Exercise For Horseback Riding
Exercise For Horseback Riding
Exercise for Horseback Riding
Exercise for Horseback Riding:
While riding is great exercise in itself, it also helps to supplement that exercise. You'll feel better and you will make your horse's job easier.
Why is a fit rider better for a horse? Compare holding a small child that's asleep compared to when it is awake and sitting up in your arms. Chances are the child asleep will feel like a sack of potatoes, and while awake will feel like it weighs less because it is holding itself up. A rider who is fit and toned will feel lighter on the horse's back compared to a rider of the same weight who is more sloppy in the saddle.
Poor posture, muscle imbalances, and general lack of fitness can make riding less enjoyable, and may lead to less time in the saddle. Not being able to use certain muscles properly will make cuing and controlling your horse more difficult.
You can also affect your horse's way of going and the soundness of his back by being unfit and unbalanced.
If you only get out to ride occasionally or do major barn cleaning on weekends, staying fit can help you avoid the weekend warrior syndrome—aches and pains from using muscles not accustomed to the job you suddenly ask them to do.
Remember to start slow when beginning any exercise, including riding and if you've had any injuries or health issues to talk to your doctor first.
Whether you're out on trail, in the show ring or power cleaning the barn you can increase your stamina by strengthening your heart muscle.
A 13 minute program 3 times per week can help increase your cardio fitness.
It's good to know if you are working hard enough to be a benefit. Long distance riders and eventers keep careful track of their horse's heart rate so they know they aren't over-working them. We can do the same for ourselves. Here's how to Find your Target Heart Rate. If you are mathematically challenged like me, here's a calculator from MayoClinic.com
Jumping rope is a really great way to get a cardio workout even if you can't get to the gym, plus it may make you feel like a kid again: Cardiovascular Exercise - Jump Your Way To A Great Cardiovascular Workout From Hugo Rivera, your guide to Bodybuilding.
Learn What Makes a Workout Cardio, From Marguerite Ogle, guide to Pilates.
Understand that stretching before any exercise is a good idea to warm up your muscles and prevent strains. Apparently this is not so, as we've learned in Stretching - What the Research Shows From Elizabeth Quinn, guide to Sports Medicine. But that doesn't mean stretching shouldn't be a part of your overall exercise plan. You just have to learn How To Stretch Out Properly from Jonathan Cluett, M.D., guide to Orthopedics.
Lower back pain affects a lot of us and a supple back is essential for cuing your horse and staying with the motion. Stretching Exercises for your Back from Laura Inverarity, D.O., guide to Physical Therapy offers safe effective stretches.
Walking or riding, who wouldn't want to look thinner? Loosen Up - Look Thinner - Walk Better from Wendy Bumgardner, guide to Walking identifies some common posture problems and offers solutions to help you stand or sit correctly and loosen stiff muscles.
Exercise balls are good it to stretch and do core exercises. In addition to stretching and strengthening muscles, exercise balls can help refine your sense of balance — an important aspect of riding. You can buy exercise balls inexpensively, but You will be much happier with one bought through a sports therapist that was sized for your length of leg.
Stength Training is what sometimes we have to force ourselves to do, but when we am consistent we do notice the benefits — lifting saddles and grain bag, and cleaning hooves becomes easier.
Even the most busy among us should have time for this quick strength building routine.
Other Exercise Options:
Pilates: Marguerite Ogle's Pilates Blog discusses programs specfically for equestrians.
Yoga: Yoga can be as strenuous or gentle as you require. You may be able to find yoga on horseback clinics in your area.
Tai Chi: Not only does it benefit body strength and suppleness but mind too, as the focus required to do the sets becomes a moving mediation. If you plan to compete learning to focus is essential.
Martial Arts : Karate and Tae Kwon Do.