In The Saddle With Alexa Pessoa
If you are familiar with the amateur jumper division then you may know Alexa Pessoa. Alexa has been competing for most of her life and is well-versed in the training required to compete at a high level. This summer Alexa started working with Hylofit, using it to better understand the impact of her training. We reached out to Alexa to understand how she has incorporated Hylofit into her daily routine and how she uses it to prepare for the stress of competition.
How would you describe your riding career?
I would say that I have an unusual perspective on the sport. I classify myself as an amateur rider but I am coming from a very professional perspective. Although I do not accept money for my rides, every other aspect of my relationship with the horses would be classified as a professional operation along with my husband. My career has had many ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys through the years. There have been times that I have won Grand Prix and other times when jumping around 1.30 took a lot of determination. Having my two babies always meant lots of time out of the ring and therefore a slow and steady return back to a high level of jumping. At the moment, I am really enjoying being back in the ring with my horses and have my eye on jumping many more big fences in the future!
How does Hylofit help you prepare for a competition?
Hylofit provides excellent, objective, real-time feedback on our horses and ourselves. In the weeks leading up to a show, we like to monitor how the horses are performing and developing at home. It has also been a great accountability tool for ourselves as well as for riders that may help us exercise the horses when we are away.
When it comes to competing, how does Hylofit help you to better understand your anxiety as well as your horse's anxiety?
The information that we were presented with when we first hooked up to Hylofit was truly shocking. Though we may have suspected that the horses were anxious in the show ring or worried to make a mistake, we never would have known the physical toll that was taken until we used Hylofit. The levels they were hitting showed us that we must reevaluate how we prepare them for the ring and look for ways to better manage that stress. It also showed us the difference between bad behavior and genuine fear and reinforced the different ways to address those things.
For me personally, the same thing applies. I was really surprised to see the levels that my heart rate was hitting in competition and that lead me to evaluate my own mental preparation for the ring. I have found that meditation or just taking some time to go over my plan before I ride helps me stay calm and feel more prepared. The first few times I used Hylofit at the show I could actually see my heart rate get higher and higher in the hours leading up to my class!
Hylofit is delighted to be partnered with Alexa Pessoa. And we are excited to share her stories with you about her breakthrough moments to come.
The Hylofit system is now available for $349 plus a membership plan.