#ForTheRider - Do you think horse riding is enough to keep you fit?

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Hello, its Lauren from Equestrian Fitness Scotland; who are they I bet you are asking yourself….

We specialise in horse rider fitness, both on the ground and mounted. Our goal is to provide unique rider fitness training in addition to all round health and wellbeing. We design unique training programmes, specifically tailored to work on horse rider fitness. It targets key strengths needed to improve your horse-riding skills, including core, muscle strength, balance and stamina.

Do you think horse riding is enough to keep you fit? Normally the answer I get is of course....

I always like to hit back with do footballers only play football, do hockey players only play hockey? And the answer is NO so why do equestrians think they only need to ride and miss out strength and conditioning?I put it down to a few things:

1. Time (we never have enough of it)

2. We treat the equine as the athlete only

3. Some riders tend to be scared of the gym environment

4. No experience of strength and conditioning

5. It might be too hard


Strength and conditioning is an excellent way to give you the winning edge but it also helps with injury prevention. Strength training consists of moving the joints through a range of movements against resistance, requiring the muscles to expend energy and contract forcefully to move the bones.

Strength training can be done using various types of resistance, with or without equipment and is used to strengthen the muscles, tendons, bones and ligaments as well as to increase muscle mass. The increase in speed, strength, agility and muscular endurance certainly benefits equestrians, no matter what decline you take part in.  Stronger muscles and tendons help hold the body in proper alignment and protect the bones and joints when moving or under impact i.e. falling off!

Did you know a well-conditioned rider, who have a high cardio fitness level, perform better, recover quicker, sustain fewer injuries and experience less fatigue whilst riding?

A good and quick way to improve your cardio is to do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), you only have to google this and millions of videos will be available, they normally only take 20-30 minutes and you can do most of them anywhere, no need for a gym- you can even do them in your tack room!

I like to remind all equestrians that it is not only the equine that is the athlete but also the rider is too. Even those who are only pleasure riders, it is important that we are in our best condition. Whether it’s mucking out or taking a weekend run, a rider’s core stability, core strength and cardiovascular fitness are essential to an enjoyable time in the saddle or around the farm, as well as benefiting your overall fitness and health.

A few of my favourite exercises for equestrians are Burpee’s, plank, and lunges. There are loads of variations of all three of these exercises, from limited movement for beginners to very complex for the advance fitness fanatic allows everyone to be able to complete them

For more hints and tip please check our Facebook page, we post lots of photos and videos to keep you motivated and if you have any questions feel free to drop us a message.

Lastly, I would like to thank to Apt Cavalier for inviting me to be a part of their campaign #fortherider.


About Lauren: 

Lauren Semple is a qualified Level 3 Personal Trainer with over 12 years of experience working with both individuals and teams in a variety of sports but I now specialise in Horse and rider fitness.

Find Lauren on Facebook at @equifitscotland or visit their website on http://equestrian24fitness.com

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