‘How real is the simulator???’
We are in the age of technology. So many things have been invented in the time I have been alive and things have gone beyond belief, with way more coming that I still struggle to wrap my mind around.
In this instance, technology has been formulated to give the rider a better insight to the semantics of their riding technique. It’s not about telling you if you are what society deems to be a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ rider. This is about using technology to tell you and show you where you can be, even just a little, bit better. The only way we improve on anything is finding where weaknesses are or by learning what we don’t know. Without this, no more improvement can happen. Being open to the fact that we can never stop learning is one of the biggest and best tools we will ever have towards improvement in any subject matter.
In the grand arena when you have hundreds of incredible riders competing at the same level, what makes the difference – other than the horse? It could be the tiny bit more weight in a seat bone, a minute amount of better consistency through the rein contact – or better timing of the aid. We have all seen that the 1st to 4th place can be a difference of .%!
‘Tiny margins can make the medals’ as quoted by well known eventer ‘Johnty Evans’. Cedric, the eventing simulator, was created by equestrian simulator experts Racewood Pty Ltd in the UK, and he is able to identify certain areas that the eye just can’t see and the brain just can’t be trusted to register until it knows to recognise the correct feel.
So my response to the above question is, does it matter?
This is my answer because, I would NEVER suggest to ride a simulator and forgo riding our precious horse. The simulator has not been developed to replace the horse – nor could it! BUT, it has been invented to help us be better FOR our horses. If I was to suggest to ride the simulator instead of the horse, then yes, HOW REAL IS IT?? – But Cedric is a training tool, giving us the opportunity to focus on how we hold ourselves in the saddle, to make the mistakes and drill ourselves and not subject our horse to this gruelling training in the effort for us to be better. He is also the opportunity to feel what different movements, transitions, aids and the timing of them should feel like when done ‘correctly’ so that this can be transferred to your horse. So, if you use and ride Cedric as the ‘TRAINING TOOL’ that he is – He’s truly amazing!
Now, to add to the ‘how real is he?’ – for the fact that he is a machine, the simulated movement is surprisingly real. We have had many dressage coaches, instructors and judges come over the threshold and the incredible feedback on the relevance to the simulated movement has been very well received and complimented.
Any horse riding enthusiast knows that riding isn’t easy. Part of the joy and challenge of riding is being able to communicate with the magnificent animal beneath you. Have you ever wondered why your horse isn’t quite understanding what you want? Have you ever wished you could refine your technique? Have never ridden and always wanted to? You can find the answer here! Whether you are a complete beginner (never having sat on a horse) to a Grand Prix winner, Cedric is a level playing field and can only give you feedback on what you give him. He cannot be muscled into a movement and cannot be forced into a false frame. It is up to us to learn how to do it right.
So who deemed the simulator to be the ‘right’ way? The simulator has been programmed with input from top level riders and coaches from all across Europe and is the ‘text book’ or ‘universal language’ of aids. We all know that this ‘language’ has the potential to be adjusted to suit an individual horse. As we speak, well known and admired dressage rider, eventer and trainer Ingrid Klimke is riding the horse in Germany and our very own eventer Paul Tapner is riding one of the simulators in the UK to collaborate feedback for the next software upgrade.
Elsam Equestrian Solutions has now introduced QLD Australia into the world wide group of countries that use the simulator as part of its training strategies. This group includes countries such as England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweeden, a few horses across North and South America, Canada, China and Japan just to name a few!
Our state-of-the-art equestrian simulator, ‘Cedric’ is programmed to give you up to and including Grand Prix Dressage (including moves such as Piaffe, Passage and Pirouette), Advanced Show Jumping and Advanced Cross Country riding experience.
‘Cedric allows you to concentrate completely on your technique without having to worry about what your own horse is thinking, feeling and doing.
‘Cedric’ took twelve months to build and ship to us here in QLD. He is one of only two Eventing Simulators in Australia and the first of his kind for QLD. He is now being used as part of many individuals training regimes as well as many school equestrian teams for both rider fitness as well as rider education. He is also being used as rehabilitation from injury, physiotherapy, emotional therapy and also fun! As you ride the simulator in front of three panoramic wide view screens, Cedric can provide real time feedback on your riding as you negotiate the dressage arena, show jumping or cross country course.
With Australia’s Gold Level Simulator Coach to guide you and work in with your own instructor, printable feedback from your performance in all 3 phases, Cedric can tell you what your horse wishes you already knew!
Instructional screen for jumping
Instructional screen for dressage
Show jumping course