DVD Review: Pilates Essentials for Balanced Riders

A Magic Circle Workout

By Janice Dulak

57 minutes, available at dulakpilates.com.

Reviewed by Mary Daniels 

This hour of fascination teaches you a language that your horse immediately understands: your body language. In her DVD, Janice Dulak shows you the “nine essential body parts that are the key to speaking to your horse with sophistication and eloquence.” Yes, I know, 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 all about. 

Thirty years as a professional dancer, 20 years as a Pilates instructor and 10 years as a dressage rider have taught Dulak “to live fully in her body” and use it as a communication tool. What she has learned, she shares with others either at her Dulak Pilates Center in Champaign, Illinois, or in the clinics she gives all over the country.

Dulak’s DVD shows you how to use the Magic Circle in a workout that trains specific body parts in ways that can instantly apply to your riding. What so fascinated me was how she has divided the human body into three major parts: the core or abdominals, the pelvis and hip joints, and the shoulder girdle. Then she divides them into three more subdivisions. Then she demonstrates the exercises utilizing the Magic Circle to create resistance in each area so you can target and feel the correct muscles. 

Dulak says she developed many of the exercises on the DVD specifically for dressage riders. “Good Pilates creates long, strong muscles,” she says. Don’t forget to read the testimonials from dressage riders who were able to finally ride without back pain because of these Pilates exercises (dulakpilates.com). 

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