Janneke and Garry: Our mission is to improve rider vitality

3 min.

Janneke and Garry are certified personal trainers from the Netherlands, who spent years specialising in the training of riders within all disciplines, from professionals to amateurs. Garry has a background as a professional football player and Janneke studied to become a kindergarten teacher before she got her personal trainer and nutritionist license. Their mission is to improve riders’ vitality worldwide. 

Full focus on the equestrian sports

Garry knew para-dressage rider Glasten Krapels from the gym and helped him with some exercises. When he noticed the successful results, Krapels mentioned this to Dressage stable Van Baalen, who invited One Switch for a clinic about training and work-rest ratio. Garry and Janneke started personal training with the Olympic dressage rider Marlies van Baalen and more riders came their way, which led to their decision on focussing entirely on equestrian sports.

Janneke observing a rider during a training session (Photo: Nicola Hageman).

Neither of the two trainers comes from an equestrian background. Janneke rode horses as a child but never at a competitive level and whilst Garry was a top athlete, he was a football player and not an equestrian. Therefore, they had to learn a lot about horses and riding. They had the opportunity to observe and analyse at Dressuurstal van Baalen, which taught them a lot about how the rider’s body functions and how to train it optimally.

Horse welfare and sustainability

There is a growing awareness about horse welfare, and Garry and Janneke’s expertise has been in demand. As a rider, it is crucial to be fit and have no blockages in the body. If you have an imbalance in muscle tension and coordination and get on a horse, you will send signals before even starting. The horse is constantly compensating for your asymmetry, which could lead to injuries for both the rider and the horse.

More harmony and confidence

There are several benefits to training with One Switch. “Horse riding is an intensive sport where the strain on the body is very high. The risk of injury is present. This can be minimised by training your own body well. It also helps with communication between the horse and rider. When a rider is straight, they can ride their horse better and the combination will have more fun in what they do. This leads to more harmony. Finally, the rider gains more self-confidence because they realise, they know how their body works and how to use it. This enables them to train without getting too sore, and they can go into a competition with more confidence.”

Janneke den Otter and Olympic Dressage rider Marlies van Baalen during a personal training session. (Photo: Nicola Hageman). 

Good rider vitality is the new norm

Today One Switch has helped over 5.000 riders improve their vitality amongst Olympic and amateur riders from all disciplines, ages and levels. Riders like Marlies van Baalen, Renate van Uytert and Imke Bartels train with One Switch on a weekly basis. “Our mission is to ensure that riders are fit enough to ride their horses as well as possible and not complicate the horse’s movement. Rider vitality is becoming the new norm in equestrian sports. More and more national and international organisations of equestrian sports are setting up initiatives with One Switch for the education of riders and trainers on equestrian vitality.

Sharing knowledge on equestrian vitality

“We can never provide all riders in the Netherlands, let alone worldwide, with just the two of us. That’s why we decided to combine all our knowledge and set up our own training programmes in the One Switch online academy.This is an online learning environment where students can specialise themselves in the subject “equestrian vitality” and train on their rider fitness at their own pace and in their own time. Besides the programmes from One Switch, they have also build up their own education in which they educate others to become an ambassador and specialist on equestrian vitality. Read more about the Equestrian Vitality Coach Education here 

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