I started my pathway to certification in the Testt (Thomas equestrian symmetry types and tests) method with a 2-day residential training event at The Unicorn Trust on 22nd-23rd October. Developed by elite equestrian physiotherapist Andy Thomas, Testt is a system of identifying patterns of rider asymmetries and how to improve them.
I’ve held regular workshops with Andy for my clients to benefit from his expertise, and now I’m keen to learn more about it so I can help my clients benefit every time they ride with me. The course consisted of a significant amount of anatomy and theory, with a particular focus on the pelvis of the rider. We were then introduced to the types of asymmetry and shown a variety of ways to determine which type and exercises we can use to help improve function.
We also learned about the use of kinesio tape to help improve rider proprioception (the body’s ability to perceive its own position in space) and to help us as coaches guide riders to the right posture and feel. We then had the opportunity to work with a variety of riders, both on the flat and over fences, trying out the different techniques under Andy’s watchful eye.
Having worked with Andy for some time in advance of the course, I was already familiar with how effective his work is, but I now have a greater ability to help my riders benefit during a ridden coaching session. I am now writing up a range of case studies to be followed by an in-person assessment by Andy which, if sufficient, will lead to me being Testt Certified, one of a maximum of 18 coaches from the first group.
The Testt process has been developed over the past 15 years based on Andy’s work with thousands of riders, ranging from happy hackers to Olympic medallists. Testt is a structured assessment and correction process that identifies rider asymmetry on and off horse before creating symmetry and correct movement in the rider to then allow improved movement of both the rider and horse. Find out more at www.testt.co.uk.