Fitness

Olympic Gold Medal Eventer Phillip Dutton shares his thoughts about rider fitness in this video from Kentucky Equine Research.

To further explore some of the issues mature riders face, I invited Sue Leffler, a Canadian Level 4 Centered Riding® Instructor and Balimo™ Clinician who works with predominately adult riders, about 45 percent of whom are over 45, to share some of the ideas she has seen work to help mature riders stay fit to ride.

For this article, I interviewed yoga for riders specialist Louise Sattler of Galloping Yoga. We discussed various concepts and exercises that come from the yoga tradition and align very nicely with sport and conditioning practices for developing flexibility. For a busy rider, the exercises below are accessible and easy to do almost anywhere.

As riders, younger children are best introduced to as wide a variety of equestrian disciplines as possible. There is plenty of time for them to specify as they mature and start to show clear strengths and tendencies. In the meantime, fostering a healthy sportsmanship and leadership attitude, and other qualities such as patience and self-discipline early on, will provide them with psychological tools to excel under pressure later in life.

Riding can be a fantastic growth opportunity for children. Like any other sport, riding provides ample circumstances for children to learn great life skills like good sportsmanship, responsibility, commitment, and active lifestyle habits. Being in a relationship with another living creature and accomplishing tasks together adds further benefits.

It’s that time of year again. Whether your show season is starting up again in the next couple of months, or you’re just planning on spending more time in the saddle, some off-horse training can help with stamina, effective aids, posture, and reducing risk of injury when working with your horse.

Water and food consumption will have a significant effect on your performance, stamina, and risk of injury. Most of us think about our horses before we think of ourselves, not realizing that our lack of attention to ourselves can seriously affect our horses’ performance. Riders who brought feed, hay, supplements, and water to the show for their equine athletes can often be seen munching hot dogs and drinking cola - if they take time to refuel at all.

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