Fitness training for Equestrians
If you compete with your horse, you’ll be a better team in the show ring if you’re in good physical condition. That doesn’t mean you need to be able to run a full or half marathon, but a cross training program of cardiovascular, stretching, core and strength workouts will provide the conditioning needed to stay focused and flexible when you ride.
Although riding several horses a day will help get you in shape, riding itself isn’t enough. Exercising off the horse can help with posture, alignment, improve balance and coordination. And, when you’re toned and flexible, your horse can understand your aids better.
Tips for Cross Training workouts:
* Commit to 30-40 minutes a day, 3 days or more a week
* Hill repeats of running to build strength and cardiovascular stamina
* Lunges with or without weights
* Core workouts to improve spine strength, back and abdominals
* Inner and outer thigh repetitions
* Yoga and Pilates to develop core muscles, balance and flexibility
A regular fitness routine, other than riding or regular barn chores will keep you from hitting a fitness plateau and reduce boredom. Regular massage therapy and chiropractics for you, as well as your horse can help prevent injuries and increase flexibility and circulation.