3 Sneaky Ways to Be a Better Rider

3 Sneaky Ways to Be a Better Rider

Physiotherapist: You have really tight hamstrings.

Me: That’s funny! My horse has tight leg muscles too. I stretch them every time before I ride.

Physio: Well, are you doing your own physio exercises?

Me: … No. *Physio rolls eyes*

We all have those good intentions – equestrian fitness books (unread), an exercise ball (deflated), or maybe a gym membership (you went once – or did you?!)

I’m not here to shame you. We’re all here because we love our horses and want to be the best we can be, which includes a rigorous workout schedule to supplement our riding. Unfortunately, you probably work full time, right? And after a 9-5 day, a couple hours at the barn, fifty sit ups just somehow doesn;t sound appetizing.

Frustrated at the fitness exercises portrayed in barns (Um, sorry, but if I’m going to exercise/do yoga, it’ll be on my living room carpet, not on my horse’s dirty winter rug spread out in the middle of the barn), I tried to think of a way it could all ACTUALLY be incorporated into everyday life:

Be aware: Do you always have only your right hand on the steering wheel? Yes? Gee, I wonder why you have a “clutch” right hand when you ride…

Neck stretches: Sitting at the computer? Slowly bring your ear to shoulder, and then to the other. It’s a yoga thing. Think of all the tension your neck carries!

Balance: Standing in line? At a bus stop? Casually lift one foot off the ground a little bit while keeping your hips level. Your body constantly tipping and learning to rebalance will eventually help with your riding.

Bored doodling: Do it with the other hand. Even trying to draw simple things helps your motor control and dexterity – your horse’s mouth will thank you! PS: The attached photo is of a painting I had to do in school. I didn’t realize until I was halfway done that I was painting with my left hand… !?

More from Katelyn Woodburn

How to Get the Blood, Sweat and Tears out of Your Riding Clothes

Laundry is not nearly as fun as riding. That is a fact....
Read More