Train Hard Ride Easy

Athlete’s spend hours at training and in the gym often to compete for only a few minutes or a couple of hours. This makes the time and energy they put into training far harder physically than the time they spend competing at their sport.

Then I was speaking to a client this week who said due to the work she has done off horse she can finally feel and use her seat bones independently her riding has become easier. Although her body is still doing lot’s of things and indeed working hard, it requires less physical effort as there is less flapping and shoving etc to get her horse to listen. She’s now able to communicate with the subtle almost invisible aids.

Off horse work focusing on strength, body control and proprioception will enable your body to react with stability and sensitivity when you ride.

This isn’t strength for strength’s sake. It’s the strength to be in control of your own bodyweight without being tense. The strength to move one body part without affecting another and the strength to be sensitive to what can be felt through your seat, legs and hands.

If that’s the level of rider you want to become then it’s going to take work!

Think about this level of softness, control and sensitivity during off horse exercise-whatever form that takes.

As you Squat do you move freely down and up or do parts of it feel sticky? Can you activate your glutes and thighs but not feel overly braced? Can you react to other movements in your body or to a weight as it changes the balance in your body? Is everything moving as it should and where you think it is?

Do this with whatever exercise you’re doing.

Pilates Bridge, Salsa dancing, Boxing whatever it is. The body moves, is activated and in control but soft and reactive. If you can achieve this off horse it’s going to be a whole lot easier on horse.

I refer to my opening point-train hard off horse to make riding your horse effortless-or at least have it appear that way!

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