fit my schedule. Also, if I ever hit a road block Nicola is very accessible and responds quickly. If you are looking for a program to get you fit and give you that extra edge with your riding, this is it! Best of luck!
Audrey and Fishy (pictured)
Not too long ago when I began studying Dressage and began asking my horse for certain postures and yields with not-so-perfect responses, I realized I was not doing in my body what I was asking to do in his. I set out on a path to find a course that would teach me how to find relaxation, flexibility, strength, and balance in my body so that Dak and I could move in harmony.
I came across DRT 1 on Facebook and it sounded like the perfect course. Well. It turned out to be just that! Three 20-minute workouts weekly that address the areas of yoga, core, and strength was perfect for helping me meet my goals. The routines vary in exercises and intensity so I didn’t get bored doing the same exercises, they are specific to riding with explanations of how they apply to riding, and they are progressive so you are improving without even realizing it until you reach the end and are doing exercises you never thought possible!
I highly recommend DRT1. It will change your riding in amazing ways and your horse will begin to move more freely underneath you because you have learned to get out of his way and move with him. Loved this course! I’m now a fitness fanatic and and the core of my motivation is becoming a better rider for Dak.
I am quite strong in the core but those workouts remind me to activate those muscles more. I am determined to get more flexible so I can allow my horse to move more freely in dressage once my dressage is a bit better we can move up to 1* in the Autumn season.
I love the variety and the flexibility of the workouts as been away a lot and have a 3 day next week so schedule with daughters horses (she just 2nd in CIC1* at Rotorua on weekend).
So, all in all, I find the workouts achievable, varied and well presented. Really enjoy them and will be looking to do more next year.
As a birthday present to myself I accessed DRT level 1 in May this year and began my journey of discovering my core and balance (well, lack of ).
As soon as DRT 1 finished, I signed up for DRT 2 because I wanted to keep going with Nicola’s exercises. While going through DRT2, I bought myself a green 14hh gypsy cob cross and we’ve been schooling together in our makeshift arena ever since.
When I do my exercises before I ride I know I am riding better that day. My core is switched on and I can communicate my aids more precisely, which helps my pony a lot:).
One thing I really like about Nicola’s style of presentation is that she explains what we’re doing and why we’re doing it as we’re doing the exercise. I can hear her voice as I’m riding – strengthening my sides, keeping a still but dynamic seat.
Today my pony and I did our first leg yields. I am so impressed with DRT 2. And I think my wee pony appreciates it too!
Many thanks to Nicola Smith for creating this program!
We all need help with maintaining our balance in the saddle, and this program was the ticket for me!
I thought I was fit since I ride up to 4 horses a day professionally. The program refined my balance tremendously and I tell all of my clients about it. Cheers!
Hi Nicola, Just letting you know what an amazing impact DRT has had on my body and my riding.
I’ve just finished the three-months and am continuing Week 12 until I master that ball! I’ve been learning dressage for 18 months now and, being in my mid-fifties, struggled with balance due to poor core strength and flexibility due to lack of use. I currently am just starting to ride at Novice.
At about halfway through I noticed a difference in my strength and balance when out at a Competition: being on a new horse at a new place had both of us a bit unsure. However, I found I was so much more confident as I could guide my horse around with my new-found balance. My trainer noticed the difference in my riding and can tell when I’ve done a session on the day of a lesson as she says my body looks switched on. My stirrups have gone down two holes and I can touch my toes. I also have a waistline again and am overall more toned. I have found it easy to fit 20mins in at least three times a week.
Your program was exactly what I needed: quick, easy, transportable, guided, able to be done at any time of the day or night, repeatable; in fact it gives me no excuse not to do it and it’s great having a timeline and your check-in emails. I really have been surprised by how seemingly little effort has made such noticeable changes. I recommend it to everyone I know.
Thank you Nicola.
8 Months Post-Concussion, I failed 4 balance tests while at an appointment with my Functional Neurologist. After only 6 weeks of DRT1, not only did I pass those same tests, I exceeded standard norms!
Nicola’s fitness program focuses on improving balance, flexibility and strength with detailed instruction on innovative exercises and stretches. The objective was to improve my riding skills, but the program improved my life!
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for your amazing program and being your awesome self!
I was struggling getting back to riding after a year off due to major abdominal surgery. Your program helped get me not only back on track physically but also helped with my headspace and lack of confidence.
I do hunter/jumper and also compete in mounted archery competitions and this program was vital in getting me back up to snuff with both. My seat is more independent, my legs and core are stronger and I’m able to do things I wasn’t able to about 6 months ago. I’m looking forward to trying DRT 2.
I enjoyed DRT2 as much as DRT1.
Last 2 weeks of DRT2, finally I could knee on the balance ball and do the exercised!! That made me feel so happy and I felt a bit stronger. Well DRT2 finished now and I’m waiting for DRT3 but meanwhile I’m busy repeating DRT1 with advanced movement. AND I’m doing not 3 times a week but 6 times a week!! (well sometimes I can do only 10 minutes but still trying!)
I do it because not only I feel a bit stronger when I’m sitting on a horse but also I feel so good after I finish the exercise! I want to be more stronger, flexible and balanced! Thank you very much.
Hi Nicola, Thank you so much for providing these Dressage Rider Training 1 and 2 opportunities for us!
I have loved the variety of exercises, and the changing emphases on core, yoga, and strength. I also love that all of it is designed to help us in the saddle! I also appreciate the different levels of intensity that we can use for many of the moves, to accommodate a wide range of capabilities and agility. Some of us aren’t in our 20’s anymore and aren’t quite as flexible as we once were, yet you keep everything positive and energized to keep us improving at whatever level we find ourselves, and whatever our goals!
I would recommend these programs to anyone interested in improving their riding skills and their fitness! Thank you so much for offering these classes for us! I took up English riding for the first time at age 49… I definitely appreciate any and all opportunities to improve my strength and balance that I can find!
Nicola, thank you so much for making this program available! I am a jumper rider with my current horse (show name Zen Rose, barn name Faith).
I strongly believe that solid ground work and cross training for the rider are critical to jumping success and have always been willing to put time into both. Faith was injured last year so I have spent most of this year doing ground work with her to allow her injury to heal.
The homework provided with this program along with the ground exercises for the rider were ideal for keeping our work from being routine and dull and challenged me to do more than the usual amount of no stirrup work.
I found your explanations of how to position the body on the ground and on the horse to be the clearest I have experienced. I could tell quickly from Faith’s response when I “got it”. All of the rider exercises were ones I had done in various fitness programs but your selections ad explanations helped me better understand how they could affect my riding.
My trainer is much happier with my flat work now. I look forward to continuing to use the videos to continue to improve my position, extending it to jumping as Faith recovers.
I have now completed DRT1 & DRT2 and can’t recommend it enough for anyone wishing to improve their core strength, balance, and coordination.
When I started DRT1 I wasn’t able to sit on the Swiss ball without toppling to one side let alone kneel on it with a 3kg dumbbell and move my arms – 6 months on and I can balance on the ball and swing my arms holding a weight! I especially loved the Yoga workouts and tried to do them at least 5 times a week.
Being someone who tends to hold their breath when riding or when feeling stressed, the yoga workouts were a real treat and made me feel relaxed and refreshed afterwards. At the start of DRT1 I also hadn’t done much non-stirrup work for fear of collapsing to one side and being dumped should my horse throw in a playful spook!
Halfway through DRT2 I was confident enough to ditch the stirrups and was amazed at how still and balanced I felt in all 3 gaits!
If you’re not sure whether DRT1 or DRT2 is for you then I would recommend you invest your time and money and give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.
DRT enabled me to stay fit enough to catch a ride in two recent clinics while my horse is rehabbing–I have only ridden occasionally for the last three months. I am so looking forward to getting back on my horse, I am significantly more balanced in my own body and learning to ride with my spine in neutral has allowed much great freedom in my shoulders, hips, and upper legs.
I have attached pictures from the first clinic, one because it is a wonderful picture of my friend’s Lipizzaner mare and the other because it shows the most neutral spine I’ve every had. I sit in front of a computer all day for very long days and keeping my core and upper back in alignment and strong is a significant challenge. The DRT1 exercises were a great start, but I didn’t really start to see improvements until DRT2. Fitting it into 20 minutes was brilliant, I could almost always get myself to do 20 minutes of exercise at night.
Thank you for the fabulous program! I am going to start DRT2 again from the beginning while I wait for DRT3 ?
This pic was taken last week and my young gelding was great and our ride felt wonderful. I am just starting to take him out and about.
There were a few young horse antics first time I took him out on a cross country equestrian centre, but I felt so confident to handle it because of DRT.
I am looking a lot more fitter and athletic and feeling fantastic! My seat feels so much deeper. I am 61 years old and enjoying life.
Loved the program. Love your Positive energy!!! You have a wonderful friendly manner about how you present things.
There is a great deal of very good stuff in the program! Very good stuff! Thank you for all your work on this program Nicola! Great idea and very much appreciated!
DRT has been great. It’s challenging at times but worth the effort. I’m very glad I purchased the program!
As an older rider (age 51), I had underestimated how much my general stiffness and lack of mobility was affecting my riding my results.
The stretching routines and homework assignments that are part of the DRT program have made a huge difference in my riding… and now, not only can I actually pinpoint what part of my body is tight and the challenges it’s creating in the saddle, I have recommendations from DRT on how to create more flexibility in that part of my body.
I definitely feel very different in the saddle after starting this program.
After 12 weeks on the DRT programme, I am convinced that what we do off our horses is crucial to being able to ride on the horse.
Six months ago I had no muscle tone, a muffin top and limited core activation. NOW I have found my deep seat, I can ride with balance, and feel my horse’s movement.
I believe this programme is a must for anyone doing any type of riding or simply wanting to feel great. Thanks DRT and Nicola!
Thank you for a great program. Your exercises were unique to me and very well explained.
I got behind in the program but I loved the no stress approach to continuing on at my pace. The homework session was the best! It got me riding comfortably without stirrups. My posture and balance improved. I was able to target my tight and tense areas and change them.
Thank you for a great program.
Hi Nicola, DRT1 and DRT2 have been amazing, I have been carrying a shoulder injury for 9 years and a combination of the strength training and the Yoga have enabled me to regain the full motion of my arm and it’s now relatively pain-free.
DRT1 and 2 have helped enormously with my seat and my riding, I have 2 horses and the youngster can be a challenge. I would highly recommend your programme for all to have a go at, combined with Yoga it’s fantastic.
Dear Nicola, I really recommend your DRT programmes.
Although I have been a keen rider for a while I never really felt fit & admit to being too lazy to attend a gym.
When I heard about your DRT 1 & the fact that it said Dressage Rider Training it encouraged me to join. I have just completed DRT 2 & really recommend both programmes.
My riding has really improved & the strengthening of my core muscles has helped me enormously both on & out of the saddle. I intend to carry on the exercises & hopefully continue to improve which I feel also helps my horse as well. The attached photo is me competing on November 5th at a British Dressage event. Best regards, Amanda
The DRT program has helped me be more aware of how I am impacting the horse with my body, it has given me better balance and enabled me to sit “deeper” in the saddle.
I returned to riding very late and wanted to improve my fitness and stamina and also my technique.
The programme has helped me to understand about having a strong core and that less is more when it comes to being effective in the saddle.
The programme has also made me more aware of the impact I have on the horses movement. I want us both to be a team and to enjoy our time together.
I love this program. It has helped me greatly both on and off my horse.
I am a jumper rider (and sometime eventer) And I feel like my position has improved greatly and my 6 year old jumper has gained straightness, balance and confidence because I do a better job helping him.
My chronic hip injury has improved a great deal and I feel much more even in the tack. I have recommended this program to many friends and I am going to repeat DRT 2 from the beginning.
Even if I weren’t riding I would continue the program because I feel better. Thank you.
I can’t thank you enough for developing the DRT program!
As an older rider I was struggling after taking over the ride on my daughter’s OTTB “Hogan”. The mind was willing but the body was not cooperating. My lack of fitness particularly core strength and flexibility was causing so much frustration.
Since completing DRT 1 and DRT 2 I have improved dramatically! Hogan has a lot of suspension which made sitting his trot impossible for me before your program. My ability to now sit his trot is entirely due to DRT. I plan on continuing to revisit the workouts hoping that a DRT 3 will be in the future.
Thank you so much for your encouraging videos and online support. Hogan thanks you too
A huge thanks, and congratulations for your program.
I have so much more freedom to move my body in the way I need to, and strength building up to be able to reach towards my goals.
I have re-joined Adult Riding Club and am off to my first comp with them in 6 years next weekend!
Hi! After almost 30 years without riding, I bought Quitage last year – and discovered that the self-esteem I had in the saddle was no longer there.
After completing DRT1, my confidence has increased significantly and my physical strength and flexibility have been much better!
I look forward to DRT2 🙂
I joined DRT 1 about 10 weeks before my biggest show of the year. I had been planning all year to go to Florida with my horse for the Western Dressage Association of Florida’s championship show in November.
I live in Vermont so this involved hauling my horse 1300 miles, coping with a drastic weather change and dealing with the added stress of such a big adventure.
Because of your program, I felt stronger and more balanced and could feel the improvement in my horse because I was riding better. The trip went well, I continued the program (packed the Swiss ball!) and I was rewarded with the amateur level 2 overall championship.
I loved the changes that I have seen in by balance, strength and riding while doing this training. I can’t wait for next show season.
Nicola, I am so thrilled I found your Dressage Rider Training program. After a break of about 30 years, I went back to riding three and half years ago. I was 53 and had recovered from 10+ years of fibromyalgia. Needless to say, my strength and fitness were not optimal.
About a year into riding again, I found DRT1 and signed up. I love the program. My strength, posture, and balance improved. My flexibility began to improve. I was able to ride longer, more comfortably. I signed up for DRT2 as soon as you made it available. I love it even more than DRT1. The impact of the program was noticeable to my coach within the first 4 weeks.
I had some lingering weakness and restricted mobility, particularly in my shoulder girdle, as a result of having fibromyalgia. By the time I finished DRT2, I could do upper and lower planks. The mobility in my shoulders had increased significantly. My aerobic fitness had improved significantly and my posture on the horse was much better.
Last winter, Yukon, the horse I part-boarded, and I, had a difficult time in the indoor arena. He got spooky and I fell off. A lot. So, I did DRT2 again. I added light weight and increased the intensity. I really focused on my core and I was able to ride through my challenges with Yukon.
I am still going through DRT2. Every time I finish, I start from the beginning, add more weight and challenge myself to do the exercises I couldn’t do previously. I am a member of your online gym. My plan is to add other workouts as time permits. I do yoga or a 20 minute workout every day. I ride 3 days a week. I use the on-horse homework to shape my practice rides. I hope to increase the amount I ride in 2018.
Thank you so much for creating these programs and putting all of the really top notch content online. You are, literally, on the other side of the world from Canada. I am so grateful to have “met” you and to be able to learn from you. When you do DRT3, sign me up!
This program has made me stronger, and as a beginner rider more confident.
Even today in my lesson the school horse Buddy I ride, decide that he was going to has mini spook, jumped at a runner he saw outside the arena, I didn’t freak out (would have when I started riding in April this year), and then later his canter got quite fast I could feel myself slipping to one side but I was able to stay on, gripped with lower legs and money grip, he then slowed to a trot and I was able to get correct position. This too would have freaked me out, it did a little, and Bec my coach made me do it again – including trotting over poles. This time much better. Bec has been so encouraging, as are the other coaches.
Thank you for a great program, I feel more secure in my seat, get on and dismount with more confidence and riding is improving. So much so that I have booked two riding holidays for next year, one with GlobeTrotters in Barossa SA, and other one in Ireland with Unicorn Trails.
Think it’s fair to say riding has got hold of me. Thank you again.
I am fortunate to have received support from Nicola for the last couple of years which has had a large impact on my ability as a rider and a trainer.
As dressage riders we are trying to make our horses use their body more correctly and evenly, and as they gradually become stronger we can add in more power and flexibility, with the aim that we have built up their body and mind gradually enough that they can physically and mentally handle the increases in difficulty, therefore having a positive effect on their body.
This programme is almost like putting yourself in your horse’s shoes; you learn new exercises some of which may at first seem quite challenging, but they soon become easier as your body gradually builds up the required strength and flexibility.
By following the programme you are able to take things at your own pace, but in an order which ensures you are prepared for the increases in difficulty. And because the programme is designed especially for riders you can be sure that everything you are working on has a very positive influence on your riding.
One of the biggest benefits from this programme is gaining the ability to activate the correct part of your core when riding while remaining supple throughout your body. This allows you to independently use your aids which then makes it a lot easier for the horse to understand what you want, and for them to also use their bodies correctly.
As well as the obvious physical benefits we gain as riders from doing this type of training, we also gain an understanding of what it is like to have someone push you to do things you sometimes find physically hard, so we can hopefully also be bit more understanding of some of the difficulties our horses may be going through in their training!
I can highly recommend this programme to all types and levels of riders, whatever level you are currently at you will definitely notice a very positive difference in your riding.