A while ago, pre-Covid, I put out an advert on Facebook saying I was opening spaces for riders who wanted to improve their fitness to help their equestrian performance & work together. The first person to reply was Laura. She was a full-time, very busy, working professional who also played polocrosse in her spare time as well as helping on the family dairy farm, busy!
Polocrosse is a fast & furious game where being fit & strong is essential not only to perform, help your pony & play at your best but also to keep you as safe as possible during matches. Before we started working together Laura was struggling with her health & wellbeing & it was impacting her riding & daily life.
She was feeling unfit, deflated, sluggish & had no idea of what she needed to be doing to improve her fitness & health. She was fed up with not getting the results she wanted at games anymore & had enough of just “getting by” with her riding & fitness.
She knew she wasn’t riding as well as she could have been or was as fit as she should have been, was constantly suffering from lower back pain whether working, riding or exercising & following a couple of hip operations was struggling to regain her health & fitness & it was starting to impact all areas of life especially her riding. When we first began working together Laura also couldn't sit on the sofa in the evenings for fear of back pain, if she sat down too long her back would seize up & then she would be in pain all evening so she had reverted to sitting on a garden chair in the lounge.
To me as her trainer & coach this struck a nerve & I knew we had to change that!
Previously she’d tried 121 PT sessions, been a member of the gym at work for 10 years & had been doing pilates but she was struggling to see the connection between what she was doing in those sessions & how it then supported her riding & match performance.
Since working together she is now 12.5kg/2 stone down!!! But this is the smallest part & achievement. About 9 months after we started working together she told me that she had finally gone out & bought a new sofa as she now knew she could sit down all night & not be in pain. This was without a doubt the biggest win for me, the fact she could now enjoy time with her partner chilling in the evenings has no value. Everyone should be able to do these normal things that we take for granted, so to have her reach this milestone was huge not just for her but me too!
In Laura's word's this is how her training has impacted her life originally through face to face sessions but over the past 12 months through online training;
“Since training with Katie not only has my riding improved but I’m also enjoying have far less back and hip pain than I was before as a result of becoming stronger! It’s the first time I’ve ever actually enjoyed training, the gym & trying to get fitter.
I’ve learnt so much more about nutrition - I’m now much more mindful of how the food I eat makes me feel & what I eat. Katie has really helped me to focus on my nutrition & I have seen some really nice results in terms of weight, shape & general wellbeing.
I’ve loved being able to continue my training with Katie during COVID-19 as well, a few simple bits of kit such as a kettlebell and bands have meant we have carried on & I’ve been amazed at how I’ve continued to make progress.
We may all think we are riding fine & fall into that horsey mindset of ‘I’m really active because I ride every day" but until you begin to train you won't know how much better you can be.
My advice would be if you’re thinking about signing up don’t hang around, just sign up now!”