Riding Work Life Balance With Allison Wilson
Allison Wilson has been riding in the hunter/jumper ring for the past 30 years. In her early years she had a very intense riding career, which included helping sell ponies on the circuit, showing in Wellington and Washington, and riding up and down the East Coast. Later on she ran a small lesson farm, teaching beginners through college students. She also helped train off the track thoroughbreds to then sell them as hunters. Allison is now a mother of five and her girls all ride. She has continued teaching and recently opened a small farm in Weston, CT where she teaches special needs children and adults.
Today Allison rides horses that need exercising at various barns and is currently looking for an off the track thoroughbred to live on her personal farm. She plans to bring him/her along with Hylofit as her #1 training tool.
What does a normal week look like for you? Between riding, children, work, etc.
A normal week for me is a little crazy with 5 children. I work part-time at the elementary school next door, I exercise (including yoga or cross fit), and run a small farm. Each of my children plays a sport (most multiple) and they range in ages from 7 to 18. Our eldest just got into Trinity College and hopes to play lacrosse there and the other children all play a little of everything and do after school activities. I am pretty much a taxi service! I do try to ride before the kids get out of school at least 3 times a week. My girls also ride now as much as they can. We will be getting our horses at the house in the spring, after the barn is finished, and then riding will be daily. My husband, who is ex-military, is now in finance and travels for work quite a bit. We live in Weston, CT and are lucky to live very close to the schools and in a small town that has everything you could possibly need, even on those late nights when you forget the chicken is still frozen and you have no other groceries!
Our small farm, Five Little Chicks Farm, is filled with alpacas, goats, chickens, a pig, dogs, a cat and soon horses. Controlled chaos is what I like to call it and FUN! It's always a lot of fun here!
How has your riding changed since using the Hylofit system?
Since Hylofit, I have been able to ride less (which is amazing!) but more efficiently. I love to compare it to a device any of us would wear for our exercise and heart rate, like Whoop or Fitbit. My husband is an avid Whoop user and athlete and he uses his data to get better results. And that is exactly what I do with Hylofit. I can see that sometimes I am working too hard or even may need more sleep or to hit the gym! I can see when my horse I'm riding that day is nervous, tired, up or just lazy. At one point I was riding a horse consistently who was trained in dressage and I am a hunter rider. To be able to see the change from one ride to another is astonishing. I can see how nervous he is when I am nervous, but when I am calm, then he is calm. I could even tell in real-time that when my body was forward in my saddle (like a hunter rider) and not sitting back and down (more in dressage) then his heart rate was raised. He is also a little spooky and I was quickly able to figure out which corner or where his heart rate was raised. Even before I got on some days, I almost knew what the ride would look like and I could prepare for it.
Why do you think it’s important to train with heart rate for both your horses and yourself ?
Going forward I am so excited to use Hylofit at my own small farm. Hylofit isn't just for the professional or the rider that trains daily for shows. It could be used at the backyard barn or even children's lessons. I will use Hylofit not only with the horse off the track (that I plan to adopt), but also with the ponies that will teach the kids here. My 11 year old daughter will even use Hylofit with her pony. She will be able to see where her pony is during the shows, if he is nervous, if she is nervous, etc....I think this is so important for riders because after knowing this information, we will be able to control it more. Using Hylofit in the lessons will help me understand where my children get most nervous and where the ponies do as well. It will help me make the farm a safer and more comfortable place to be. For me, I am very excited be able to see the heart rate of my horse and myself in real time and to achieve a closer bond with my horses.
The Hylofit system is now available for $349 plus a membership plan.