Online Coaching

Katie Swindler 2016 03 01 AliceWEF135

Online coaching is for you if:
- you struggle to balance demands on your time
- you live remotely or want convenience
- you have goals you're not giving up on
- you have unique needs, performance goals or health considerations

Literally thousands of riders worldwide have been helped with Equifitt training: rider fitness articles in major equestrian magazines; clinics and workshops; one on one training, and of course, online training.  I started virtual training way back when clients would send me their riding videos and pictures on a CD, sent in regular postal system, and we would coach over the phone.Today, it has never been THIS EASY to get virtually the same quality of coaching as you can get in person, online. With internet technologies, I can assess your posture and movement patterns, do personal training with you in your home or other workout space, and even coach your riding lesson (as long as you have internet access on a device in the riding area on a device).

Recent Online Client Quotes:

"I really wasn't sure how online coaching would work, especially with my shoulder problem. But it really did! You really were able to target the right things, and get me what I needed. I'm very happy to have worked with you!" MT in Montreal- supplemented Gentle Workout for Mature Riders with a 3-session training package

Remember that Rates posted are in Canadian Dollars! that usually means an instant significant discount with exchange rate for the US, Europe and Australia.
Read another amazing client experience with online coaching, and more about online coaching  below:

"I've seen an amazing increase in my strength and stamina since beginning the program Heather developed for me. I recently participated in a clinic with a clinician visiting from Germany who was very "old school" about only using sitting trot once the warm up was completed. Previously, I would not have had the strength to be able to do that much sitting trot successfully, but was pleasantly surprised to find I was able to do it, even after only working with Heather for a short time!       I've also seen a real improvement in my ability to use my core as the base for more advanced movements. I've been able to use weight aids more successfully to get more nuanced responses on lateral movements and our counter canter is more balanced. I also have better control of what my legs and seat are doing, and I feel like I'm actually able to get closer to asking for the movements as they are classically described. I've been able to make a huge jump in performance on the schoolmaster I have the opportunity to ride: I feel less and less like I'm the weak link holding back our progress together.

As an added, but unintended, bonus, I've lost some weight, people have told me I look more toned, my clothes are fitting better and I can feel better engagement in my core in just day to day life. 

Heather's workout and diet plans are realistic and she can work within your existing schedule and commitments. She takes your feedback and loops it into what she plans for you going forward. Because she is a rider herself, she knows what you're talking about when you reference having trouble with a movement and recognizes the demands placed on us as athletes. I truly feel that this has been a great investment because it's allowing the time I have riding to go further and helping me progress faster than I otherwise would have."  female dressage rider/busy management professional, Florida

More Info About Online Coaching Packages Below. 


It takes 21 days to change a habit, but approximately 3 months to make it your new lifestyle. Discover the potential you really have- without having to buy a new saddle or horse just yet. (I don't sell horses, so I'm not going to tell you that what you need is a new horse. I help people tap into their potential and ride better, no matter what they're riding, and no matter what special considerations or athletic limitations they may have. So I'm going to tell you that you have more potential than you realise, because everyone I work with shows me this truth again and again. Ride smarter, not harder. Your horse deserves it. You deserve it.)

Contact Heather to discuss your needs, package options and her availability.


Rave Client Reviews- all over the world

Did you know I've worked with clients successfully all over the world? Online coaching even uses technology in ways that can make training BETTER than in person training, because you can see yourself in the Skype image. And, I can freeze frame video you send me to show you exactly what I'm seeing.

"This is GREAT! I can see where this is going. It makes a lot of sense. I'm really looking forward to this." Online Client, France (dressage)

"I watched a recent video of myself riding and was shocked at the positive changes in my lateral stability and leg position over the fence. I feel much more solid in the saddle and my horses are grateful for it!"  Katie, online client, USA (professional show jumping rider, talking about some asymmetries and leg position issues her fitness program was addressing)



online coachingNow that you are clear on  your needs (have you identified your rider profile?), it's time to chat because the thing standing between you and moving forward is a plan. And some accountability to keep you on track, with frequent changes to keep you moving forward. How long do the benefits of a clinic last? Not that long, usually. I've done it: fly in, really help..and then  you're on your own.  When the clinician is gone, what gets you your results is the training that happens every week.  How much would it cost you to have a physio therapist or personal trainer drive out every week to your stable or home? And what about when you travel? 

Guess what?  You don't have to wait for or pay travel expenses for Heather to come to your area physically.  Using Skype or other technology, you can bring her in for a workshop, talk, small group or personal one-on-one coaching.  And, travel doesn't matter. You can keep progressing, wherever you are: stable, horse show circuit, home or in a hotel room abroad. Accessing a specialist to help you reach your goals was never this easy! Actually, it’s the perfect solution for when you can’t ride. By keeping your own physical training up, you’re ready to go the next time you’re in the saddle- and you'll make the most of it.

Online Training: Personalize Your Progress

Unless you are participating in small or semi-private online coaching groups, your training plan and coaching emphasis will be highly personalized.  Think of it like ordering a coffee at your favourite high end café: while everyone is different, there are some standard variables that shape your training solution.  With rider fitness, some of those key variables are : your age, medical conditions, riding discipline, level of fitness, time available, and where you are on the amateur-to-professional spectrum in terms of experience in the saddle and amount of time spent working with horses each week. (Have you identified your rider profile?)

online coaching 2

All these variables are the reasons that explain why personalized training is always more effective. It’s just like your training plan for your horse.  Group programs can be very effective as well, and Equifitt will be offering some soon. However, a personal program helps you really target your needs and get momentum in your riding.

Heather has worked successfully with clients across the US and Canada, and in 5 other continents.    Contact Heather to discuss your needs and her availability.

An initial conversation is complementary, and will give you the information you need to know if online coaching is the right next step for you.

What to do next? Identify the training emphasis you want. Next, Think about the profile that is closest to how you would describe your riding involvement.

They say it takes 21 days to start a new habit, and 3 months to make it an embedded part of the 'new you'. Coaching is successful because you get: a plan, accountability, support. Take the first step today. Let's chat, then you can determine how  you want to go ahead.

The initial online coaching packages are listed below. Other followup packages or personalized packages can also be designed according to your needs and budget. The best thing to do if you’re interested, is contact Heather to tell her about your goals and needs, and ask questions so you and she know what kind of package might be best for you at the moment.

All packages include:
1. Assessment (posture, balance, biomechanics): can be done ground only, or with analysis of riding videos or photo, or your riding live (you would just need an assistant and internet connection)
2. Email support between calls
3. Other supportive tools and information I may send you or suggest
4. Training plans that progress
5. Ongoing review of videos or photos or other information you may send in
6. Your sessions:
a) Sessions indicated are in 1hr increments.  These can be broken into 15min segments (ie: for 30 or 45 min sessions), depending what’s going to work best for your plan.
b) Sessions can be used once weekly, or at whatever interval works best. Typically, clients start with once weekly and then go to biweekly after the initial period of rapid adjustment
c) Use them how you need to.  Sessions can be used for any aspect of your plan which is needed, from nutrition, to a kitchen cupboard/fridge audit, to life coaching, to goal setting, to mounted riding instruction, working on your exercise techniques, or actually coaching you through workouts if having a personal trainer appointment to get it done is what you need.

Contact Heather first to discuss what would work best for you. If you are using a promotional offer, contact Heather to book and make your payment.  Remember, fees are in Canadian dollars, which have a favourable exchange rate , especially for  Americans, Europeans and Australians.

Basic Packages (other custom packages, promotions or student package, discuss with Heather)
Kickstart Package: Gets you out of the rut and on a roll. Includes 4 sessions, plus inclusions above.
Transformation: Sees you through significant adaptation and change. Includes 9 sessions, plus inclusions above.
Complete Change: Brings you through transformation to solidifying your new way of life and riding. Includes 13 sessions, plus inclusions above.


Some Online Coaching FAQs

Away for Vacation or Need More Time? No Problem!

All Equifitt personal online coaching packages can be used as once weekly training, biweekly, or even longer intervals to stretch out your dollar, depending on what will be the best way to support your progress.  You can interrupt  your training for vacation…or bring me with you virtually on the road so that travel and competition schedules do not have to slow your progress.  Assuming that cancellation and rescheduling are respectful, your sessions aren’t lost when the time period indicated in the package is over. Most clients actually stretch their training packages.

A Stitch in Time (saves nine)…You are Giving Yourself Freedom

The reason you are investing in yourself this way, is to see progress.  You can think of coaching in a similar way to investing on a better quality roof or paint for your house- it helps you get more out of your other investments.  When you have more stamina, better posture and body-awareness, and clearer aids, you make every minute in the saddle count more.  You get more out of your time in riding lessons and  on your horse, and more out of your money spent on competitions.  Even if you are not a competitive rider, you put a lot into riding, and you want to ride and enjoy your horses for as long as possible.  As long as the training is balanced and matches your needs, it is an investment in your own quality of life for the next decades.

So How Does it Work?

  1. Decide which coaching package most describes your situation below. Ie: Urban Rider, Rural Rider, etc…
  2. Figure out ideally how long you’d love to have coaching support…and then balance that with your budget. Keep in mind all fees are in Canadian dollars, which means an instant discount for American, European and Australian clients.
  3. Contact me and let me know a bit about your riding and what you are hoping to accomplish. We’ll set up a Skype call to discuss your needs, and so you can ask questions. 
  4. If you’re ready to go ahead, we’ll go from there.

What About Discipline?
I work with riders in almost ALL disciplines.  I am a certified riding coach AND Centered Riding instructor (in addition to fitness coach and outdoor leader), so I am trained to work with you in the saddle as well as on the ground. Mounted sessions focus more on how you are using your body than the average riding lesson does, where the trainer is more focused on what you are getting the horse to do.

However, the purpose of fine tuning your movement and carriage is to have an impact on the horse. Horses always show us when we are being more effective.  When your body usage improves, the horse’s performance also improves.  What I do is complementary to your horse trainer or riding coach’s instruction, even if you ride a different discipline than I do. In addition to body-work for riders, I can also coach basic equitation and horsemanship skills for leisure riders, and coach Dressage.  More info about my background.

Because I am qualified to coach riders in the saddle, the ground exercises I select for clients link directly with your riding needs.  Also, the reason some riders who do fitness activities feel that their fitness is not linking directly to their riding, is because the mind separates the two. When you are in the gym, you might have great abs- that don’t seem to engage properly when you’re riding.  I work with riders to bridge that gap.

What About My Favourite Exercise Class?
You can read more about the Equifitt approach to fitness and conditioning on the Fitness page, and the Equestrian coaching and fitness page.  To summarize it here, your Equifitt program might INCLUDE you continuing to do favourite activities you are already doing, and then fill in the puzzle pieces you are missing. Or, you might get a whole new training plan that covers strength, cardio-vascular fitness, flexibility, balance and co-ordination. It all depends on what bases you have covered well already, and where the gaps are.

What if I Don’t Have a Gym at Home?
Again, you can read more on the fitness and Equestrian pages, but the short answer is that you don’t need to. Your program is designed to work with the spaces and equipment that are accessible to you. In fact, MOST Equifitt clients train in small home based spaces with inexpensive and light equipment because driving to a gym or buying machines is just not going to work for them. If you do go to a gym, hourah! We can design your plan to incorporate the things you can do there as well.