The Modern Equestrian: Listen To The Heart

Photos - Isabelle Bright (The Modern Equestrian

Isabelle Bright is a competitive hunter/jumper rider who never predicted that she would be considered an influencer one day. Isabelle originally started blogging because of her dissatisfaction with the items that were available in her local tack store. But now she takes to social media to discover new brands and products that she is inspired to seek out, try, and share with others.

“I love the traditional aspects of the sport, but I’m always looking for ways to implement more modern elements, the Hylofit being one of them.” – Isabelle Bright

As for her fitness, Isabelle has an interesting exercise routine, both in and out of the saddle, to stay on top her riding. While not in the irons, she enjoys hiking at Griffith Park in Los Angeles, CA, which has over 50 miles of both hiking and riding trails. She also stretches every day, as she has found that stretching has helped with her riding.

“My heels don’t always bend down as far as I’d like, so I try to do lots of calf and hamstring stretches to help elongate my legs.”  – Isabelle Bright

While in the saddle, Isabelle uses her warm up to slowly start putting the pieces of her body and her horse’s body together. Her trainer likes to encourage the horses to start long and low and then gradually ask them to frame up and start using their body. This is when she starts to work on her sitting trot to help open up the hips.

What were your first thoughts about Hylofit and using heart rate to track the performance and wellbeing of both you and your horse?

My first thought was to find out if we were working hard enough. With my current work schedule, I’m not exercising as much as I’d like, so I want to make sure my workouts are as beneficial as possible. With Chance, I wanted to make sure he wasn’t being pushed too hard. Surprisingly, we are both finding a happy medium of intensity levels on the flat and over fences.

Not all of your rides should be at top intensity. How does the Hylofit system prevent you from putting undue stress on both yourself and Chance?

Since I now have a few weeks of Hylofit data to glean information from, I know that higher jumps definitely equal higher intensity levels. My heart rate almost mimics his. When we are trotting and going over fences our heart rates are working at a high-intensity level. When we are in a resting period, both our heart rates drop fairly quickly. Rest is crucial for both of us on higher intensity days.

“When we are resting or waiting our turn between courses, Chance’s heart rate can drop dramatically so I know just how crucial it is for him to keep walking during resting periods.” - Isabelle Bright


How has understanding Chance’s heart rate in real-time helped you to eliminate guesswork?

Overall, I’d say he’s working just how he needs to be. Not too lazy, and not too hot. He recovers quickly from higher intensity activities, such as extended periods at the trot during warm-up and over higher fences. This means I have to make sure he keeps moving even during resting periods, so his heart rate doesn’t drop too much, and he has to rebuild again.

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