Riding horses uses unique muscles and it’s important that you prepare yourself for success in the ring - even when you’re not riding. Horses are in excellent physical shape, especially show horses. We ask a lot of these horses, and it's simply not fair for the horse when the rider does not have equal physical fitness. Working out is a great way to prepare your body for the best that it can be when riding. Here are a few exercises that will increase your riding skill set!
A lot of rider’s strength comes from their leg muscles - particularly their thighs. One of the best, simple exercises to perform to increase leg strength is lunges. Try to do a set on each leg and repeat with 2-3 reps per workout to maximize effectiveness.
Another key muscle group to target when working out is the abdominal region. It’s very important to have a strong core in order to be a successful rider. Core strength is essential for balance and timing when riding. Be sure to work this muscle group with various ab exercises such as crunches, which is extremely simple. Be sure to repeat reps of this workout as well to maximize muscle growth.
I know it’s not the most fun, but cardio is extremely important to successful riders. Riding horses takes a lot of cardio, and exercising regularly will increase your skill set. Make sure to schedule runs and walks regularly. Don’t be afraid to take the stairs instead of the elevator - all of the little steps you take to get in better shape will make a big difference in the long run.
Since our horses are in such excellent physical shape, the least we can do as riders is to try our best to also be fit. Exercising regularly will exponentially increase your riding skill set. What are you waiting for? Start now!