By Izzy Feinstein
Just as you perform exercises with your horse such as grid exercises and trot poles to help them build up their strength, it is just as important to build up your own strength and stamina by exercising in and out of the saddle! Here are some exercises that will help you get fit and stay fit to ride:
- Yoga not only relieves stress, but also has many benefits such as increasing flexibility and posture. Sign up for a yoga class at your local gym or yoga studio, or sign up for an subscription to online classes and practice yoga right from your home or the barn!
- Core strength is a necessity when riding. By strengthening your abdominal muscles, you will notice you are more balanced while riding. Spend 10-15 minutes on a daily basis doing core exercises such as crunches, holding a plank or bridge position, bicycles, and toe taps. Practicing your “two-point” or jumping position on horseback when you are warming up or cooling out your horse every day can also build core strength.
- Performing leg workouts such as squats and wall-sits will improve leg muscle strength which will allow you to more efficiently support your horse, as well as achieve a steady and still leg position.
- Performing cardio exercises such as running outside or on a treadmill, using the elliptical machine, jumping rope, or swimming at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes builds stamina and endurance. This will help you on those long, hot, summer days and when you’ve got lots of rounds to ride.