It’s Not Just the Horse!

You’ll Be Amazed How Pilates Transforms Everyday Tasks!

This book is way more than how Pilates is a perfect fit for horse lovers!

My teacher always reminded me that Pilates is more than exercise, “It changes your life!” What she meant is that a stronger and more flexible core coupled with greater full-body awareness creates healthy changes in everything we do whether it’s athletic performance or simple everyday tasks such as walking up stairs.

That’s why I just love this book. The author delightedly shows how Pilates is not just about how one sits in the saddle. It’s also about everything besides the horse!

We highly recommend this new book to all Pilates students, not just horse lovers – here’s why!

How can Pilates help you with everyday chores around the yard?

In her new book ‘Equestrian Pilates: schooling for the rider’, Sue Gould-Wright looks at ways Pilates can help you with tasks around the yard — from pushing wheelbarrows to mucking out

The jobs we do around the stable yard to make sure our beloved equine is warm, clean, comfortable, well fed and watered are some of the tasks most likely to wreak havoc on our bodies…..

Pushing wheelbarrows

Oh, this is my favourite thing to nag clients about….  What am I talking about? Those of you who ‘carry’ your wheelbarrow rather than push it – you know who you are! You insist on lifting the handles so high that the benefits of having a wheelbarrow are lost because you are using so much shoulder and arm work you might as well be carrying a large bucket – badly!….

When you are pushing your wheelbarrow think about all of the cues for your good standing posture: neutral spine, neutral pelvis, engaging your core. As you bend to take hold of the handles, ensure you bend from the knees and hips rather than hunching through the small of your back, and engage the core a little more strongly as you push upright through the legs to take the weight of the barrow. Also, draw the shoulder blades down and in towards your waistband as you take the weight as this should stop you from lifting with top of the shoulders and the neck. Finally, remember which leg to step forward with first to ensure your favoured leg doesn’t do all of the work.

Carrying buckets and haynets

I have grouped these two tasks together as they have one common element, which is: we often carry the offending items on one side only. We either lean our body away from the item we are carrying to counterbalance the weight of the item, or we allow ourselves to tip toward the weight. Either way, if this is repeated day after day we will eventually become tighter and shortened to one side.


Before picking up your bucket or haynet, engage your core. As you bend to pick it up, bend the knees and keep your back as neutral as possible. Push yourself upright using the leg muscles, engaging the core more as you take the weight of the item. Once upright, holding your net or bucket, check that you haven’t allowed the tops of the shoulders to overwork…..

I hope that you are now starting to see that the bad and good ways to do your yard tasks are quite similar across a wide range of jobs…..

How can Pilates help you with everyday chores around the yard?

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