Leah Darling, PLC
Myofascial Release & Pilates Center Scottsdale

EQUESTRIAN PILATES® is for riders of all disciplines and riding abilities.  EQUESTRIAN PILATES® starts with an off-the-horse evaluation.  This evaluation reveals your strengths, weaknesses, movement patterns, inflexibilities and posture. From your evaluation, a program is designed specifically for you and your needs. This program gives you the tools to increase body awareness, flexibility, strength and balance.

The rider’s body awareness is a major determining factor in maximizing EQUESTRIAN PILATES® training and optimizing their riding ability.  From the evaluation information we can teach awareness of how your body affects your horse's body alignment and movements. As a rider becomes more aware of their body on and off the horse they can see dramatic improvements in their quality of riding.  With these insights you become aware more of your compensational patterns.  We will design a program to correct imbalances and in turn can give you better insights of where your body's alignment in the saddle.  The horse and rider mirror one another.  A balanced, flexible and strong rider creates these same qualities in their horse.  How a rider moves OFF the horse is how they move ON the horse. 

The body's core is comprised of the muscles and a connective tissue called fascia.  These structures support the spine, connect the front to the back of the body and provide the strength to maintain the body’s balance, alignment and posture.  Increasing core strength keeps the rider strong and supple, strengthens the back and can reduce back pain.  It also encourages the horse's collection. Increasing core strength enhances your stability and balance in the saddle, thus improving communication with your horse. Strengthening your seat makes it more effective and independent of your leg cues. 

EQUESTRIAN PILATES® can be combined with Myofascial Release for a dynamic combination of treatment modalities.  We can work in collaboration with your existing healthcare team.  Having this team approach, Leah can communicate with your riding, Pilates or Yoga instructor, Physician, Physical Therapist or Chiropractor to have continuity of care for you.  She wants the feedback from these other team members to design the best program for you to enhance your health and riding abilities.  She can provide specific information, awareness and recommendations to enhance your current programs. This fusion of knowledge can assist you in taking your riding and fitness to the next level.

EQUESTRIAN PILATES® has been seen in Horse Illustrated, Dressage Today, The Gaited Horse, Polo Player’s Edition, The Virginia Horse Journal, England’s EQUESTRIAN Magazine, and several online journals.  EQUESTRIAN PILATES® is a registered trademark owned by Elizabeth Hanson and is used with her permission. 



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