"As a dressage rider returning to the saddle, Pilates work with Robin helped me rebuild and stabilize my core after my second pregnancy and resulting c-section. It also had the added benefit of providing me with a new awareness of my body position and balance in the saddle. A strong core and balanced seat are critical to effective communication and harmony with your horse and a toned tummy is an added benefit!"
- Cameron Over, Dressage Rider
"How many times have you blamed your horse for being disobedient, when, in fact, the problem stems from a lack of control of your own body or because you're sitting crookedly when you give an aid. It might not be glamorous to work on your position or your fitness, but the rewards are well worth it. Your horse will thank you!"
- Jane Savoie, Dressage Trainer
I am a professional dressage rider who discovered Pilates through Rocking Horse Fitness. Robin has helped me tremendously both in and out of the saddle. Since training with Robin, I have discovered a whole new balance and alignment in the saddle which helps me to communicate more effectively with my horses while training. Out of the saddle I have experienced discomfort in my back, neck and left shoulder and with Robin’s training I have learned to use my body more effectively plus how to strengthen and stretch those parts of my body.
Overall, I have less joint pain, my position in the saddle has improved and my horses are happily progressing with my improved balance, strength and effective use of my body aids. I am so thankful I met Robin and have recommended her to all my students, clients and fellow professionals!
- Julianne Brownson
USDF Bronze, Silver & Gold Medalist Schockemohle Sports-USA
I was introduced to Robin by my long time friend and first Pilates instructor, Chandra Lee Souchek who knows both of us well. For the last six years or so I have been on a long long journey with my horse, Sheikh, dealing with his issues of straightness, which first made me even think about my own limitations in this area; and what better practice to address that than Pilates?
Life’s strange turns took me from Oman, where I met Chandra, to St Pierre et Miquelon – the most Western part of Europe and France’s last bastion in the Americas – off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada! and my Sheikh now lives is Germany; so I can only see him when I visit, three times a year. That’s a long time between rides! and I was really looking for a solution that would keep me fit and in condition specifically for riding so that I lost as little time as possible when I was finally in Germany with my baby.
Knowing all of this, Chandra suggested that I at least talk to Robin and the thought of having a Pilates instructor who also really understood riding was too much to resist. After our first (very long!) discussion on Messenger, I took the decision to buy a package of personal lessons over a video conferencing program called Zoom. I can honestly say I think it’s the best investment I have made in my riding, ever; and likewise in my own health and fitness. Last year, before I moved to St Pierre, I was doing private Pilates lessons three times a week with a very good practitioner; but in three months Robin has achieved more with me – both for myself and for my riding – than the other instructor achieved in a year. Don’t get me wrong; the other lady was great; but not understanding my sport meant that she couldn’t achieve specifically the requirements of a RIDER which Robin could, immediately.
When I started with Robin in July 2017, I had just spent a frustrating three weeks with my horse, not achieving what I wanted to in my riding. I had come home determined to put in 100% of effort to make sure that when I returned in October I would be well prepared physically to start work with him on a level beyond absolute beginner – again!! I have to say that the Zoom lessons – which we recorded, meaning that I could repeat them at will – meant that I could practice my Pilates every day if I had the chance. Moreover, Robin had given me specific exercises that addressed my hip mobility, balance and coordination (some of my biggest issues) which I could do daily. Now, in October, when I’m finally reunited with my horse, and back in the saddle, I could not be happier with my own condition.
My hips are stronger and more flexible; my hamstrings are longer, my balance and coordination is better and moreover we have managed to identify the cause of one of my biggest issues in advancing my riding – the fact that my mid thoracic spine and the muscles between the shoulders don’t work as they should; and that in that case (obviously!) the rest of my body tries to compensate. Identifying and working to fix this issue – which has led to muscle pain and tightness in my right shoulder for years – has transformed my riding.
Frankly, I couldn’t be happier or recommend Robin more highly. My only concern now is that she becomes so popular that she will find it hard to fit me in! because I don’t think that, having discovered her and particularly being able to use the Zoom recordings to ‘revisit’ our sessions, I can live without her! Everyone here in Germany who knows me and my horse; and who have seen me arrive in the past ‘ready to work’ agrees that my posture, my seat and my general fitness is noticeably way ahead of where it has been in the past.
As my trainer here, Gabriele Shoenich of ARR, says – it’s not everywhere that you can find a physical instructor who not only is a rider, but a rider who understands the importance of balance and straightness in the human just as much as in the horse. I highly recommend Robin and her Zoom tutorials. To have a library of lessons; tailored just for you? How can you beat that? And her results speak for themselves. I’m just so glad that Chandra introduced us. And you know what? I think, so is my horse!
- Clara Zawawi