This week we chat to Accomplished Dressage Rider and Incredible Dru Yoga Teacher, Kirsty Elliott.
Kirsty has had a fascinating riding career, and I loved hearing about how she is able to connect with her body and move it in a way that serves it each day; even if that is just in 5 minute snippets as sometimes that is all we get. Kirsty embodies the mind/body connection, which is so powerful for riders. By really connecting with how your body is feeling, you are able to create an awareness that is essential to how you move through the day, and how your body is functioning on the horse. As a true fan of Kirsty’s Yoga, I am so grateful to her for bringing a new level of awareness to my own body.
I hope you enjoy reading her story, she is one of life’s true treasures and if you live in the Dorset region, you really must sign up for her Yoga Class!
If you would like to find out more, drop Kirsty a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can you tell us a little bit about your riding career?
I started riding as soon as I could! I begged my Mum for a horse and had to wait until I was thirteen until I got my first horse, Moss, a flighty headstrong thoroughbred.He was well worth the wait! Moss and I caught a major Dressage bug together and that’s where it all started. I read countless books, rode every minute I could and was lucky enough to be asked to train under the then trainer of the New Zealand Olympic team, Bill Nobel, by the time I was sixteen Moss and I had made the journey from a very wobbly relim partnership to confident Prix St Georges competitors. From there horses where firmly part of my life, I gained a Degree in Equine Science and subsequently ran a yard and trained with Georges Dewez who trained under Nuno Olivera, I learnt the classical method for training and after time bought a beautiful warmblood from Germany, Othello. Othello guided my path to Talland, where I trained under a number of fantastic teachers and of course the most influential being Pammy Hutton. Moss became a school master at Talland and Othello and I competed very successfully up to Medium level. After time a new venture began and Moss, Othello and I headed to the New Forest to train under Jacky Stolper. Six years of being Jackys head girl brought a huge variety of experience, I broke in numerous horses, rode and successfully competed a variety of horses and learnt how dedicated, disciplined and determined you had to be to stay top of your game. Eventually Othello reached his full potential and was sold on making way for one of the most beautiful horse I have had the privileged to own, Jambo. Jambo made the same journey Moss and I did up to Prix St Georges, however Jambos natural athleticism enabled us to move further on to successfully compete at Intermediate 1. After time my path with professional riding came to a close and I took a new path teaching at a centre that used horses as a therapy for young adults with learning difficulties and disabilities, I saw horses in a whole new light and fell in love with them all over again!
Where are you from?
Scotland originally but horses have taken me from Wales to Cotswolds to The New Forest and finally Shaftesbury!
This platform, Equestrian Movement Journey is all about riders living a movement based lifestyle, however that looks for each individual.
Can you give us an insight into what movement in your day looks like for you?
Now I have two young children (not to mention the dog and of course husband!) so I am moving every minute of the day!! I also train two horses a week and I must say my body tells me when I have ridden, whereas when riding was my life my body won’t mind at all riding seven horses a day, six days a week!! I have a huge amount of respect for my body now and as a yoga teacher I am fully aware of the importance of moving in the correct way for my body and acknowledging and respecting everybody’s body is different!! I have a daily yoga practice that is very adaptable for my chaotic life, it sometimes has to come into practice in the five minutes peace I have when making a cup of tea!
How important is it for you to keep your body moving as much as possible? Do you have any daily movement routines?
The importance of movement is beyond words, not only from a physical perspective but from an emotional and mental perspective as well. I have a range of daily movement routines, most importantly I become fully aware of how my body is moving within the here and now.
What are some of the lessons you have learnt about what movement your body needs?
I am aware of how my body needs to move to make me calm, centered and still, if I don’t listen to my body my mind runs riot and I lose myself in a whirlwind of thoughts.
Do you think a daily movement practice impacts your riding?
What are 3 things you really believe in?
- Everybody has the ability to find peace, calmness and stillness within themselves through moving their body.
- If you truly belief in your potential, your dreams will come true
- Everybody is unique and truly amazing
What would you tell your teenage self?
You are in for an amazing journey, believe in yourself!!
If we could get a sneak peek into your future, what would you like it to look like?
As it is now but even better!!!