Pilates for the Equestrian


"Your movement off the horse, reflects your movement on the horse. A Rider who is balanced, flexible and strong will transfer these qualities to their horse."

Laura, Back In Motion Certified Pilates Instructor, Polestar Studio Certified Pilates Instructor, EQUESTRIAN PILATES® Certified Instructor & avid horse lover, rider & handler, introduces EQUESTRIAN PILATES® a new Pilates regime for Equestrian Riders.

How many Riders strive for a deeper seat, more strength in the lower limb to guide their horse into position, flexibility in order to move with the horse and core control to maintain correct posture. We as riders focus all of our attention on our horses and how they move, but what if how we move reflects in some way how they move?

First and foremost we as riders need to realize that if we are balanced, flexible and strong then we are going to be better able to enhance these same qualities in our horse.  Therefore if we learn to use our bodies effectively while off the horse then we are more likely to use our bodies effectively while on the horse.

Pilates relates to a riders position in the saddle, Posture, Strength and Control of our movements are indicative of how little we interfere with the movements of the horse. If we learn to be aware of our movements while on the ground we can then learn to be aware of them while we are in the saddle. Pilates exercises can be developed specifically for each rider with a focus on inner thigh strength, balance, core strength, hamstring/calf flexibility, quads strength, pelvic stability and head, neck and shoulder organization.

It is essential to obtain supervised sessions from a qualified Pilates Instructor to ensure that you are prescribed exercises which are going to complement your body, taking into account any injuries, past or present which may be limiting your movement, any health conditions to be wary of and to discover exactly where you and your horse’s weaknesses lie. From here the correct exercises will be prescribed to help you on your way to a more supple and responsive mount and a happier, healthier and stronger you.

To Discover more about EQUESTRIAN PILATES® and it's founder Elizabeth Hanson; please follow this link: http://equestrianpilates.com/ 

Floor Classes:

Level Day of Week Time Location Dates Price
Combined Beginner - Advanced Monday 6.30pm

Otago-Taieri Showgrounds


$24 per class or 10 for $180

These classes have now been running since 2010 & those who participate have often commented on their new found awareness of their position while riding along with their improvement in strength & mobility.

We welcome new participants - however prior to participating in these classes we request that you speak to Laura as classes run in a series over several weeks and therefore an appointment with Laura will often be necessary if you wish to attend a class that is already running.

Off the Horse Sessions:

60minute Pilates Programming Session:$95

Supervised Sessions Deal: Buy 5 get one FREE: $380

Laura offers Individualised Programmes & Private tuition one on one OR in the format of our existing studio memberships which are suited to those who wish to better target their goals & use exercise most specific to their riding strengths/weaknesses & off the horse strengths/weaknesses.

On the Horse Sessions:

60 minute Session: $95

These sessions are by arrangement only and can be in any suitable location. If travel of more than a 14km radius of the Dunedin CBD area is required there will be an additional cost.

On the Horse Sessions are designed to address the rider's position and individual areas that the rider feels that they have weakness or could be improved. These sessions are also a fabulous tool for the rider who simply wishes to better understand the influence of their position on the horses way of going. How common movement faults and position imbalances will influence the horses balance and movement and most importantly these will teach you how to best position yourself in order to unlock this movement.

In order to partake in one of these sessions you must have already worked through the basics of EQUESTRIAN PILATES® with Laura, either one on one or as part of a clinic or floor class. This is so that you are aware of and understand the basic concepts of Pilates movement and the language used to obtain particular movements, therefore enhancing your understanding of your bodies position while in the saddle.


Day or Weekend Clinics are available upon request and can be arranged with Laura. This is for anyone who may have a group or wish to host a clinic for those who may be interested in learning more about EQUESTRIAN PILATES® and how it may assist them in bettering their position in the saddle and discovering the influence position has on the movement of the horse.

The Price structure may vary but generally a 3.5hr group Off the Horse clinic is $65 per participant *(minimum of 10 participants), with Off & On the Horse Sessions being offered Individually at $95 per participant + travel + arena fee (if applicable).

Contacting Laura:

Email: pilates@backinmotion.co.nz

Phone: 03 4749400


"EQUESTRIAN PILATES® is a registered trademark owned by Elizabeth Hanson and is used with her permission."

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