Be prepared for an interesting ride! Our new state-of-the-art riding simulator improves skill, and sheds light on the key issues of riding. By illuminating what it is that skilled riders actually do, the simulator breaks through the myths and confusion which surround ‘talent’, making it clear that a horse-friendly, influential seat is based on specific biomechanical patterns that the simulator can help you learn.

The simulator trots and also canters on each lead, with much more life-like gaits than others. These paces can be adjusted in many ways, and can be made more or less powerful depending on the needs of the rider. The simulator contains very sophisticated sensors which it uses to give computerised feedback on each of the three planes of motion. It also measures rein tension and the consistency of the contact.


On the up/down plane, it measures the variations in your weight as you bump (or not!).

On the back/front plane it measures whether you are ahead or behind the horse’s centre of gravity, and whether you are driving or retarding (the equivalent of pushing on the horse from behind or in front).

On the side/side plane, it shows if you are sitting in a way that weights the left or right side.

A skilled rider sits very still, and stays on the ideal balance point, creating the print-out in each gait that defines skilled riding. Working with the simulator will give everyone the opportunity to get a print-out on their initial biomechanics, and to see in further print-outs the improvements they have achieved.

In working with the simulator we also draw on the visual feedback of mirrors placed to the front and side, and we utilize hands-on work to sculpt the body and offer various resistances. This helps to isolate different muscles and build isometric strength, which is the key to precise, effective, rider biomechanics. Working with the simulator gives a clear ‘feel’ of co-ordinations which yield a more horse-friendly seat, and a clearer feeling for riding itself. For some (especially in canter) it has the advantage of removing the fear-factor. It is quite tiring, and is best used repeatedly for short periods of time.

One of the greatest advantages of the simulator is the opportunity for coaches to work hands-on whilst the rider is in motion. The various forms of feedback it offers combine to create a powerful mix, and we add to it some other tools and pair exercises for improving balance and core stability. A static saddle, the Balimo chair, Physioballs, wobble boards etc. offer some highly relevant, interesting, and fun challenges that participants can rotate between. As the weekend progresses, more challenging equipment and exercises are added. They will keep everyone not just occupied, but also repatterning their bodies whilst having fun. We also use the Heartmath computer program to help participants discover 'The Zone'.

The weekend will be taught by two Ride With Your Mind coaches, who have particular skills in hands-on work, and specific training in the use of the simulator and other equipment. Karin Major will definitely be one of them, and she will be assisted by either Mary Wanless, Dorothy Marks, or Amelia Wilbourn.

Cost: £190, (lunch not included). Deposit: £80, made payable to Mary Wanless

Optional extra, Individual Feldenkrais Lessons with Karin Major, £30 each.

Accommodation can be arranged with local families, min 2 nights (£17.50/night); if wanting one night only please use local B&Bs.

If you wish to stay in the village for an extra night and have a ridden lesson with Karin Major on Monday, the cost is £40. Please indicate interest on booking form. Times and school horses will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis