Janice's Books and DVDs ... a story
Janice couldn’t sit a trot. She couldn’t sit a trot for more than two years. She had great riding instructors, but as one teacher put it, “You just don’t have harmony yet.” Terribly frustrated, Janice realized something was wrong. How could she, a former professional dancer, a Professor of Dance and a Certified Romana's Pilates Instructor, not be able to learn how to sit a trot?
It dawned on her that a dancer’s vocabulary was much more specific than riding vocabulary. A riding instructor says, “Use your leg.” A dancing instructor says, “Turn your leg out and lift it to the side with the foot flexed and knee bent.” Exacting vocabulary to create exact movement. This "ah-ha" moment led her to stop taking lessons and begin experimenting with her mare, India.
Janice's experiment was to ask India questions. Janice would create a feeling or movement in her body and listen for India to respond. Within a week, India answered the questions. Janice now understood how she needed to use her body so India could be comfortable, on the bridle and at last, Janice was able to sit the trot.
This experiment led Janice to call Half Halt Press and explain it was time for a book on Pilates and dressage. After all, Janice was a dancer and it took her two years to understand how to sit a trot! What about moms, lawyers, nurses, school teachers … those who are trying to ride who have little knowledge of how the body can move?
Pilates for the Dressage Rider was published by Half Halt Press in 2006. Shortly after publishing the book, Janice began teaching her work to riders around the country, establishing a new vocabulary that helped riders understand how to use their body to create a more harmonious ride. In 2007, she was invited to the Parelli Ranch to teach Linda Parelli and her students. That same year, USDF Gold medalist and Certified Instructor Sarah Martin asked to meet and they began teaching clinics together. Janice is passionate about helping horses by helping their riders learn now to ride better!
Trafalgar Square Books is now Janice's publisher and it is now considering a second edition of this popular book.
Amazon Verified Purchase Quotes:
"I am enjoying this book very much. The explanations are thorough and easy to understand and the relation to Dressage (which is why I began Pilates) is wonderful. I especially like the open leg rocker illustration on the back of a horse. Now, I picture that as I ride around the arena. It gives you a great perspective on what your position on the horse should be and how it should feel. I have great admiration for the athletic abilities of the riders and their horses. This book helps me get closer to my horse and sit on him with more confidence and finesse. Thank you, Janice."
"Thank you for your extraordinary book and DVD! I have been riding with back pain for years and searching for a solution. I have been studying Alexander, Feldenkrais, Rolphing, yoga and more in my quest to find a solution without success - until finding your teaching! What an incredible difference your material has made to me and my horse. We are finally riding in harmony and pain-free thanks to you! We are so very grateful!!"
The book was such a success that Janice was driven to create a companion DVD. Janice realized that while many people can learn from a book, a lot of people are visual learners, like Janice herself. She created the DVD, "Pilates for the Dressage Rider." Half Halt Press published it in 2008. The DVD explains Janice's movement theories and gives two real-time workouts, as well as clear and concise explanations of the exercises. Janice hoped this DVD, in conjunction with the book, would help educate riders to create happier partnerships.
Amazon DVD Verified Purchase Quotes:
"If you ride and think you may need to start some kind of an exercise program to improve your riding, this is the DVD for you. It covers most Pilates floor exercises and even some on the horse. If you are committed to being a fit rider, this DVD can help get you there. Your horse will appreciate it!"
"The DVD is nicely done. It's clear, concise and easy on the eye. It takes you from basic moves to advanced ones. You choose which section to focus on."
"I highly recommend this DVD. You won't be disappointed."
Nine Pilates Essentials for the Balanced Rider DVD
As Janice spent time traveling and teacher her work, she realized that while mat exercises are wonderful, exercising with Pilates equipment, a hallmark of a good pilates studio, helps riders “feel” the correct muscles both easier and much more quickly.
This led Janice to experiment with the Pilates Magic Circle. Using the magic circle in classical ways as well as in ways Janice created (with the help of Pilates for Dressage® Associate Instructor Heidrun Haltersdottir) to replicate exercises on the equipment, led to the development of the DVD, "Nine Pilates Essentials for Balanced Rider." Trafalgar Square Books published it in 2010. Janice's hope for this DVD: Targeting more specificially the correct musculature.
"...there are plenty of other Pilates programs out there, but I think this one has an edge, zeroing in on the rider's biomechanics, which link to the horse's and his balance, which is what dressage is about."
"If you are looking to improve your seat, this DVD can help!"
Amazon DVD Verified Purchase Quotes:
"Not only does this DVD help with overall skills, it can spot-train “lazy, unconnected” muscles that are essential to riding. Now a rider can learn how to activate the tricep independent of and supported with the core/spine. The DVD has revolutioned the HOW!"
"I like this workout because it is doable - even for someone who isn't in great shape yet - and I can feel it the next day in my muscles. It also has a helpful section that explains the sections of muscles in your body, in case they refer to something and you aren't a fitness expert who already knows the muscular system. Janice talks about the muscles in relationship to riding, which, for a relatively new rider, is helpful as well."