What equipment will I need for the Equipilates™ Fundamentals Online Course?

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The aim of this blog is to show that you can join in with online training sessions without all the equipment listed and to assist you substitute items you have around your home so you can benefit from the Equipilates™ Fundamentals Online course. I do not wish anyone to feel they must rush off & buy the list of equipment or props as they are known in the industry. Don't get me wrong, having the correct equipment will mean you will get the most from the course but you can buy what suits you over a period of time. 

Let's look at the equipment I will be using in this course & think what you could substitute from your home or stables. 

1. You will need a Pilates or yoga mat ... I use two thin ones so I can pop them in the washing machine. A large bath towel makes a great substitute. 

2. Head cushions ... we use these to make sure you are in the correct alignment for exercises either in supine (laid on your back) or side-lying. As you can see in the photo below left, I have two head cushions ... towels folded or a smaller towel & a cushion would be ideal. 

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3. Swiss ball ... these come in various sizes. As a general guide if you are under 5' you will need a 55 cm ball, if you are 5' to 5'7" you will need a 65 cm ball & if you are 5'7" to 6'0" you will need a 75 cm ball. They are all different & mine have been purchased from local supermarkets. A great substitute is a rolled bath towel on a stool but if you are serious about improving your riding, I do recommend you buy yourself a Swiss ball. I'm using mine now while typing this blog at my desk, it helps keep me moving & prevent my back aching! 

4. Stool ... a few exercises involve sitting on a hard surface, kitchen chair or even your mounting block. Once you feel the benefit, you will do these before you get on your horse!

5. Balls ... we use quite a selection, as you can see in the picture below. The purple one is a MAD Fitness Spikey Massage Ball 7 cm ... they are fabulous but you could grab a tennis ball or folded face cloth & a rolling pin. Yes, lockdown has made us very resourceful! 

The two small blue balls are Franklin balls but again you could substitute these for two tennis balls or the rolled up towel. 

The larger ball in the picture, is an air filled Pilates Overball. You could grab a  cushion, rolled towel or football instead. They are reasonably priced online, just search Pilates Overball & select 7 inches / 20-23 cm. 

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6. Exercise bands ... these are readily available in your local supermarket or online. If you do buy some, a variety of strengths would be a good idea, hence the different colours. Light and medium would be a good starting point. You can substitute these for a scarf or a tail / leg bandage from your stables! 

I hope this has been of value & if you have friends that have mentioned equipment as a barrier to joining us online, please do share this blog with them. If you have any further questions please ask. Or maybe, you have a substitute suggestion that has helped you that we have not thought of! Do let us know in the comments below. 

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About the author: 

Claire Dryden has over 35 years experience as a successful rider & coach in the equestrian world. Her clients have been successful at many levels. Claire is also an Advanced Equipilates Biomechanics Trainer™, Certified Franklin Method Equestrian Trainer® & Pilates Reformer teacher. She was 2018 Equipilates™ 'Inspirational Teacher Award' winner and has featured as an 'Ask the Expert' in Your Horse magazine. 


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