You may have noticed that fitness for equestrians is having a bit of a moment (great news for me!). It seems that suddenly there are programmes popping up everywhere all promising to improve your fitness for riding. I think this is a great thing as I really do believe fit riders make better riders. A fit rider is in better balance and control of their body as well as able to maintain that level of balance of control for longer periods before becoming tired.
However not every rider wants to be an avid gym bunny. You may have absolutely no desire to take up running or lifting weights. That’s cool it doesn’t mean you can’t find an off horse way of improving your riding.
In order to see what needs to be done to improve your own performance you need to look at two things.
Firstly your specific discipline. What does it entail and require of your body? The demands of a jockey are very different to that of an endurance rider, dressage rider or showjumper etc. So have a think about what level of cardio fitness you require. Do you need to remain focused and strong for long periods or short rounds? How do you need your body to be move and be active? The working position of a showjumper is very different to a dressage rider and therefore again the flexibility and stability needs will be different.
Secondly, what are your current strengths and weaknesses? Perhaps as a Dressage rider you have a very good alignment but you struggle to absorb the movement of the horse in bigger movements and therefore require more stability. Perhaps as an Eventer you are quite strong but get tired on the cross country and therefore need to work on your cardio endurance.
To avoid doing a generic improve everything programme have a look at these questions and then focus on your off horse exercise into improving these elements specifically.
I have 1 2 1 training availability so get in touch if you would like some help with your specific training plan.