Tag Archives: equestrian fitness

Challenge Your Coordination

One of the key things in riding is coordination and quick reactions. 

The whole inside leg, outside rein, steer, change gait all whilst being on top of an animal with a mind of it’s own and your body’s reaction to all of that; it’s a lot huh!

Your reaction time isn’t just relevant for the oh sh!t moment’s, it’s the whole ride with your body adjusting and adapting to the horse underneath you. A quick reacting rider can prevent a horse falling in or out, they can react to an unbalanced horse and help him out or deal with any change in tempo.

One thing that is super interesting about children that do lots of different sporting activities whilst they are young, is that as adults they find it easier to pick up new sporting activities even if they’ve never done them before. So those kids that did football, hockey, tennis, skied etc. then go to the gym as adults and take up something technical like Olympic lifting and they are more likely to pick it up quicker than someone who only did one sport.

This is because the nervous system is primed to respond to lot’s of different patterns, not just one pattern of movement.

Which tells us that in order to improve our coordination on horse we do not necessarily need to make it riding specific. 

So, just have fun with it!

If you want to start adapting to movement underneath you, sitting on a gym ball is a good place to start. You can just sit with feet on the floor then once you’ve got that you can try lifting your feet. 

If you want to try improving your coordination, you can start simply with throwing and catching a ball-you could do that on the gym ball if you fancy a bit more of a challenge.

You could try a funky shaped reaction ball, that when you bounce it fires off in a random direction.

You could also do exactly what the kids do. Try a different sport! Kick a Football, try a dance class whatever you like. 

In order to be a better Equestrian Athlete you need to be a better all round Athlete.

PS. Keep an eye out for an exciting upcoming partnership with Stephanie Dootson Veterinary Physiotherapy starting out with an Advent Challenge designed to improve both you and your horses performance across 24 days with help and support along the way.

Glutes for a good seat

We’ve been talking booty’s a fair bit this week! 

Not for aesthetic reasons; although a solid peach is no bad thing! The Glutes are the biggest muscle in the body and are a huge player in stabilising the pelvis and the spine. That means they are a huge player in managing pain and injury in these areas and also an absolute necessity for a stable position whilst riding. 

If your glutes are able to work effectively, absorbing the movement of the horse underneath you they take the load off your joints, in particular your spine. This is hugely beneficial for back pain. 

Also, if your glutes are conditioned enough to work well without becoming over stressed or tense this gives you a much better chance of having a stable but relaxed seat.

Basically building a booty is an absolute key element for riders.

So, rather than sell you on it’s benefits just trust me and let’s get to it!

Here’s a little circuit I’d love you to add into your routine 2 - 3 times per week and you can start ti feel the benefits building a booty can bring!

Bridge-Harder option put your feet on a bench or gym ball

Squat

Hyper Extension -Harder option do on a gym ball