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Shedding That Thanksgiving Dinner Equestrian Style

The Thanksgiving season is a time for being grateful and spending it with loved ones. Of course, all that time off work is great for getting a few extra hours in the saddle, too. The bonus of this time of year are the wonderful home-cooked foods in which we get to indulge. We all love eating as much as possible during our Thanksgiving meal, but all that stuffing must go somewhere. Keep reading for a few suggestions on exercises you can do with your horse to help that turkey find a new home:

Horse Yoga

Horse yoga is a growing trend in the industry. Yoga is defined by Medical News Today as: “a mind and body practice with a 5,000-year history in ancient Indian philosophy. Various styles of yoga combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation.” Combing the methods of yoga with your horse is a great way to feel connected to your horse while getting a good stretch in and detoxing that Thanksgiving dinner. Check out this video from the Horse Network to get a few posing ideas you can do on horseback:

Strength Exercises

These exercises are meant to strengthen the muscles that are used for riding. Squats, lunges, triceps kickback, and sit ups all can fall under this category. Most of these exercises can be done in the comfort of your own living room. Catch up on those training videos you’ve been meaning to watch and get a work out in at the same time. It doesn’t get much better than that! Check out this article by Horse and Rider for more explanations on how to do some of these exercises:

Showmanship Practice

This is a great time of year to get some showmanship or in-hand practice done. Ground work can also be a great way to get your heart pumping and the stuffing un-stuffed. Trot to stops, backs, and circle work are a few ways to move your feet and your horse’s. Make sure to wear proper footwear that allows for some movement, but also is safe to wear while handling horses. Print out a few patterns before going out to the barn so that you have an idea of what to do.

With all the love going around during this time of year, eating a few extra cookies seems like the right thing to do. Now that the family is gone, and the leftovers are contained, take advantage of your extra time to focus on improving yourself for your horse. It can only make you a better rider.

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