Great Ways to Improve Your Fitness for Horseback Riding


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While other sports have teams of dozens of players, horseback riding consists of a pair of two – horse and rider. While we often think of our horses as being athletes, the truth is that we need to be just as athletic as they are. Here are some great ways that you can improve your fitness to be a more athletic and effective rider.

Go Running

Running is an excellent activity for horseback riders. Running helps to strengthen and tone your legs, but it also makes you more physically fit. Because running is a cardio activity, it can improve your endurance and your breath capacity, both of which are important in riding. If you’re looking to lose weight, running can help, leaving you better balanced as a rider.

Swim

Swimming is also a great cardio workout. While running specifically strengthens your legs, swimming involves your entire body, and can help to strengthen your arms, too. Swimming can be beneficial because it doesn’t have the same concussion on your joints that running does.

Strengthen Your Core

All riders need a strong core. Your core is made up of the muscles in your abdomen and lower back which help to keep you sitting straight and upright, even when your horse is pulling downward. There are many exercises that you can do to strengthen your core, but one of the most well-known and simple exercises is the plank. When doing the plank, face downward and hold yourself up with your arms shoulder-width apart and your toes pressing down against the floor. Hold this pose for as long as you can. The plank can help to strengthen your core, and an internet search will reveal the many other core-strengthening exercises available.

Stretch

Tight, tense muscles are restrictive in the saddle. Stretching is a wonderful way to increase your agility and to be a stronger, more effective rider. Spending just a few minutes stretching before you get into the saddle can help you to better move with your horse and react in the case of spooks or trips. As an added bonus, stretching reduces the chance that you will pull or strain a muscle while you’re riding.

The more physical activity that you do, the fitter you will become and the more effective a rider you can be. If you’d like to focus on your fitness, then consider working with a personal trainer who can develop a fitness program tailored to your specific needs and goals.

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