3 Fitness Truths
working out as an equestrian
Growing up as an equestrian, there’s only been one goal; to be an effective rider with a good position. Other sports I played became easy second to riding and being an equestrian is the motivation to be fit. To feel what a really good ride is and to be able to fly over fences or canter out on trail is all the incentive a rider needs to workout.
You either perform well on your horse or you need to listen to your trainer to help figure out how to ride better. It’s the job of a horseback rider to fix what’s happening with the animal you’re riding.
As an equestrian, you are responsible for your own self carriage every stride. This takes physical coordination, stamina, balance and core strength. The truth is, to be the best rider on a horse, you’ll need to workout to help develop your self carriage.
Riding doesn’t count as your workout. After a while, the body adapts to the riding lifestyle and activity. If you don’t do the exercises then there will be no increase of muscular endurance. No matter where you are, you must find some space to practice some exercises. The body needs conditioning other than the wear and tear that happens when you ride.
It’s not impossible to be a great rider with no other training but for the average person, our bodies need physical help. This sport is competitive yes, but the animals are becoming more athletic and self carriage is easier when you have the abilities to ride a dynamic horse.
Your physical conditioning depends on what you kind of riding you want to do. Not all riders have to workout 5 times a week, but doing a handful of exercises 2-3 days can help lengthen and strength a riders stability. The truth is that you can just ride horses or you can ride horses while trying to increase your athletic ability; the choice is all up to each individual.
Not all activity is beneficial. Those who think that any exercise is good exercise, don’t understand what the body goes through on a daily basis riding horses.
For the average person who doesn’t ride horses on a weekly basis, any activity is good activity but horseback riders are structurally different. If you allow the weaker muscles to get stressed from riding and working out, you can cause injuries for yourself.
Equestrians tighter muscles are different from a runners, bicyclist, rower, swimmer and pretty much any other sport. We have a horse to sit on and stay on while they move. And they are animals so we don’t always know how they will move. For our bodies to stay on and anticipate the horses movement, our muscles stabilize the body. These stabilizer muscles get tight and if equestrians push themselves incorrectly through exercise, those tight muscles start to have major problems.
The last truth for training equestrians is that you have to condition your body for your own riding, nothing else. Every horseback rider should be their own personal trainer, you need to learn which exercises are right for you. Riding horses is a high impact sport and working out should only increase performance!