SO WHY IS RIDER FITNESS IMPORTANT?

BALANCE 

  • Balance is very important in a horse rider to enable that they affect the horse positively in all aspects.
  • This means that an effective rider does not balance by holding onto the reins or by gripping with his or her legs.
  • A rider that is balanced can use the leg, seat and rein aids in the clearest and lightest way, which gives the horse the chance to react in the quickest and most correct way.

FLEXIBILITY

  • Flexibility is the range of movement around a joint and is very important in horse riding.
  • Joints such as the ankle and knee joint need to be supple, fit and flexible to be able to keep the leg in the correct position and maintain stability, they also act as shock absorbers.
  • The hip joint is also a particularly important joint in both flatwork and jumping. This joint needs to be supple to enable the rider to move with the horse. It also needs to be flexible to enable getting on and off of the horse.
  • The joints between vertebrae in the lower back are important as these will help to control the horses movements, maintaining a good posture and being balanced and relaxed to maintain free flowing movement with the horse.

STRENGTH

  • Strength can be defined as the ability of a muscle or a muscle groups to exert a force.
  • Core strength is important in all equestrian disciplines. Core strength involves muscles in the trunk area. This is essential in order to maintain a correct riding position.
  • Riders need good core strength and stability to maintain good posture and to keep trunk stability in the saddle.
  • Core strength will come from developing the muscles in the trunk of the body, mainly the abdominals and the back muscles. These muscles should be strong but also remain flexible to allow movement with the horse.
  • The strength of the leg muscles is also important in order to maintain the correct riding position. The leg position of a rider is important as it influences the riders’ balance and results in having an influence on all movements, leg is also used with the hand and seat to communicate effectively with the horse.

CARDIOVASCULAR FITNESS

  • Cardiovascular fitness is the ability of the heart, lungs, and organs to transport and use oxygen.
  • Horse riding, especially trotting, cantering and jumping has been shown to increase respiratory and circulatory systems and so is considered to be cardiovascular exercise.
  • Most equine disciplines require the use of both aerobic and anaerobic systems.
  • The anaerobic system is energy production without the use of oxygen. This energy system is used during short-term exercise, and where exercise is at a higher intensity and usually less than 3 minutes.
  • The aerobic system uses oxygen to covert fat and glucose into fuel for the working muscles. Production of energy using this method is used for long-term exercise and usually in an activity that is 3 minutes or more.

BODY COMPOSITION

  • Body composition is the percentage of bone, fat and muscle that makes up the body.
  • This is important in the horse rider as excessive body fat could limit the rider’s range of movement and prevent them from moving freely with the horse.
  • There would also be excessive weight and strain put onto the horse that could affect the horses’ performance, and limit their ability.

So thats why we think being a fit horse rider will benefit you! 🙂