Jennifer Derksen

Level II Mastery RWYM Coach

Canadian EQ Saddle Science Ambassador

Unlock Your Riding Potential

You have a great manner and your voice works really well. You don't overload people and work well with their language. I reckon you inspire alot of trust from your riders
- Mary Wanless


Photo Credit: Joan Larson

I began riding as an adult and was repeatedly discouraged by traditional riding instruction until I discovered Mary Wanless, a riding coach and author of several books, from the U.K. who’s focus is rider biomechanics and who has brilliantly broken down the skill of riding into bite size chunks. Prior to this, I was led to believe that ‘riding well’ was only for those riders we deem ‘talented’ and that the elusive ability to develop ‘feel’ was something you could never learn if you weren’t lucky enough to be born with it. I now know with certainty, nothing could be further from the truth!

Through my extensive training and subsequent certification with Mary Wanless I have developed a critical eye for biomechanical issues in the rider which directly impacts the way the horse carries himself. My coaching style is positive, kind and supportive enabling riders to learn and make remarkable improvements within a single lesson. I have a wide variety of ways to provide feedback both verbally, through the use of hands on resistances and other training aids. These tools ensure you will understand what it is your body should be doing and feeling and your horse will respond accordingly. There truly is no greater feeling than to have your horse in the ‘seeking reflexes’.

I coach students of all ages and skill levels and repeatedly experience the incredible results attained when the rider gains an awareness of the biomechanically correct use of their body to positively influence their horse.

Certifications

Riding with Mary since 2002

  • Level I Mastery Certification in 2013 
  • Level II Mastery in 2017

I have recently begun my Level III certification process, and have completed the first step, giving Mary Wanless herself a lesson.

Experience in Mary’s biomechanical methods includes:

  • The honor of being a working student for two months at Mary’s own Overdale Equestrian Center in the U.K. in 2004.
  • Attended Teachers Training clinics with Mary here in Canada in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and in 2012 at Dancing Horse Farm in Dayton, Ohio.
  • Completed RWYM Advanced Teacher Training in the UK in 2013 and 2016
  • Additional Teachers Training courses in lateral work and jumping in 2014.
  • Back to the UK in the spring of 2018 for another Lateral Teachers Training and a week of training with Ali Wakelin, one of Mary’s most senior coaches in England.
  • I completed the first ever, virtual Advanced Teacher Training with Mary and RWYM coaches from around the world November 2020.
  • Ride in clinics with Mary annually in the US, most recently in February of 2020 in Louisiana and regularly with other local instructors to improve my own riding.
  • Mary has invited me to co-teach with her at my last three riding clinics, giving me additional experience under her expert eye.
  • I have a keen interest in both horse biomechanics and bodywork and have completed several equine bodywork courses including, most recently, Level II Equine Craniosacral therapy with Dr. Sandi Howlett.

I reside on Vancouver Island, British Columbia with my husband and our horses.

Hosting a Rider Mechanic Clinic with Jennifer Derksen

Level II Mastery Ride With Your Mind Coach


Due to the constant fluctuations in COVID outbreaks/variants and subsequent travel restrictions, all 2021 clinics are currently on hold.


Watch my The Rider Mechanic FaceBook page for clinic announcements or contact me at: theridermechanic@gmail.com for more info or to discuss bookings.

  • Fees
    • Coaching fee is $1000.00/day (includes HST)
    • Maximum of 8 private 45 minute lessons.
    • Mileage to clinics is charged at .45 /km round trip. Eg. clinics 100km from my farm would add 90$ to their clinic fee (divide by number of riders).
    • Flight (if required), ferry costs, accommodations and meals will also be covered by the host clinic.
    • Auditors are encouraged and welcome @ 35$/day or 60$ for the clinic duration if multiple days. These fees are retained by the clinic host. Many auditors will want to ride in any subsequent clinics.
  • (Depending where and who is hosting the clinic, the following expenses may need to be worked into the cost of your clinic).

    • Clinician’s fees, travel expenses plus accommodations and meals
    • Arena and/or portable toilet rental
    • Cost of advertising the clinic (I will supply you with a promotional poster you can add your clinic info to)
    • Liability insurance (I carry valid coaching insurance)
    • Cost of lunch, snacks or other meals, if included in the clinic
    • Miscellaneous clinic expenses
    • I strongly recommend that hosts require payment in advance to reserve a spot in the clinic
    • Full payment is suggested, but at minimum secure a deposit which is non-refundable unless the rider finds their own replacement. Make your cancellation policy clear at the outset
    • I encourage auditors as they often want to ride in the next clinic
    • Maintain a waiting list, in case of cancellations.
    • Indoor or covered ring is preferred, in case of bad weather but is not mandatory.
    • Stabling for horses.
    • Lesson horses (if available) for participants who cannot bring a horse.
    • When travelling in my personal vehicle I bring my own speaker system with wireless microphone, only requiring a power outlet. Ideal if this can be provided when teaching away (e.g. I fly in to the location)
    • Washrooms or the availability of a portable toilet
    • I enjoy taking questions from participants and auditors during lunch and breaks and can do many impromptu dismounted activities.
    • List of nearby restaurants and hotels for any out-of-town participants
    • Power hook up for those staying in their trailers
    • Consider liability insurance to cover the organizer and the host facility. As mentioned, I do carry my own coaching insurance, but a quick call to your insurance broker can make sure all avenues are covered.
    • Once we have agreed on a date(s) for your clinic, I will advertise it on my website and Facebook page, free of charge
    • You can also advertise your clinic online, locally, in local tack stores, on your stable website, and on social media.
    • I carry insurance/liability release forms which can be signed prior to each participants ride
    • Keep records of participants who have signed up and payment status
    • Compile information to be sent to clinic participants (schedule, directions, other information)
    • Create a clinic schedule and assign riders to riding times and/or groups. Please send schedule to me for approval before distributing to riders.
    • ALL RIDERS MUST WEAR AN APPROVED HELMET. NO EXCEPTIONS

Virtual Livestream Lessons

Virtual lessons are $85 and payable to theridermechanic@gmail.com upon booking.
A block of 4 lessons can be purchased for $300

Using a robot camera such as Pivo, Pixio or Solo Shot you can arrange to have a virtual lesson in real time

I am happy to work with whatever system you are using. We can set up a time to ensure all the bugs have been ironed out prior to your lesson at no charge, once you have booked and paid for your lesson. If using Pivo, contact me for a straightforward setup checklist

For additional tips using PivoMeet go to help.getpivo.com
  • Please wear form fitting clothing and light colored breeches.
  • Film in good lighting and attempt to keep both the horse and rider in view.

E-Lessons

E-lessons are $125 and payable upon submission of your videos to theridermechanic@gmail.com

I use a coaching app to review, analyze and provide meaningful verbal and visual feedback that you can come back to for review over and over.

Up to three videos can be sent via Messenger App, keeping each under 3 mins. (I only need one video to provide you with lots of feedback so don’t feel you have to send three)

If you are new to Mary’s work or her coaching, please start with you and your horse in walk on both sides, coming directly toward camera and directly away. This is important to address your lineup and any asymmetries before moving to the faster gaits.

  • Please wear form fitting clothing and light colored breeches.
  • Film in good lighting and attempt to keep both the horse and rider in view.

Canadian Brand Ambassador
Associate Saddle Fitter


When I first tried a saddle from EQ Saddle Science during the summer of 2020, I documented the experience because it was such an unusually good one. You’ll find the story on my The Rider Mechanic FaceBook page. I was, and continue to be so impressed with the science, quality, and service behind this company and its founder, Carmi Weininger, that I’ve decided to become a part of this amazing team as their Canadian Ambassador. I’ve always been about putting the horse first, and the ethics and values of EQ Saddle Science align perfectly with my own. I couldn’t have found a better “fit”!

I have nearly completed the essential training modules required to become a fully certified saddle fitter with EQ, and have already achieved preliminary certification as an associate saddle fitter. This means I have the knowledge, support, and inventory on hand in BC to provide and support test rides of these saddles throughout Canada.

I currently have several different saddle models available for EQ’s innovative “Two-Week Test Ride”, which is the free (except shipping) riding test that is mandatory before a purchase. If you’re interested in learning more, or having the free trial, I would be thrilled to help you get started. Inventory changes often - sometimes daily - but I am able to offer most of the dressage models and at least one jumping saddle for Canadians to test.

If you’re curious and want to know more, here are some resources:

Testimonials

... I had always been taught to sit up straight. Period. You changed all that. In fact, I don't think there is a single part of my body that you did not adjust. It was new, uncomfortable, and hard work. But I could not deny the results. As I worked hard to adjust my body, every change was reflected in my horse, in how he held himself, in how he relaxed, and in how he instinctively moved into that ever-elusive working posture we all seek... I watched all of the other participants, too, and they all enjoyed the same results. With your method and coaching, riders learn to ride their horses, and not simply sit on them. It's simple and subtle, and yet it's huge and a real game-changer.
- Kevin


Contact

Get in touch if you have any questions.