I got a question for you then, or anyone who has some suggestions.
I haven't ridden many horses over 15hh in the past 4 years, a lot of short little ones. I had no troubles ever getting on my last mare (who died 4 years ago) but after all that time I'm having a really hard time getting on my 5 year old I have now. She is over 16hh and all my limited height (5'2") is in my upper body, so my stirrups hang up higher too.
I know that there are mounting stools, fences, anything to climb up on, but I live in the middle of the prairie, if I have to get off while out on a ride I'm going to have difficulties getting back on.
So instead of practicing on a greenish, fidgety horse, any one have any ideas on how to increase my balance and leg strength to get on her gracefully?
I was thinking I should start doing the stairs in my building for a workout by seeing how many I can step at a time.
Doing the stairs would be a GREAT workout for your legs! Plus good cardio to ;) Start off by walking them, and then as you increase your strength and endurance go faster and stronger each time.
Also - lunges are great!!
Squats are great to - and actually my personal favorite
There's actually A LOT of leg exercises you could do. I think the stairs is a wonderful place to start!
TONING your Legs (and this will also tone your buns!!)
try something like this routine:
STEPS 10-20 minutes of going up and down
Lunges 10 reps to start off (eventually you can increase the number so you keep working your muscles as they strengthen)
Squats 10 reps (same as above)
3-5 times per week
cardio isn't just for those who want to lose weight, cardio contributes to a healthy life style and is good for your heart (and much more!) (well, unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from doing cardio - which is a reason why everyone should consult their physician before starting any type of workout program and/or diet program).
But back to the cardio - The stairs will be a great cardio workout! But if you want to add more cardio (other than just stairs) you could do jumping jacks (WONDERFUL EXERCISE!) and/or Jump Rope. Also running/jogging/walking is great cardio! And so is SWIMMING!!!
A good workout would normally be one that's approx. 30-60 minutes long.
But when in a hurry, a 10 min. workout is better than none - so it's always good to work even just 10min. into your schedule.
Good luck! Hope this helped.
ETA : One more thing - Why just leg exercises? When you mount, you use your arms/hands to help pull you up and over. I would also incorporate some arm/shoulder/hand exercises in as well if I were you.
Such as bicep curls
There's tons of arm/shoulder exercises! These are just 3 of my FAVORITE! :)