The last couple of weeks my 1 2 1 Clients and the ladies in my classes have all been starting to think about upping their game and take on the 2019 season.
They have different goals in mind so different approaches to what they need to do to really smash it this year.
I have those who are already seasoned competitors looking to go up a level this year so their fitness is about fine tuning their muscles to be just that little bit stronger, to be that little bit more aware of what is happening from head to foot when they ride and how to control it a little bit better. I have no doubt that this fine tuning will actually see some great results for them this year. This means we work on any weaknesses and asymmetry, focus on the mind body connection and aim to be moving a little bit better, with a little more strength but an entire fitness overhaul isn’t needed it’s just a an hour or so a week to tweak those muscles.
I also have another little club of riders who have recently purchased bigger, more powerful horses that in reality they are going to have to learn to ride! That’s not to say they can’t ride already, they ride exceptionally well in fact but they have spent the last few years on a horse they are comfortable with and that perhaps isn’t quite as powerful as what they are about to let themselves in for! ( I think these ladies like a challenge!) In short these ladies are going to have to up their game massively and become an athlete; strong and stable enough to absorb all of that power and damn well Ride it! If you’re one of these…….then if you aren’t already pretty fit then you had better get started. To ride the equine equivalent of a Ferrari (it doesn’t have to be Valegro just your version of a Ferrari-mines 13H!) you need to have the body control to absorb all that power without injuring yourself. I see a lot of back and hip pain in riders just because they are actually not strong enough through their back, hips and core to hold that horse together. I’m sure you’ve all also seen someone being an untidy passenger on a powerful horse and it’s frustrating when you can see the potential if the rider worked on themselves.
Once you can hold it together you then need to have the body control and awareness to make the finite aids that make you really dance. I’m sure you know that to make riding look effortless in fact takes a huge amount of effort! I hate to be the bearer of bad news if this is you but unless you’re already strong and fit and in the fine tuning camp it’s going to be a couple of hours per week dedication that gets you really riding like the sassy diva you are..
Then I have the other camp that for various reasons aren’t riding at the minute. For those that it’s due to horse problems it’s about staying in the game so when you’re finally back on board it isn’t a huge shock to your body but also that they are in the best shape they can be to give their horse all the support it needs to get back to fitness or if it will be a new horse so that they aren’t transferring bad habits. There is something slightly terrifying about having a newly backed youngster knowing that if it becomes one sided it was you that did it…….What are we doing-similar to the fine tuning camp, just ticking over ironing out the imbalances and keeping ship shape for when we are back on board.
If it is because of their own health and fitness problems then it is of course about getting them fit enough to get back on board and doing the sport they love. With these riders it’s slow and steady, but regular movement to bring back those basic movement patterns that eventually will make them able to put that foot back in the stirrup.
What camp do you fall in to? Maybe one of these categories of perhaps something else?
Let me know!