Richard's riding was not improving as quickly as he thought it should and after a successful lesson with instructor Damian Stenton at Smeltings Farm Riding Center, he decided to try the Heather Moffett Enlightened Equitation Simulator in the hope it would help improve his riding. 

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Heather Moffett pioneered the teaching of riding with horse movement simulators and has taught and lectured worldwide with them. She developed a 'hands on' unique method of showing the rider the precise movements of lower back and pelvis in order to synchronise their movements exactly with those of the horse, producing a very quiet, but effective Classical seat. Even long established faults in riding can be easily corrected, 'feel' can be taught, and the horse is also savedfrom any discomfort in the process. 

The Equisimulator - offers experienced and novice clients the opportunity to improve their riding and fitness levels. This invaluable teaching aid offers many benefits from synchronising rider with horse to improving balance and position, whilst also increasing fitness levels and core strength.
Unlike when riding a horse, with the Equisimulator the instructor can stand next to the rider and show them the precise movements of the lower back and pelvis hands on, therefore helping them to  maintain the correct position and balance in all the paces, including canter. The use of mirrors around the simulator also helps the rider to view their own position without worrying about where the horse is going.
Richard continues…

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The average rider will connect riding lessons with a real horse and an instructor standing in an arena or school, and like me believe that the more time you spend in the saddle on your horse is time well spent on improving your riding. However I soon found that having a lesson on a simulator is an excellent investment. The simulator removes the horse from the equation which enables you to give one hundred percent of your focus and attention to you as the rider with out the added distraction of loosing control and harming yourself or your horse.
My first impression was how can this work? - This isn't a horse!
But once I was sat in the saddle on the simulator, the feeling of being secure and safe was immediate and I knew the lesson was going to be beneficial. I stopped worrying about my horse beneath me and was able to focus on working with my position and movements and feel immediately how making small changes to my foot and leg position made big changes in how balanced and secure I felt.

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The simulator has a very well designed passive spring system, so, when I moved correctly I got positive feed back in the movement. Being on the simulator allowed Damien to teach me with a more direct and hands on approach as he worked with my movements and correcting my faults in the pelvis and lower back regions. The use of mirrors and video screening enabled me to see for myself how I applied Damien's instructions and the differences it made when I followed through with every minor change being made. The whole experience allowed me to explore my balance and movement in a very safe and controlled environment.
I found very quickly that the simulator had a positive impact on both my balance and movement for rising trot. The improvements I made also built my confidence levels especially as the rising trot movement is something I struggled with in my early lessons. A smile at last!! 

If only I had known about the positive impact Heather's Simulators would have on your riding, I might have got to grips with the basics of my riding so much faster allowing me to improve with a clear understanding of how the subtle changes to your position can make all the difference to your riding experience and confidence.
This was an incredibly beneficial lesson which allowed me to understand fully how my riding position was affecting my riding development - one lesson put so much into place - looking back I only wish I had this lesson before I had even sat on a horse for the first time!
My advice to all riders would be to Equitation Simulators ago..   watch this video and find out why

You can find more details on the Enlightened Equitation Simulators from