Benefits of using an equine simulator to learn horse riding & dressage too
All you need to know about EQUICISE'S horse simulator and fitness classes that take place at the Equicise Studio, Wimbledon Village Stables, London.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Horse Riding Simulator

What is the difference between the Simulator and a real horse?

The Simulator enables you to concentrate solely on your riding technique without having to control the natural reactions of a real horse.  It gives you the opportunity to work on your accuracy in the saddle with the Simulator’s advanced sensor system giving instant feedback on how you have performed.  The Simulator will only respond to your directions if your aids are clear and correct, whereas horses often generously offer transitions/responses even when riders are not as clear/balanced as they should be. The Simulator gives perspective on the importance of accuracy and will improve the rider’s balance in the saddle, thereby improving your riding technique when on a horse, enabling you to get more out of your riding.

I have never ridden a horse before and I am really nervous, will the Simulator help me?
The Simulator is a great way to prepare you for riding a horse for the first time.  It replicates a horse’s movement and feel very accurately so will help you to learn about balance and how to give direction without having contend with the sometimes unpredictable reactions of a real horse.  When you then ride a horse it will be a much more familiar experience giving you added confidence. You will also have your instructor (with whom you’ll have built up a relationship) by your side, leading the horse you’re riding which will help to put you at ease.

Why should I ride the Simulator more than once, if I already own a horse?
Improving our riding technique with the help of the Simulator is not just going to take one session if you are dedicated to ironing out those bad habits! It can be very easy to slip back into our old ways of riding, even more so when we are riding a familiar horse.  The Simulator takes a little while to get used to as it is very sensitive and will not respond to the rider’s aids unless they are correct.  Using the Simulator to improve your technique will really help you to ride your own horse better, improving your partnership.

I ride regularly but often struggle to tell which canter lead I am on, how will the Simulator help?
The Simulator will only make the transition from trot to canter when the rider gives the correct aids.  If the correct aids are not given, then the Simulator will simply continue in trot or perform a different movement.  This need for clear and correct direction will help you to understand the aids for canter and become more and more confident each time the canter transition goes well.  This in turn will give you greater confidence and clarity when asking for canter on a real horse.

Can I practice the same lateral movements on the Simulator as I do in my usual lessons?
Yes, absolutely. The Simulator is an advanced piece of equipment with state of the art sensors that enable you to practise any lateral movements that you would ride in your usual lessons.  The Simulator can perform lateral movements from the lower levels of dressage all the way up to Grand Prix.  You can even request your usual instructor who will give you a breakdown of how to ride each movement correctly without having to think about the reactions of a real horse.

I am an experienced dressage rider who competes regularly, why should I try the Simulator?
The Simulator can benefit all levels of rider as it offers a bespoke programme of training which is tailored to each individual’s needs.  All riders can develop unwanted habits that they may often be unaware of.  The Simulator highlights the rider’s positional faults using sophisticated sensors and will only respond to clear aids therefore ensuring that the more experienced rider irons out any inaccuracies.  It also gives you the chance to practice advanced movements such as passage or piaffe using intense repetition which would not be possible on a real horse.

Can I have my session videoed?
Yes you can either bring along your own video camera or we can put your memory card in ours.

What should I wear?
If you are booked on the Simulator you should wear comfortable, stretchy trousers (breeches or jodhpurs ideally) and riding footwear. Please note that boots should not have zips on the inside. If you usually wear gloves when riding you may like to bring them. Riding hats are optional although some riders find it helpful to get used to the weight of the hat on their head.

Are there group sessions available on the Simulator?
We can take groups of up to four people in a 60 minute slot on the Simulator.  Larger groups can book two consecutive sessions to give you a longer period of time in the Ride Room.  There is also the additional option of using the EQUICISE STUDIO with an EQUICISE Fitness Instructor, enabling large groups to be split and enjoy both the Simulator and Fitness Classes.

Can I bring my baby/child with me?
If you have a lesson on the Simulator you can bring your baby along and park your buggy beside you.  The EQUICISE RIDE Room is warm and secure and you will be able to watch your child while you ride the Simulator!

Can I bring my dog with me?
Yes, well behaved dogs who will stay in the comfy dog pen in the corner of the Room are most welcome if you are using the Simulator.

Can people come and watch?
Yes, if you are having a lesson on the Simulator then friend(s) are very welcome and we provide chairs for them to sit on.

Are there age restrictions?
Children over the age of six years can ride the Simulator and there is no upper age limit!

Is there a weight limit?
We have a weight limit of 95 kg on the Simulator.

Can I ride the Equine Simulator whilst pregnant?
Yes, you can ride the Simulator whilst pregnant, however you must consult your doctor before taking part in any kind of exercise.

Is it suitable for disabled riders?
It depends on the disability.  We do not have disabled toilets and there is a small step into the EQUICISE RIDE room.  The disabled rider would need to be capable of getting onto the horse from a mounting block.

Can I get changed at the stables?
There is space to change in the WC if you are coming straight from work. You can bring your clothes and bags into the EQUICISE Ride Room with you.

Do You Sell Gift Vouchers?
Yes, an Equine Simulator lesson makes a very useful and unusual gift and one sure to be appreciated!  Vouchers can be purchased online.

Can I ride a real horse?
Wimbledon Village Stables has horses to suit all levels of ability.  Please see Wimbledon Village Stables website for further information.

Can I use the Simulator on my own?
If you become an EQUICISE SIMULATOR MEMBER you are entitled to one 30 minute Private Simulator Lesson, three 20 minute Members’ Practice Sessions and optional daily ‘Hop On’ Sessions per month and use of the Equicise Studio when available.  Please see the Wimbledon Village Stables website for details of becoming a WVS Member.  www.wvstables.com

STUDIO CLASSES

As a regular rider, why would an EQUICISE Fitness, Yoga or Pilates Class be good for me?

Taking part in any of the EQUICISE STUDIO Classes will increase your body awareness, and improve flexibility, balance, and strength.  In addition to Yoga and Pilates classes we also offer our own unique Pilates inspired EQUICISE Fitness Classes.

 

EQUICISE Fitness classes combine elements from both Pilates and Yoga, but also from other fitness disciplines including ballet, aerobics, and weight training. Through a series of intelligent exercises EQUICISE targets the problem areas that both riders, and non-riders, often want to improve:  mainly abdominals, spine, and pelvic floor.

 

Imbalances in the body caused by spinal misalignment, lack of core control and undeveloped muscles contribute to an incorrect riding position creating a poor riding experience. In order to work in harmony with your horse and create a balanced seat, correct posture achieved through a strong pelvic floor, strong core, and strong shoulder girdle, is essential.  We have three options to choose from: EquiForm is well suited to the less energetic, EquiFit offers more of a challenge and our EquiPro class offers a high-intensity workout guaranteed to work-up a sweat!

 

What should I wear to an EQUICISE STUDIO Class?

We recommend comfortable gym wear with socks and trainers. Trainers will be used for the training on the EquiPods, but the majority of the classes will take place in socks. Socks with a grip on the soles are recommended if possible.

 

What benefits will I see from my EQUICISE STUDIO Classes?

The Pilates inspired EQUICISE programme is designed to strengthen the superior and inferior muscles and joints around the parts of our bodies we rely on most to ride.

 

Taking into account that individual results may vary, after sticking to the programme over a period of time you should notice a stronger core, more flexible spine, supple and open hip flexors and a stronger pelvic floor. All of these are conditioned to give the rider the tools needed to create spinal alignment and long lean muscles to provide an enhanced riding experience.

The more you come, the faster you will notice results!

 

My friend is a non-rider, can she join the classes too?

Of course! In fact we encourage individuals to come along from all different sporting backgrounds. We truly believe our EQUICISE classes benefit everyone in providing increased muscle tone, general health and wellbeing, with the added bonus of being part of a fun, friendly and welcoming community.

 

Can I have a private lesson?

Yes, we offer private sessions throughout the week.  You can choose from our Fitness Classes (EquiForm, EquiFit and EquiPro) and Yoga and Pilates.

 

I’m trying to lose weight, would the EQUICISE STUDIO classes be helpful?

Any weight loss journey should be paired with a healthy diet and if you are considering losing significant amounts of weight, please contact your Doctor for more advice.

That said, our EquiPro classes take you to your ‘fat-burning’ zone throughout the class leaving you feeling fantastic!

 

Can I bring my dog with me?

If you are having a private session then yes, well behaved dogs who will stay in the comfy dog pen in the corner of the EQUICISE STUDIO are most welcome.  Dogs are not allowed in the EQUICISE STUDIO during group sessions.

 

Can I bring my baby/child with me?

If you are having a private session then yes, you can bring your baby along and park your buggy beside you in the warm and secure EQUICISE STUDIO.  Babies/children are not allowed during group sessions.

 

Do You Sell Gift Vouchers?

Yes, gift vouchers for Fitness, Pilates and Yoga classes can be bought on-line.

General

I am coming to Wimbledon Village to EQUICISE, what else is there to do?

Wimbledon Village has a fantastic blend of chic shops, cafes and bars set amongst handsome period buildings and open spaces making it unique in London. You will find it hard to leave!  See the Wimbledon Village website for more information www.wimbledon-village.com

 

Can I park at the stables?
There is no parking at the stables. There is plenty of pay and display parking bays; the nearest are on the High Street, Lancaster Gardens, Belvedere Avenue, Marryat Road, The Green and The Grange. (Note pay and display on Wimbledon High Street is maximum one hour). The nearest free parking is a short walk across the Common on The Causeway, West Place and Westside Common.

 

Is it easy to reach by public transport?
Yes, it is very easy. We are only eight miles from Central London and about a 10 minute walk from Wimbledon mainline and underground stations as well as being on bus routes 93, 200 and 493. See Our Location

 

How can I book and what is your cancellation policy?
All bookings are made on-line via the Mindbody site and prepaid. Reservations for sessions can be cancelled online for no charge up to 24 hours prior to the beginning of the session.  Missed sessions without the appropriate notice will be charged as if attended.

 

What time should I arrive?

EQUICISE RIDE Sessions start punctually at set times during the day so you should arrive at least 5 minutes before your class is due to start.  Please do not be late as your lesson will finish at the allocated time.

EQUICISE STUDIO CLASSES  Entry 5 minutes past the start time will not be allowed for Health and Safety reasons as you will have missed the important warm up section.