TheraPlate, the Official Therapy Plate of US Equestrian, has once again found an exceptionally fit, healthy, and athletic horse at the 2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida. Pia Fortmüller’s Balesteros, a gorgeous 11-year-old, 17-hand Westfalen gelding by Belissimo, was presented with the latest TheraPlate Peak Performance Award at the international winter show series. Pia Fortmüller and Balesteros have been together for three and a half years, and this year is their first time competing at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The pair recently took second place in both the FEI Intermediate A and FEI Intermediate B.
“I’m loving it,” says Fortmüller of her time in Florida. She competes for Canada, and has great hopes for Balesteros. “He’s really green at all the Grand Prix stuff,” she says. “But through this experience he’s getting more confident. That’s why all these shows are fantastic. You have the options to get your horses out there and expose them and grow their confidence.”
Balesteros was chosen for the TheraPlate Peak Performance Award due to his athletic physique. Fitness is a top priority for TheraPlate, so the company helps horses and riders attain fitness through its easy-to-use platforms, which can build muscle, strengthen bone density, and increase circulation. Fortmüller says that nutrition and cross training are important components of her horse’s training program. “He’s a powerhouse,” she said. “When that power works for you, it’s pretty magical.”
Fortmüller grew up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and was introduced to horses by her parents. As she got older, she trained with Albrecht Heidemann and Canadian Olympian Leslie Reid. In 2006, she won both team and individual gold at the prestigious North American Young Rider Championships. In 2012, she was named reserve rider for the Canadian Olympic team in London. When she won the TheraPlate Peak Performance Award in Florida, she had just returned to the U.S. from eight years of training in Germany. She is now on her way from Florida back to Calgary, where she will again train with Heidemann. Her goal for this year is to get Balesteros to Grand Prix and bring along her other three young horses. Fortmüller was proud to accept the TheraPlate Peak Performance Award trophy and ribbon for her horse’s condition.
By standing on a TheraPlate, horses can reduce pain, speed the healing of injuries, decrease the chance of future injuries, and warm up or cool down before riding, amongst many other benefits. The company offers therapy platforms for horses, humans, and pets. It is not surprising that TheraPlate Revolution Therapy Platforms are a staple in the routines of many internationally successful dressage riders, such as Debbie McDonald, Kasey Perry-Glass, Adrienne Lyle, and Heather Blitz.
At the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, TheraPlate set up a free Therapy Zone with a human TheraPlate, available for anyone to use. The TheraPlate Therapy Zone is located across from the show office. Riders enjoy stopping by to stand on it and look at the photos and testimonials of top riders who are TheraPlate Brand Ambassadors that cover the walls.