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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Marengo the "IndoorHorse"

By Josep Closas

My name is Josep Closas and I own IndoorHorse. I want to thank Wooden Horse Corporation the opportunity afforded me to explain how I use "Marengo", my Equicizer purchased earlier this year and named after Napoleon's horse.
For thirty years I’ve dedicated myself professionally to computers and since almost ten, to horses as well. My partner has an equestrian center and I spend part of my time teaching riding in the family center and in a vocational school near Barcelona, Spain. Three years ago I opened, an online equestrian training portal and earlier this year, coinciding with the arrival of my Equicizer, I inaugurated IndoorHorse, an indoor training center in Barcelona that uses "Marengo" as the main focus of its activities.

Perhaps it is my professional fascination with computers that has led me to build gadgets that I used in my classes, such as an artificial hand to teach nailing horseshoes or a reins contact simulator. I have always been interested in the simulators, and when I discovered the Equicizer, I thought I could finally implement my dream: to open an equestrian training center for continuing education courses for professionals, and to teach beginners, within a controlled environment, the theory of riding as well as some aspects of their practice; such as the position to be taken by a rider when riding and the mechanization of the various movements associated with the horse gaits.

IndoorHorse also offers other services related with training or rehabilitation of riders, assisted therapies for people with functional disabilities, and programs to restore lost confidence after a fall or injury. All these activities are always led by a professional.

The big enhancement that incorporates my Equicizer consists of a television screen in front of the horse that shows training sessions specially designed, training videos, or recordings made with a GoPro type camera of people riding different disciplines: horseback trail riding, dressage, eventing and show jumping. On the television screen you can also show videos of children playing and riding, or even cartoons if the situation requires. A final compliment that is also very useful is a mirror opposite the rider that allows him (or her) to observe and correct the position taken when riding. These tools are also very useful for correcting bad habits in experienced riders, such as heels in wrong position, how to hold the reins or lack of balance when galloping in suspension.

IndoorHorse has a complete equestrian syllabus with sample videos of the different procedures and concepts: cleaning and preparation of the horse; behavior; equipment; biomechanics of the horse; feeding; veterinary; etc. The combination of theory, coupled with the possibility of practicing with "Marengo", offers many possibilities to people who for some kind of limitation would not be very likely to ride a real horse. Through several sessions, many of these people will acquire the necessary confidence and a good base of knowledge that will allow them to join the riding lessons of a conventional equestrian center.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Good Luck Syd! - 2016 Paralympics

We recently received another update from our friend, Equicizer owner & supporter, Sydney Collier, on her journey to Rio to compete in the Paralympics. We first met Syd and her mom, Anna, back in 2013 when she picked up her Equicizer, Wyburn, from our shop in Norwalk, Ohio. (Pictured right - Equicizer owner and creator Frankie Lovato, with Syd aboard our Equicizer "Brownie" and her mother, Anna, during their visit to our shop)

With many years of hard work behind her, Syd qualified for the US Equestrian Team with her mount, Rosie, and she has been keeping us updated on her journey to Rio thus far! (You can read Syd's previous blog, last month, by clicking here.)

By Sydney Collier

Well guys the count down is officially on!!! 5 days [from today, August 27th] until we leave to go to training camp in Ocala, Florida!!! Can't believe it! Time went by so slow in July and now it's flying by; I'm so excited! I'm already packing up all my things in anticipation! This past weekend I did my final show with Rosie before Rio. It was so great to get into the ring one last time before we head overseas! The show made me more confident than ever in Rosie and my abilities. So excited to represent our country on the biggest stage in the world! So proud of the US already! Over 100 medals! Can't wait to get over to Rio and take in the whole experience with my team mates! The whole thing feels so surreal right now, I don't think it will really hit me until we board that plane headed to Brazil. If you check out my athlete page on Facebook, I'll keep you updated and I'll do my best to post my ride times and where to watch my rides on there. Thank you all so much for your incredible support! :)
Shown above, Syd & Teammates prior to leaving the USA.
Syd landed in Rio a couple of days ago and, alongside her teammates, she's settling in and gearing up for her competitions. We wish Syd, Rosie and all of Team USA the best of luck as they represent in the 2016 Paralympics!