Fitness and strength is important for both the horse and rider. Different forms of movement suit different people and different disciplines to breed of horses.
Focusing on enhancing the bio-mechanics of our bodies will support alignment, posture and an overall harmonious ride. Riders don’t have much spare time because we are already riding, so functional fitness is purposeful and designed to be incorporated into your current routine.
What is functional fitness? Training that prepares the body for real life movement
I focus on the fitness and strength that’s required for the discipline and grade of riding, whilst working with conformation strengths and weaknesses. If you weren’t training for a 40km marathon, would you be incorporating long run distances into your week?
Muscles need to be conditioned for movement and we have two types of muscle fibers
- Fast twitch fibers when we need power and speed
- Slow twitch for steady movement requiring stamina and endurance
What do you need a workout to provide?
- Pelvic floor and core
Why is training so important?
- Builds strong muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones
- Improves the distribution of oxygen to muscles
- Stimulates the nervous system
- Increases metabolism
- Releases hormones such as endorphins and serotonin that make you happy and contributes to a positive mindset
All riders and horses are unique
There isn’t a one size fits all approach to building strength and fitness, what you spend time on will completely depend on both of your conformation and disciple goals.