If there’s any extra time in the day, wouldn’t you rather spend it at the barn among friends…getting fit? I know it’s not exactly the most fun thing you could do at the barn but taking the time, a couple times a week, will have a tremendous benefit to you and your riding.
When I ask horseback riders if they’re working out regularly, I usually get the same response…”there’s no time”.
There are no excuses as to why your not working out. You need to be able to workout anywhere. If you’ve never felt in the saddle the effects from working out, then you do not know what your missing. Everyone lives busy lives but performance depends on physical fitness.
You don’t need that much equipment and doing just a few exercises daily can strengthen the core, legs and arms to help you ride your horse better. Cross training and working out at the barn or stables will make it easier. You don’t need to do plyometrics 3-4 days a week to get stronger and more stable for riding a horse.
Simple exercises like slowly lunging down the barn aisle or rowing with a resistance band wrapped around the horses stall bars. Member workouts are laid out for symmetry development using minimal equipment so that athletes can do them anywhere. There’s two-three groups of exercises in each workout, do all of the groups provided or just one.
Taking the time to get fit will be worthwhile because you get to exercise around animals you love; increasing friendship between you and the animal and among barn mates. They see you working hard and feel positive energy coming from you. Plus, if you can do a quick warm up before you hop in the saddle, your horse will enjoy his warm up better.
Keep your equipment in your tack locker. After putting the horse away, reach in to the tack box for the 5 pound free weights and run though a sequence of arm exercises.
Simple arm sequence
- Bicep curls: 12-15 reps
- Tricep Hammers: 20 reps
- Lateral Raises: 12-15 reps
Try doing 10-12 leg swings on both sides, holding onto the rail or stall door for balance. Do 16-20 walking lunges; dropping the back knee deep for a good stretch in the quadricep. If you have knee problems, keep the back leg straight with heel down while the front thigh bends slightly. Keeps toes in front of knee at all times.
If you think people will talk, ask them to join! Group workouts at the barn are some of the best times. You have to give it a try! It might take some time to get into the habit and have others join you but in the end it is worth it. Usually people start working out when they see you in the saddle and notice the difference. People like to see results and when they see results and you feel results, the benefits will exceed any doubt.