Heather's Coaching Certifications:
Equestrian Coach (English)
(Equine Canada Competition Coach/National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) )
Riding Position & Biomechanics (any discipline)
(Centered Riding Instructor, Level 1)
Fitness & Conditioning
(Canfit personal trainer & coaching for disabilities)
(Certified Coaches Federation & basic sport psychology)
(* certification in positive youth development applied to leading youth activity)
(Hike Ontario & SOLO wilderness first aid)
Heather has been involved in fitness and competitive sport for over 25 years, and in equestrianism for over 35 years. She is a nationally certified life coach and fitness trainer and internationally and nationally certified equestrian coach. A leader in rider fitness, she has published several books and over 200 columns on fitness and training in national and international equestrian magazines, including Dressage Today and Horse Sport.
Heather has a range of equestrian experience including hunting, Prince Philip Games, polo, competitive trail, liberty training, and natural horsemanship. Her main discipline is dressage. She has trained to Level 4 and was Provincial champion Level 2 in 2004.
In addition to Equifitt fitness and equestrian training, Heather practices life & wellbeing coaching, as well as consulting and research in areas related to health and wellbeing with a special focus on psycho-social development through nature-based activity. She is presently working on her PhD, researching resilience in youth participants in 4-H horse programs.
In addition to training clients and conducting clinics and workshops, Heather speaks on topics related to fitness, equestrian sport and conditioning, and goal setting. Past speaking engagements have included the University of Guelph Balance in Motion Symposium, CanAm Equine Symposium in London, Ontario, Equine Extravaganza in Brockville, GreenHawk Harness in Ottawa, Ontario Equestrian Federation Annual Conference, Equine Canada national Annual Conventions, Canadian Pony Club national convention, Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) International Conference, and other clubs, venues and international conferences.
Heather and Equifitt are geographically based in the Ottawa area (Canada). However, she works with clients all over the world through virtual coaching. Workshops and talks by Skype are possible, as well as private coaching making it more convenient and affordable to get the training you need (and take advantage of the low Canadian dollar!). Heather's main webpage: www.heathersansom.ca
Why I Do Equifitt: because you have more potential than you realise.
More Inspiring Quotes on Rider Fitness
"What does it take to be a successful competitive rider?.... If you want to be a successful rider, you must train hard and intelligently in the saddle....However, intensive riding is not all you can do to become a better rider. By improving your physical and mental fitness you can utilize more of your full athletic potential to further develop your riding skills....Achieving a higher degree of fitness will make your reactions quicker and your cues more precise."
Tom Holmes, The New Total Rider
"...the quality of control of the arm, leg, or whatever, can be improved and eventually, through practice, become automatic. To achieve this goal, it is first necessary to isolate each part of the body so the rider may learn how that part functions and how it feels when it moves correctly and incorrectly....Then an increasingly efficient use of the body becomes possible."
Sally Swift, Centered Riding
"Building athleticism in your own body will give you the full range of movement which will enable you to ride any stride...without hindering your horse's steps."
Joni Bentley, Riding Success Without Stress
"Many people expect self-carriage from the horse when they themselves have failed to attain this. The rider's body is like a balancing pole to the horse. A loose, flaccid body gives little support; similarly, a tight one restricts movement."
Sylvia Loch and Richenda van Laun, Flexibility and Fitness for Riders