FEBRUARY 2020 THE RIDER /47 Rider Fitness: New Year’s Challenge

By Heather Sansom

Hi Everyone! Welcome to 2020. Your

riding, fitness, wellbeing, and life get a whole fresh chapter start. I know there is a lot of pressure riding (!) on New Year’s resolutions. While I don’t want to add to it, I do want to acknowledge your dreams. They’re real. Whether you go for a big New Year’s resolu- tion, or you decide to chip away or take per- sistent baby steps in the direction of your dreams, I just want to encourage you not to give up. Of course, I’m there if you want to take

things to the level of a personal plan, follow- up, and accountability. I do online coaching all over the world, helping people with fitness plans, monitoring exercise technique, analyz- ing riding videos, coaching riding lessons (if there is internet in the riding area), and life coaching. You can email me if you’re inter- ested. What I do in the newsletter though, is share a tip that almost any rider, of any age, level, or riding style can grab and use. What- ever your self-development strategy for 2020 is, I’m challenging you to use this month’s ex- ercise.

In recent newsletters we have been fo- cused on self-carriage, so I’m bringing out a

favourite exercise that integrates your core and challenges your balance: the side plank. It’s my experience that people love to hate this exercise. If I’m feeling tired, I’ll avoid it too. Or, I’ll tell myself it’s so old-hat and I’ve done it be- fore that I’ve ‘graduated’. My New Year’s challenge to you is not to do that. Take the exercise as a metaphor for the grit and persistence you need to reach your goals. The challenge is to train yourself to be able to do the advanced variations, and to hold the position for up to two minutes on each side. The first images show a basic side plank from the

facing and head view so that you can see how well aligned your spine, hips, shoulders, and ankles need to be for this exercise. Engage your abdominals to achieve this. If you are wobbling or falling out of alignment doing the basic posture of the exercise, then you need to start by modifying it. You can do so by performing it on one elbow, on an in- cline, or even on your knees instead of your feet. Gener- ally, you should be able to achieve a one-minute hold at whatever version you are using, before you can increase the difficulty through leg movement, weight load, or cre- ative challenges like supporting yourself on a fitness ball or BOSU.

© Heather Sansom, copied from Sansom, H. Fit to Ride in Nine Weeks (published by Trafalgar Square, available through

Amazon,, ) Happy New Year…. Happy Riding and Training!

© Heather R. Sansom, PhD.

Leading Equestrian Fitness since 2007. Fitness, Wellbeing, Biomechanics. Available for clinics & individualized online coaching.

Canadians Bring The Heat To Adequan Global Dressage Festival 3 Canadian dressage and

para-dressage athletes made their presence felt down south with strong showings during the third week of competition at the Ade- quan Global Dressage Festival, held Jan. 22-26, 2020,


Wellington, FL. Lauren Barwick, a resident

of Reddick, FL, made two trips to the CPEDI 3* Grade III winner’s circle with Lee Garrod’s San- drino – a feat made doubly im- pressive


Grand Prix Freestyle. There, Lindsay and Sebastien placed third again, this time on a score of 75.880% – a personal best for the pair that made their interna- tional debut during AGDF 3 in 2019.

“I am always aiming to the

Canadian Paralympian has only had the ride on the eight-year-old gelding since the end of Novem- ber 2019. On Jan. 22, Barwick and Sandrino started strong with 69.461% for first in the Team Test. A score of 69.412% put them in third for Jan. 24’s Indi- vidual Test, but they were back on top the next day in the Freestyle with their highest score yet, 75.133%. “I am very pleased with

what we were able to accomplish in a short period of time,” said Barwick of her success with San- drino. “I am optimistically look- ing forward to the next few months leading into our next in- ternational shows. I have a super group of people behind me sup- porting this horse and rider com- bination.” In addition to watching

Sandrino excel in Barwick’s hands, Garrod, a Canadian resid- ing in Kensington, NH, was able to enjoy success as a CPEDI 3* competitor herself. Riding her 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Question (Quaterback x Le Fi- garo), Garrod began by scoring

racking up CPEDI 3* Grade III wins during the third week of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, held Jan. 22-26, 2020, in Wellington, FL.

Photo Credit: Susan J. Stickle

65.736% for second in the Grade V Team Test on Jan. 22. She then collected consecutive wins in Jan. 24’s Grade V Individual Test and Jan. 25’s Grade V Freestyle, scoring 66.151% and 71.208%, respectively. Also earning a top three

CPEDI 3* placing was Jason Surnoski of Whitby, ON, and Cynthia Nugent’s Phoenix, a 21- year-old Westphalian gelding sired by Postdam. The pair col- lected a third place finish on Jan. 22 with 65.505% in the Grade II Team Test. In the quest for qualifica-

tion for the 2020 Tokyo Para- lympics, Team Canada –

comprised of Barwick, Garrod, Winona Hartvikson of Langley, BC, and Jody Schloss of Toronto, ON – earned 416.313 points. Team USA finished first with 434.358 points. Canadians continued to

make waves in the CDI competi- tion, with Lindsay Kellock find- ing success in front of a hometown crowd aboard Se- bastien (Sandro Hit x Fidermark), the 14-year-old Rheinlander gelding she co-owns with Enter- prise Farm, LLC. The duo scored 70.087% for second in Jan. 23’s CDI-W Grand Prix, but their real achievement of the weekend came in the next day’s CDI-W

Canadian Paralympian Lauren Barwick, who resides in Reddick, FL, has started off strong in her new partnership with Sandrino,

have a personal best score each time I enter the arena, so I am very happy to have received that score early on in the season,” said Kellock. “Sebastien loves to per- form in front of a crowd and the atmosphere at AGDF is so elec- tric, it’s very motivating for us! This was the first time we have ever run through that pattern. I changed my choreography to make my floor plan more diffi- cult and he rose to the challenge and tried his very best. I couldn’t be happier with his progress.” In the CDI 3* Grand Prix

Special, Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu of Saint-Bruno, QC, danced to a score of 72.064% for third with All In (Tango x Damiro), the 15- year-old Dutch Warmblood geld- ing she co-owns with her father, Craig Fraser and husband, Marc- Andre Beaulieu. Beatrice Boucher of Saint-

Dominique, QC, emerged as the Canadian to watch in the small tour with Louxor de Lys (Licotus x Weltmeyer), a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Lynda Tétreault. They started off with 67.451% for third place in the CDI 3* Prix St. Georges on Jan. 23. Then they rose to the oc- casion, earning first in the Jan. 25 CDI 3* Intermediate I with 68.059%, and in the Jan. 26 CDI 3* Intermediate Freestyle with

69.800%. Camille Carier

Bergeron of Mas- couche, QC, who was Boucher’s teammate on the gold medal Canadian Young Rid- ers team at the 2018 North American Youth Championships, saw success in the CDI-Y division. She rode Sound of Silence 4 (San Amour

I x

Limes), Gilles Berg- eron’s


Westphalian gelding, to second in the CDI-Y Team Test (68.480%) on Jan. 24 before com- ing back on Jan. 25 to claim first in the CDI- Y Individual Test (71.226%). In the CDI-Am Sheri

division, Doornekamp of

Odessa, ON, debuted a new FEI level mount, her 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood

gelding or

Also coming away from AGDF 3 with a pair of blue ribbons from the small tour was Beatrice Boucher of

named Axel (Sandreo x Vincent). They scored 65.882% for third in the Prix St. Georges on Jan. 25 and returned the next day to win the Interme- diate I with 68.431%. To conclude the weekend,

Photo Credit: Susan J. Stickle

for six-year-old horses, earning 77.800% in the Preliminary Test on Jan. 25 and 81.000% in the Final Test on Jan. 26. Competition continues at

Corine Smith, a Canadian resid- ing in Chulouta, FL, leapt onto the scene, making a splash in her first FEI appearance showing Anne Gribbons’ Oldenburg geld- ing, Amperio (Ampere x Rot- spon). The pair posted impressive scores in the CDI-YH division

AGDF until late March, with the next CDI competition taking place Jan. 23-26. For more infor- mation and results, visit

Saint-Dominque, QC, and Louxor de Lys.

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