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My Pilates Journey
It started like this

A New Year started with the usual promises of this and that in an attempt to keep New Year resolutions, little did I know that my Pilates journey would start this way in January 2008 and my dedication to that resolution is still going strong to this day, that has to be a record for any New Year’s Resolution to last this long!

My passion for perfection fuels my hunger for furthering my knowledge in everything I do and Pilates was no exception. Attending weekly classes and progressing to the advanced class after only a few months suddenly produced a light bulb moment for me. My riding interest started under the watchful eye of Nadya Brown as a complete beginner at the age of about 7, progressing to competing more seriously in my teenage years up to FEI level with ponies and young riders and many educational years were spent under the guidance of Ian Woodhead for over ten years, Paul Fielder for approximately three years and more recently Emile Faurie since 2004. I always had the desire to improve and was always self critical of my position, all too often I was told to relax my shoulders or sit up straight, bring my shoulders back and heels down, something that every rider will hear at some time whatever the level. My own teaching started over twenty years ago and I always enjoyed immensely the delight from helping someone to improve and enjoy their horse or pony to the best of their ability. On occasions I would ride a client’s horse or pony only to be told that it didn’t look like I was doing anything but the way of going would be instantly improved and I tried to explain what I was doing to help them understand and do it for themselves.

Does it sound familiar?
Back to the Pilates, suddenly the realisation that I was being reintroduced to many parts of my body, my Pilates classes were helping me to realise what I was actually doing with my body while I was riding. Lengthening my body, a bit like ‘put your heels down’, draw your shoulders away from your ears, often heard as ‘shoulders back’, a lifted sensation through your waist, we’ve all heard this one - sit up straight! So all of this happens in a Pilates class starting from the correct set up position which revolves around the strong core that we all strive for.

My fascination continues and gets even more interesting.
As a rider, trainer and judge I get to ride lots of horses, teach many combinations at all levels and offer comments when judging from the lowest level right up to advanced level. One factor became very apparent quite early on in my Pilates journey...the way a rider sits on the horse tells you so much about what they are likely to be feeling as well as how the horse is going. A connected, submissive supple horse will make any riders job so much easier, just as a tight, restricted, resistant horse will give any rider a challenge to sit on it with ease. Other combinations are seen, with a well trained horse offering assistance to a less experienced or unbalanced rider, just as an experienced rider can sit on a less educated horse and make it look relatively easy.

Training with Modern Pilates
So looking for my next challenge, to learn more about Pilates and to train for the qualification to be able to teach Pilates was the obvious step and what an amazing journey it has taken me on. Modern Pilates has become one of the most inspirational Pilates training organisations in the UK, offering a unique clinical approach to Pilates Exercise which has been developed by working with physiotherapists, physiologists and qualified Pilates educationalists. Based on the original works of Joseph Pilates, his methods were used primarily by dancers, however more recently these methods have been introduced into the health and fitness industry. While Modern Pilates looks at the original works of Joseph Pilates, it takes Pilates into the 21st Century, taking the benefits of the original techniques and combining them with recent research and knowledge about fitness, exercise and core stability. The depth of knowledge offered by Modern Pilates has fuelled my passion for Pilates to another level and I look forward to developing my skills further.

Pilates with Sarah Payne at Sheepgate 
The new facility at Sheepgate allows for small groups to be catered for offering Pilates sessions in a relaxed informal group. Offering you the opportunity to experience the many benefits of practicing Pilates, no experience is necessary just a desire to learn more about how to get the best from your body that will have an effect on every aspect of your daily life. Book in for an ‘Introduction to Pilates’ today and you will feel the difference!

“In 10 classes you will feel the difference,
      In 20 classes you will see the difference,
           And in 30 classes you will have a whole new body.”
                                                                            Joseph Pilates

Richard Grant and Son (Leverton) Ltd, T/A Sheepgate Equestrian
Sheepgate Nursery, Leverton, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE22 0AS
Contact Us   Email: spayne@sheepgate.co.uk
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