Often I hear riders say they don’t need to go to the gym as yard work and riding keeps them fit.
However I listened to a podcast the other day with Alice Oppenheimer. She said she rides up to 10 horses per day plus goes to a Pilates class one night, trains with a trainer a couple of times per week, goes to the gym and currently runs 3 times per week (she’s training for a marathon). I was exhausted just thinking about this! Charlotte Dujardin has a similar routine, as do many event riders.
So, if the professionals are riding all day and still feel like getting stronger off horse benefits their riding, surely riding once perhaps twice per day isn’t cutting it in the fitness stakes for the rest of us? Admittedly it makes you fitter than the average couch potatoe but as riding is a sport and as I’m sure you know we don’t just sit there whilst the horse does everything. That makes us both the athletes in this partnership.
I imagine Athlete number 1-your horse has a carefully managed nutrition and exercise plan….. he probably gets physio too……
He’s only one half of the equation! It sounds harsh but if you aren’t giving yourself the same care and attention you aren’t keeping up your end of the deal. Athlete 2 is letting the team down. If you expect him to give his best then surely he can expect the same from you?
Now I get that unlike the pro’s lots of you aren’t aiming for the Olympics and although you love riding you’ve got other stuff going on so the 100% dedication may be a big ask, but what about giving it an extra 50%? Say training 2-3 times per week off horse for at least 30 minutes. I reckon your half of the partnership could improve quite a bit with that, and Athlete 1 would be really happy to up their game a bit if Athlete 2 is fit enough to keep up!