As a rider and trainer, I am passionate about getting the best out of both horse and rider. Having made my living out of helping and training so called difficult and problem horses, I have found that most, if not all, behavioural issues start with physical problems. These problems vary from horse to horse but almost all involve a rider.
Over the years I’ve developed training methods and techniques which help strengthen the horse’s core and encourage natural balance and retrain a horse’s natural way of going unhindered by having a rider onboard. This is all well and good but at some point, I have to introduce the rider which can be very difficult. Quite often the horse’s bodies have been compromised by the rider creating a chicken or egg situation. Has the horse got issues which then become a habit for both horse and then the rider, or does the rider have a physical issue which they then in turn transfer to the horse?
I have tried many different ways to straighten and strengthen the rider, but a person’s muscle memory is very strong and depending on how long the horse/rider combination has had the problem, they sometimes need help to break the habits they have both made. I have found it so frustrating and have struggled on many occasions to progress horse/rider partnerships, not through a lack of determination to make it work, but because people’s physical and straightness issues are often far stronger than their ability to progress.
I started to play around with prototypes to help the rider to open their thighs, take their knees away from the saddle and allow freedom of movement. This made a huge difference and it was quite surprising and shocking to see how effective it was.
My hope in preliminary trials was that it would allow the horses to move but when I tried it with a rider who badly collapses, it not only straightened her seat but also supported her enough to stop her collapsing through her upper body. Then I watched videos, lots of videos of clients I had trained for a long period of time. Watching them both with and without the prototype I found that quite often, if not all the time, we have a stronger side and a weaker side. The weaker side is usually the side through which the rider will collapse and then fall to the stronger side to compensate. The pattern didn’t always follow but it did always have the same result. The straighter the rider was through the upper body, the more stable the rider was in their seat, allowing the horse much more freedom of movement.
Over the last 18 months I worked on the prototype. I knew I’d created something that fixed a critical problem, but it needed to be simple to use, easy to fit, impossible to mis-use and more importantly, comfortable for the rider. It also needed to be something that could help every rider from happy hackers to advanced event riders and top-class dressage riders. My goal was to produce a product that fulfilled my passion – to help as many horses and rider combinations with as little intervention as possible, other than to support the rider and train good muscle memory and habits; a product that can be used when training at home, in lessons, hacking out and at events.
And so, Equiseat Aid was born and I truly believe this product will help you get the very best from your horse, from the day you start using it and for the long term.
Enjoy the new freedom for you and your horse.
Vickie Dennis - Founder & Company Director, Equiseat Aid Ltd