If you’ve ever ridden horses, you know that it can be hard on you- both physically and mentally. After long days of being out at the barn, I’m always exhausted. Even so, I think being fit has helped me with my riding and horse a lot.
Staying in shape when you are an equestrian is good in many ways. For one, it’s a lot easier on your horse when you can not get ‘left behind’. If you are off balanced, your horse’s back and body will have to work harder to do the same work. Being healthy and strong is also important so that you are able handle strong or uneasy horses. Having enough muscle to hold your heel down can be a necessity to maintain proper position when riding. Maintaining fitness and a healthy lifestyle not only improves your core and muscles, but it helps your position and stamina.
I do volleyball along with riding horses, so I have practice two times a week and I try to work out three. Some exercises that I have found to build my leg muscle are calf lifts, squats (and jumps), and leg curls. Box jumps have also helped my muscles in my legs become stronger.
Your core is probably the most important part of your body when you ride horses. Doing sit ups, crunches, and planks will improve your core (and posture) tremendously. Proper nutrition will make it easier to build muscle in your legs and core.
Cardiovascular fitness may not seem directly related to riding, but it can- and will improve you and your horse’s performance. Being healthy has proven to reduce the rate of injuries and strains… for both you and your horse.
Your strength is important and will help you and you horse.
Written by Abby Budd, aka @dreamerthereiner/@_abby_elizabeth