It’s not every day I get invited to try a workout where the studio is part of the village stables, horses and all! It’s a good job I love animals, as what greeted me at Wimbledon Village Stables, before I met with Equicise Program Director Vanessa Stanfield, was not only a couple of dogs, but a few beautiful horses too. I could never say that my role at a fitness blogger lacks variety!
Equicise, as you might have gathered, has something to do with horses. More specifically however, Equicise is a series of workouts designed to compliment the horse rider with the fitness and strength they need to improve their horse riding technique. Personal Trainer, barrecore instructor and newly appointed Fitness Program Director Vanessa, together with stables owner and Equicise mastermind Carol, have devised a fitness regime to suit all levels, whether they’ve been on a horse or not. This includes not only three different types of fitness class, the but chance to train on their state-of-the-art horse simulator too. A couple of weeks ago, I headed down to Wimbledon to try it for myself. Disclosure: I’ve sat on a horse once in my life.
First off, after saying hello to the dogs and horses, I was faced with a full sized horse simulator, complete with sensors on the reins, saddle and stirrup. Designed to show the rider their posture, form and technique on the horse, the sensors translate to readings and images on a screen. I was soon set off on a walk, trot and canter to see how my posture and weight placement changed as my ‘horse’ moved underneath me.
I’ll say now, even though I’ve only been on a horse once, this seemed pretty realistic!! I learnt to turn and slow my ‘horse’ and managed to control my form on the saddle quite well all things considered!! You can take riding, posture or dressage lessons on the simulator, as well as fitness sessions.
Next we headed into the studio where Vanessa gave me a quick preview of the fitness classes on offer.
Equicise’s signature class, using the whole body for an intense workout. The horse pod is used in addition here to work on the legs, glutes and abdominals in positions most associated with horse riding.
A Pilates based class aimed at improving posture, core stability and riding form. The horse pod is used to work legs, glutes and abdominals much like the signature class.
A total body workout that includes all the work from Equifit with the addition of a cardio bootcamp element. Expect a fun filled, hardcore class!
I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anything similar before, and Carol and Vanessa have big plans for the future. The workouts are fun, interesting and beneficial for anyone, whether they’re an experienced horse rider or not.
Classes begin on April 18th 2016, with an introductory offer of the first class for £20 (usual price £25). Prices for the horse simulator start at £50.
Vanessa is a friend and barrecore colleague, I experienced Equicise for free. All views my own, please see Disclaimer for more information.