Bonnie is a life-size electronic horse or horse riding simulator, made by Racewood in the United Kingdom. She is programmed to perform all Grand Prix dressage movements and comes with an interactive screen, so you can ride a dressage test in an arena or go for a ride in the Park.
We understand that Bonnie is one of only two Grand Prix Racewood riding simulators in Australia and the only one in a riding school.
Bonnie is great for beginners, to introduce them to safely mounting and dismounting and the correct position. Beginners can also work on their position and balance at walk, trot and canter. The beauty of Bonnie is that while you are trotting or cantering, your instructor is standing right beside you and can adjust your position if needed.
Bonnie is also very useful for more experienced riders, providing on-screen feedback about your position and aids. You can practice a particular movement over and over, until you get it right. Unlike a real horse, Bonnie doesn’t get tired, bored or frustrated. You’re welcome to bring your own coach with you to Sydney Horse when you have a horse riding lesson on Bonnie – you can also take away a print out of Bonnie’s assessment of your horse riding.
There are some great YouTube clips available showing the dressage riding simulator – we especially like the series made by Barbro Ask-Upmark, Danish Olympic bronze medallist. Here’s a sample: