Farm Ireland

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Biomechanics expert Colleen aims to get balance right for horse and rider

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

"Toes up, heels down" is something that every single rider had drummed into him or her from day one, but have you ever wondered exactly what is keeping your heels down does?

Biomechanics is the mechanics of how the body moves. Be it human or horse, we all move in a mechanical way that can be tested, trained and improved.

Rider biomechanics looks at a rider's movement, position and, most importantly, why imbalances occur in the rider.

It focuses on how the rider's position influences the horse, how to stabilise the rider and strengthen his/her position and, at higher levels, how to refine the rider's aids.

World-renowned rider biomechanics' expert Colleen Kelly is to host a two-day clinic in Ireland this Friday and Saturday, July 5-6.

The biomechanics specialist began her career in exercise physiology, working in rehabilitation gymnasiums and now, some 30 years later, is one of most sought-after speakers around the world.

The Australian native has always been fascinated by the mechanics of movement and, after completing her studies at New South Wales University, started training weight-lifters, runners, swimmers and divers.

In more recent years, Colleen has studied the mechanics and influence of rider position and movement on the horse.

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Using her studies, she has created a simple style of coaching that is based on tested scientific research, but easy to understand.

Rather than just "look up and get your heels down", Colleen helps riders to examine why their heels come up in the first place, how it affects the rider's balance and also how it affects the horse.

Taking place at Copperalley Equestrian Centre in Maynooth, Co Kildare, the two-day workshop is open to riders to participate and also to spectators.

Private and semi-private lessons are available, costing €80-135 per person. Admission for spectators costs €35 per day, including a light lunch and refreshments.

Colleen aims to help riders improve their balance, seat and posture, and develop lighter, easier aids for higher movements.

Injured and nervous riders are a speciality for the coach so, if your aim is to build confidence and find a truly safe position, or learn to ride for a long time without pain, this workshop could be ideal for you.

For more information or to book, contact or call Nicky on (087) 623-2754.

Irish Independent

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