Oh, oh oh! Google these three words "ground exercises for the rider" umm, five words.... sorry.... that's what I did and i'd just give you links, but my computer and search engines aren't agreeing right now... I would have if I wasn't so technically challenged at the moment
What everyone said is wonderful. Buuuut. If you're like me, you can't get out to the barn enough for it to make a difference. So I will share a list of things you can do while NOT riding.
Squats are excellent, and so, so irritating.
Jogging, bicycling and swimming are all good for your legs (so is walking, come to think of it) -- and your entire body because they're aerobic (sp?).
As someone suggested (sorry I can't remember who you are!) pilates and yoga are both good. And anything that strengthens your body in general is good. So... crunches are excellent. They give you lots of strength. Some people don't believe how much having ab muscles helps when riding horses. <.<
Yeah, riding without stirrups helps.
I've read somewhere as well, that if you stand on the bottom step of your stairs with just your toes, and then push your heels down as far as you can, while holding onto the banister or something so you don't fall, it helps you to keep your legs in the correct position when you're riding. (:
Yeah I already do those things where you go up and down on your tiptoes, that really works the calves!! And I walk pretty much everywhere lol. I also do situps for core body strength, I think my half halts have improved.
I can't do sirrupless stuff cos he's a baby and will sometimes put in unexpected bucks or rears. Ill have to try that with the mare.
The stretches sound like a good idea, especially the steps one!
Squats-yucky and I hate them but squats !!!and press your butt down
Stand up very straight arms out in front- legs apart the further the better then push that bum down slowly and hold for a minute then back up-you will feel it all the way from your hip to ankle and don't need the horse to do it- will strenthen and firm the legs fast
I do those and the stair one for heels-(too many too fast it will hurt)