Symmetry - Education - Performance
Saturday August 21st 2021
Unicorn Centre Stow on the Wold
This is an Innovative Seminar delivered by Andy Thomas Chartered Physiotherapist, leading Practitioner in rider asymmetry and founder and developer of Testt®.
Exploring rider asymmetry, this seminar will practically demonstrate how the Testt® process can be utilised by Riders, Coaches, Therapists, Saddle Fitters and Judges to enhance human movement and therefore positively developing horse performance.
8 ridden demonstrations will provide discussion of the asymmetry triad (rider, saddle, horse) and how implementing Testt® activation Testt® taping methods, resistance band protocols and coaching influences performance and results.
The seminar will be delivered in the historic Unicorn Equestrian Centre, run by The Unicorn Equestrian Trust, a registered charity, it provides outstanding equestrian facilities to those of all abilities and disciplines.
The day is limited to 100 in person delegates (with lunch and goody bag) however the event is being professionally filmed and will be available for purchase on our website (with viewing access for 28 days).
The event is open to all riders, coaches,therapists, saddle fitters etc, our aim is to provide an educational and social/networking environment with super horse and rider combinations, guest speakers and without a powerpoint slide in sight.
Session 1 : Testt® : Enhancing Human Movement for Performance of Horse and Rider, The Physiotherapist's Approach
Andy Thomas founder and developer of Testt® will explain and demonstrate the Testt® process practically on and off horse, utilising Physiotherapy techniques, Testt® band protocols and Testt® taping techniques to influence the quality of movement of the horse and rider.
Our demonstration rider is Emily Sutherland
Session 2 : Testt® Certified Coach : Testt® Theories and Practices to Enhance Coaching Outcomes
Sarah Payne is a Testt® Certified Coach and will demonstrate alongside Andy how coaches utilise the Testt® processes band protocols and taping techniques to benefit coaching skills and techniques to enhance the rider and horse performance.
Our demonstration riders are Olivia Towers and Lily Kinsella-Pearn
Session 3 : Testt® The Developing Child In Equestrian Sport
An understanding of the musculoskeletal development of a child is essential for any coach progressing a rider through this critical phase of riding. Neuromusculoskeletal development is relevant in all equestrian sport, the coaches understanding and working within a multidisciplinary team only enhances a safe and progressive environment.
Our demonstration rider is Elan Haf Williams, a 12 year old Grade 1 (awaiting BEF official grading) para equestrian rider who is accompanied by her coach Sara Jones-Williams. This performance team have integrated the Testt® process to enhance Elan’s sport progression.
Elan will be joined by International GB Paralympian Ricky Balshaw, who will discuss his progression in the sport and offer coaching and experiential advice to this talented young rider.
Session 4 : Testt® The Asymmetry Triad
Here, Louisa Cuomo, developer of Louisa Cuomo Saddles, professional saddle fitter and currently progressing through the Testt® Certified process, will demonstrate how integrating the Testt® process within saddle fitting can facilitate symmetry and the development of horse and rider performance.
Our demonstration riders are Jessica Perry with coach Victoria Perry and ivan Aguado Melet
Session 5: Testt® : Rider Symmetry; How It Can Influence Results
In this innovative session, List 1 Judge Judy Harvey will judge Grand Prix and PSG movements, and discuss the reasoning behind the scores given. The riders will then be assessed using the Therapeutic and Coaching aspects of the Testt® process to affect the movement and performance of rider and horse.
How, then, does this impact the scores when Judy re-judges the movement?
Can we influence performance (and ultimately scores) by implementing the Testt® methods?
Our Grand Prix demonstration rider is double Olympian Emma Hindle
Our PSG demonstration rider is Michael Whippey
Andy Thomas MCSP
Developer of Testt®
Testt® founder and Chartered Physiotherapist Andy Thomas is a leading educator and innovator in rider asymmetry . Having held the roles of High Performance Human Science and Sports Medicine Advisor to the USA and GB Equestrian Teams Andy has a wealth of experience second to none including attending 3 Olympic Games, 4 World Championships and 12 European Championships.
Forming the link between asymmetry and rider-horse performance, Andy set about extensively researching and developing a system that would allow riders, coaches and therapists to monitor, discuss and remedy asymmetry in athletes across all equestrian disciplines.
And so Testt® was established.
Emily is university student studying equine science with therapy at Hartpury University.
Emily is currently riding two horses, one at Advanced medium, with the aim to ride their first PSG this summer, but today she has brought her rising 5 year old warmblood mare Paris, who she is hoping to take out to gain confidence at prelim and novice level.
List One Judge FBHS, UKCC Level 3
Judy is an international rider, trainer and List One Judge based at Richard Heley's Yard in Buckinghamshire where she has been for 30 years. She is Director of International Teams for British Dressage.
During this time, Judy is proud to have trained and mentored many students who have evolved into top riders. These include Charlotte Dujardin, Daniel Sherrif, Ruth Edge, Bubby Upton, Leilia Paske, Roland Tong, Hannah Esberger, Gemma Maddocks, Fiona Brennan, Carmen Gammie, Laura Wollen, and Jayne Turney.
Judy rode successfully at International Grand Prix Level with Richard Heley's Fitzcerraldo. This combination also had several National Titles to their credit and were nominated for the London Olympics 2012. Judy has qualified horses for the BD National Championships every year from 1980 to 2020. Current top ride is SP Bento an eight year old National Champion about to step up to small tour level.
Judy was part of the BBC TV Commentary Team for several years and received many plaudits for her London Olympics commentary. She is in demand for clinics and symposiums world-wide.
Judy's professional career began in Kenya re-training former racehorses to become show jumpers and eventers. This invaluable experience provided a balanced all round approach to training horses and riders. On returning to the UK she concentrated on her BHS Exams, eventing, show jumping and gradually moved towards Dressage. She ran the Lee Valley Riding School in London for 10 years, appreciating the requirements and anxieties of Novice riders, whilst still developing as a competition rider and trainer. She achieved her FBHS in 1987.
Judy has a reputation for finding bargain horses for herself and her clients and bringing them up top class competition level. She prioritises soundness and temperament in her competition horses.
Double Olympian (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008) Emma Hindle is a British international Dressage rider. She first rode for her country in 2004, competing for Great Britain in Dressage at both the Athens and Beijing Olympic Games.
She also competed in the world equestrian games in Aachen 2006 and won a Bronze European medal in 2005 and a silver medal in 2009.
Mike is a freelance BHS performance coach and rider, based in Wiltshire.
He is currently riding for Judy Peploe and has a string of dressage horses ranging from 5 year olds to Inter 1.
Today he is on Rosie, she is a 13 year old warmblood mare bred by Judith Davis of Hawtins stud, currently competing at PSG. Mike has been riding Rosie since July 2020, and hopes to attend the Nationals at PSG this year, with Grand Prix as their long term aim.
Testt® Certified Coach
Sarah Payne has been the driving force behind Sheepgate Equestrian for the last 24 years. A former international pony rider, Sarah’s passion for the effect of the rider on the horse has been evident from the beginning. Completing the British Horse Society exam route up to Instructor level, an established Dressage trainer including of her daughter Lily Payne who was the first ‘children on horses’ British Rider to be selected for the Europeans in 2017 and 2018. A Dressage rider, British Dressage accredited coach and Dressage judge, Sarah qualified to teach Pilates and Equipilates TM in 2012 as well as studying Biomechanics. On discovering what Andy Thomas could offer to a rider in 2018?? Sarah’s passion as a coach has taken on a whole new dimension with how the horse then responds.
Olivia Towers is a Grand prix rider and coach. She competed for Team GB in juniors and young riders and is now learning the ropes at Grand Prix level. Alongside this she also does a lot on social media showing the ups and downs of the equestrian world in a honest and encouraging way.
She is passionate about helping others to improve their mindset not just for riding but all areas of life.
Lily is a UKCC Level 2 coach and helps run her parents business, Beaver Hall Equestrian Centre in Staffordshire. She has two horses that she has produced from 5 year olds that are now competing at Inter 1 and aiming for Grand Prix this year.
She is passionate about helping others to improve their mindset not just for riding but all areas of life.
Testt® Certified Coach Pathway and Saddle Fitter
The love of horses lies at the heart of Louisa’s work. Having learnt to ride herself as a six-year-old pony-mad girl, horses have remained central to her life. Her passion for their welfare and comfort drove Louisa to develop her bespoke saddles and new fitting techniques. As well as being a qualified saddle fitter, Louisa is an experienced dressage rider and British Dressage judge. Her knowledge and understanding of both horse and rider biomechanics have enabled her to develop a unique process of saddle fitting and create a collection of saddles that maximise the horse’s comfort, performance and reduce issues over time. Louisa works with all types of horses, from newly backed youngsters to older horses. She also works with elite riders and trainers around the world, with horses performing at the very top of their sport. Louisa was the only Saddle Biomechanist to attend The Vet Congress, Amersterdam 2019 - a gathering of leading international vets. Louisa continues to work on several of her own and others research projects, aiming to understand and improve asymmetry of horse and rider.
Victoria is a BHSAI, UKCC level 2, RDAI and BDS level 3. At the age of 16 Victoria left school to start her journey with horses and this was in the form of carriage driving. For 10 years Victoria and her family drove at weddings and funerals until family commitments finally stopped the business. After this she started working with the RDA and this passion continued for 20 years. In this time she produced many horses and riders to national level. Following this Victoria decided it was time to start her own business with her mother and daughter alongside her. This business took the form of a PRE stud. In 2012 she purchased her first Spanish stallion and since then it has grown to having over 10 PRE horses, including mares, stallions and youngstock. The Langafel stud is now dedicated to producing and breeding PRE horses that are top quality in conformation, temperament and movement.
Horses have always had a massive impact on Jessica’s life. After her family began a PRE stud in 2012 she has helped produce and compete a variety of horses, soon discovering that symmetry and straightness is key to their development. Jess finished school last year and has since then began developing a second business to run alongside her family’s stud - a rehabilitation centre to help horses build fitness and recover from injury however this has been held back by COVID. Jess currently has three horses. A PRE mare that competes at national showing level successfully and at BD, a 3 year old PRE colt that is being broken in and her old showjumper. After having a horse that had been mistreated (her PRE mare) she is dedicated to helping people rehabilitate them to live happier lives.
Ivan Aguado Melet
Ivan Aguado Melet is a showjumping rider and trainer originally from Barcelona, Spain where he competed at national and international levels. Ivan is based at The Dovecote Stables in Oxfordshire where he specialises at working with jumping horses at all levels. He also has a passion for producing young horses and working with re-schooling horses.
Team GB Paralympic Rider, Dressage Coach
Ricky started riding as part of his physio therapy at the age of 4. He suffers from cerebral palsy and has very little natural balance and as such had to be held on either side of the moving ponies and a leader looking after the direction of things.
At the age of 10 he became the RDA national champion but underwent major spinal surgery later that year to reduce the level of spasticity of his limbs. After a 12 month break he started riding again but had to start from scratch due to his limbs now working extremely differently.
At the age of 14 he was asked to join the GB para team and is still the youngest person to be inducted to the senior team.
He was named as first reserve for the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004 but was on the team for the Beijing Paralympic Games where he secured an individual silver medal in the freestyle on his horse, Deacons Georgi.
Since then he has won medals at World and European Championships but retired from dressage at the start of 2016
He then went on to compete in Para Reining and in 2019 became the Para Reining World Champion and retired from competitive sport shortly after.
RDA Green Coach
Sara has been involved with RDA for 36years and the Ynys Môn RDA Group coach for 30years and currently RDA Green Coach, SJ Coach, working towards her RDA Advanced National Coaching and SJ level 4&5 coaching qualifications . She is also the RDA North Wales Dressage Representative. Sara has a special interest in developing Grade 1 , Visually Impaired & riders with autism. Sara, through her love of producing quality graded horses & ponies, developed a team of equines for those riders wishing to further their competition aspirations .
Elan Haf Williams
Elan is 12yrs old and has Quadraplegia Cerebal Palsy type 3 and both spastic and ataxic cerebal palsy. The later being the least common type of CP. In addition to this she also has dysphagia.
Elan started hippotherapy with the RDA at the age of 2 and began riding independently since 2019 when she qualified and competed at the RDA National Championships. During the Covid year she has been competing virtual tests and has achieved a PB at Grade 1 of 75%. Elan is awaiting her BEF Classification for BD Para competitions.
Elan is a rider with the Ynys Môn RDA Group, located in the most northern point of Wales, and is coached by Sara Jones-Williams. The aptly named WSH Something Borrowed (Trinny) is her current ride, owned by Gethin Williams and is a sports performance graded pony with the SPPS.
Elan & Sara are both fluent in English and Welsh as is most of her support team.