Equitana Essen 2017


Come and see the 3 day Eventing and Dressage simulators in action at Equitana 2017! Racewood will be exhibiting in hall 10/11 from the 18th to the 26th of March. See you there!

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Racing for Pinks

Ooh what’s this….?

on RT on RT2

Yep – that’s a candyfloss, bubblegum, Chanel pink RaceTrainer. We’ve broken the mold a bit on this one! What do you think? Personally I love…

(Thanks Neil and Heidi Wibrew for the pics)

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From Cheshire to South Africa


Everybody loves receiving a parcel… but when that parcel is the VERY FIRST 3 Day Eventing Simulator to arrive in South Africa, then we imagine our agent Charmaine is pretty excited!

Looking forward to seeing it set up in its new home! For more information visit: http://www.chgequestrian.com/#!our-services/c1biv


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How & Why Coaches Combine Simulator Training with Traditional Teaching

3 (2)Please follow the link below for the full article:


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The Benefits of Combining Equestrian Simulators and Real Horses in Hippotherapy


“the use of horse riding as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment, especially as a means of improving co-ordination, balance and strength”

What is the difference between Hippotherapy and therapeutic riding?

Hippotherapy is a form of speech, occupational and physical therapy that utilises the movements and warmth of a horse’s body, to develop neurological and physical functioning. Unlike RDA/therapeutic riding, sessions are led by a trained therapist and act as a treatment rather than a lesson or a recreational activity. In the UK, Hippotherapy is a physiotherapy led service.

Equestrian Simulators

Equestrian Simulators have never been advocated as a substitute for the ‘real thing’, either by the manufacturers OR the customers using them. There are elements of horse riding that a simulator simply cannot replicated; the health benefits of participating in an outdoor activity and the emotional bond between rider and horse.

Instead, those that use simulators; jockey coaches, dressage instructors or RDA teachers, now encourage a combined approach to their teaching programmes. Dressage pupils can now train on a ‘horse’ to a Grand Prix level and jockey coaches can train their pupils from the classroom. Simulators offer an intensive, yet safe environment to teach and encourage new skills, regardless of the attitude of the pupil, as a preliminary to the real thing. They are also used to refresh technique, maintain fitness and continually improve performance.

Other factors including;

  • convenience
  • health and safety
  • overweight riders
  • accurate feedback on performance and round the clock teaching (without the concern of the welfare of the horse)

 mean that simulators can compliment all teaching and clinical facilities, from recreational centres to professional training establishments.

How Simulators can be Incorporated into Hippotherapy

Equestrian Simulators have long been championed by the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), but with regards to Hippotherapy, some argue that the warmth and movement of a horse’s body cannot be replaced, even by the most advanced simulators.

However in some extreme cases; behavioural difficulties, confidence issues and physical disability can mean that putting someone on a real horse straight away is not the most appropriate course of action.

Research supporting the benefits of combining simulators with real horses

Chartered Physiotherapist Lynne Munro, MSc MCSP RDAC UKCC2, who holds Hippotherapy sessions at Perry RDA and Clewd Special Riding Centre, has carried out a study into using a simulator as part of a complementary approach within Hippotherapy.

Her study observed a 40 month old child who was advised by a paediatric physiotherapist to undergo Hippotherapy. Because of the nature of the child’s behaviour, as well as severely delayed motor skills, using a real horse deemed counterproductive and was instead advised to begin with fortnightly sessions on a Racewood simulator, initially with a physiotherapist acting as a back-rider.

Within months the child was riding without the back-rider and vast improvements were seen in his postural control and balance, to name just some of the positive results. 4 months later the child was riding, and enjoying the benefits of, a real horse. Overall enjoyment was also noted in his body language and facial expression. image3

To conclude, the study demonstrated that combining equestrian simulators with traditional Hippotherapy saw that the aims of the referral were met and the child saw vast improvements as hoped.


Many thanks to the parents for supplying the images

For Lynne’s full paper please follow the link;


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Defeating the Odds – Sheron Adam on life changing injuries and training on the Dressage Simulator

sir wilson

Despite being told that she would never walk again, Sheron Adams is not only back in the Dressage Saddle, she is now helping to rehabilitate others, through her own personal experiences, a Dressage Simulator and some steely determination.

Life changing injuries:

“Like so many other girls, I was always crazy about horses. My passion turned into a career and in 1985 I began training young competition horses. Personal circumstances forced me to relocate to the USA for some years, but upon my return to Munich I could resist no longer and I purchased a horse, which reignited my love for all things equestrian once again.

Sadly, in a cruel twist of fate, my passion became my pain and I was badly injured in a serious riding accident. The diagnosis was paralysis.

Determined to get back in the saddle I refused to accept my fate. What followed were some pretty testing times and an intense recovery programme. I had to learn everything from scratch - including how to walk again.

learning to walk

Rehabilitation on the simulator:

“In time I was back on my feet, but eager to be back in the saddle! I had heard about RDA UK and PATH in the USA, accredited organisations using equine therapy. For me personally though, the risk of horse riding was still too high. I needed a safe environment to practise the sport I loved and gradually build the necessary strength to do it.

Using the simulator helped me to regain strength, target key muscle groups and rebuild my confidence again after my injury (which not only left me with physical trauma, but emotional trauma too). The simulator allowed me to train without the fear of the horse bucking or falling, so I was not left feeling tense and I could simply focus on my training.

Recovery can be a very personal road to go down, and as an adult I felt self conscious of people watching me. Using the simulator was a way of training in private, in the comfort and relaxing environment of my own studio.”

Helping others:

“Now, with my own personal experiences, combined with my knowledge and passion for horses and my own Dressage Simulator, I can train other riders and encourage those going through rehabilitation and recovery.

My clients range from people looking for introductory lessons into riding, to those who have been referred by doctors and physiotherapists for rehab. Some have had joint replacements, some have had more serious back injuries – some are 80 years old and simply want to reap the health rewards of riding without the unpredictability of a real horse!”

Sheron is one of the first trainers in Germany to offer lessons on the Dressage Simulator. From her studio in Munich, Sheron is offering therapeutic riding for rehabilitation, Alexander Technique and introductory sessions for beginners. For more information visit www.reitsimulator-muenchen.de

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Brian Toomey’s Racing Comeback

on RT

(picture courtesy of Louise Pollard, Racing Post)

It was a fall that nearly took his life. Upon hitting the ground after coming off his horse in  2013, Brian Toomey was dead for 6 seconds. His parents said their goodbyes and funeral planning began. But 2 years on, 1 induced coma, a titanium plate in his skull and extensive rehabilitation, Brian is recovered and ready to make his comeback next Sunday at Southwell.  There is nothing stopping this 26 year old..

For the full article in the Racing Post follow : http://www.racingpost.com/news/horse-racing/brian-toomey-ive-never-worried-not-even-a-bit-about-having-a-fall/1910064/#newsArchiveTabs=last7DaysNews

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6 RDA Groups now using Interactive Horse Simulators

Inside Front coverEquine therapy has long been acknowledged and championed by medical professionals and physiotherapists for both its physical and emotional rewards. RDA Groups not only promote the physical benefits of horse riding, such as strength and stamina as well as improved posture and co-ordination, but they also encourage their riders to feel a sense of achievement and emotional wellbeing.

Like any activity, there are limitations and luckily modern technology can now assist, if not develop, the work of RDA groups and equine therapists. The simulators are able to provide a continual rhythmic action around the clock,  in a controlled environment. Lessons are no longer weather restrictive and unlike the real thing, the simulators never tire.

Now with various funding available, charitable donations and the tireless fundraising efforts of their volunteers, more RDA groups are in a position to invest in the interactive range of simulators, which provide a virtual experience, attractive and engaging graphics and feedback on posture, co-ordination and use of the leg/reins.

See below 6 RDA groups now featuring an interactive horse simulator at their facility:

  1. Pendle RDA, Lancashire Pendle were the very first RDA group to opt for the Dressage simulator. Having been successful in a bid for Lottery funding, Kate Bailey and her team are now offering lessons to members of all ages and abilities from 2 to 93!http://www.pendlerda.org/ 
  2. Midgeland RDA, Blackpool Midgeland are the latest RDA Group to boast a fully interactive Dressage Simulator onsite. Having predominantly raised the money through fundraising, Sport England were also to thank for donating a substantial amount after acknowledging the importance of the simulator to the school and its riders.
  3. Lowlands Farm RDA, Warwickshire Lowlands also host a fully interactive Dressage Simulator onsite, which is loved by their riders AND the volunteers that teach them. Lowlands raised their funds and were able to house their newest ‘horse’ in a purpose built room built by a local construction company using donated materials and labour. 
  4. Perry RDA, Shropshire Back in 2009 the Perry group took delivery of the very first interactive RDA Simulator. Perry also offers carriage driving and vaulting lessons.http://www.cavaliercentre.org/ 
  5. Wormwood Scrubs RDA, London Based in the centre of London, Wormwood Scrubs Pony Center recently unveiled a new ‘Therapy Stable Yard Classroom’ which is home to 2 Donkeys  and a Dressage Simulator was officially opened by Clare Balding.http://www.wormwoodscrubsponycentre.org/
  6. Southfield RDA, Somerset Southfield is located in beautiful Dorset and will soon be making their simulator mobile in order to loan it to other groups in the UK.




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When Hartpury visited Racewood – read Fizz’s blog for Horse & Hound

Fizz Marshall

We were delighted to welcome our friends Fizz and Kathryn from Hartpury College last week to try the new Eventing Simulator.

Fizz is the manager of the Equine Therapy Centre at Hartpury and top blogger for Horse & Hound magazine – she’s also very familiar with our simulators as ‘Hercules’ has been used by the college as part of their studies for 10 years!

Fizz was so impressed with the new Eventing Simulator from a coaching point of view, if a little taken aback by just how accurate its feedback on her performance was, that she’s given some great feedback in her latest blog for H&H – have a read!




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HRH The Princess Royal opens Jack Berry House

racing post kevin darley sam whaley cohen jack berry house     princess ann

Lots of special guests and racing royalty witnessed Princess Anne officially cut the tape to the Injured Jockeys Fund’s brand new facility in Yorkshire yesterday.

Jack Berry House was established to assist in the wellbeing and fitness of jockeys and ex jockeys – including the recovery and rehabilitation of those who have suffered injuries.

Vice Patron and legendary racehorse trainer Jack Berry has worked tirelessly to raise £3million towards the building, which boats; hydrotherapy pool, specialist coaches and physiotherapists, fully equipped gym and 3 Racewood simulators!

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