Stretching Before Riding? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 10 Old 05-21-2012, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Stretching Before Riding?

For you, not the horse

I was wondering if any of you guys do stretches (Sit-ups, jogging, push ups..) before riding? I was thinking it might help you be looser in the saddle, and be more relaxed. It could also be better because you wouldn't risk pulling muscles and whatnot. What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever done it?

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post #2 of 10 Old 05-21-2012, 07:47 PM
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Sit ups, push ups, and jogging aren't really stretches...they're actual exercises. I don't stretch or exercise prior to a ride (getting the horse, grooming, tacking up, etc. is a workout in itself!), but staying active is a part of my overall lifestyle...I run 3x a week, do hot yoga once a week, ride (ideally) on weekends, and spend a lot of time walking my dog. Whenever I feel like it I'll do a Jillian Michaels DVD but that's pretty rare since they make me feel goofy and weak.
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-21-2012, 08:06 PM
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I work out daily, so am in pretty decent shape. The only thing I really stretch before a ride are my ankles. I just stretch up, stretch down, and rotate them in each direction 3-5 times.

I don't know why but they're the only thing that kills me when I'm in the saddle for a long time. I think I might use too much stretch when keeping my heels down.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-21-2012, 08:15 PM
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40 years of jogging convinced me my best warm-up was to jog slowly at the start. I've carried that over into my riding, and spend my first 5-10 minutes at a walk or slow jog, working big turns into tighter turns.

"There goes Earl!"
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-21-2012, 11:11 PM
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Like said before; sit-ups, push-ups & jogging aren't stretching. They're a warm up.

I don't stretch before I get on but while we are warming up the horses (in our lessons) we do big arm circles, reaching to ears & then to butt & reaching to opposite foot. I find that it helps warm up my arms so I like that :)

You could also do something like Houston suggested but in the saddle.
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-21-2012, 11:16 PM
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Yes I do lots of stretching for myself before riding. Even before grooming. I do toe touches slowly, loosen up my shoulders, a few neck stretches, arm releases, hip circles. I once hurt myself badly picking up a hoof and trying to get into the saddle (my joints pop a lot)

I don't want to pull a muscle with something silly like putting on my horse's brushing boots and have to miss out on my riding!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-21-2012, 11:16 PM
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I do Jillian Michael's DVDs 5 days a week. I do them on the days I ride too. And it has helped. Before when I got on the horse I would be so stiff and it would take up some lesson time before I felt flexible.
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-21-2012, 11:37 PM
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I don't stretch before but my hubby laughs at me when I ask him to hold my horse while I do some stretches on my horse. I pull my leg up behind me and point my knee to the ground, I lift both my legs away from the saddle, I circle my feet. I have to admit I've been so sore in my shoulders (age) lol that I've been considering doing some light weights to strengthen myself so I'm not feeling like a bedridden invalid after a nice long ride.
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-22-2012, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Almond Joy View Post
For you, not the horse
Haha! I do with my horse (I stretch all her 4 legs when I pick the hoofs). Never myself though.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

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post #10 of 10 Old 05-22-2012, 12:20 PM
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Yes, I do stretching on ground and in the saddle, as I warm up the horse. It helps me to relax and my body to become more symmetrical while riding. I try to stretch all the main muscle groups and be sure that even my facial muscles are relaxed and supple, because tension in one part of the body means it is likely to be tense somewhere else, too.

Also, I believe, that if I am to ask my horse to be relaxed and supple, it would be unfair if I asked him that while I'm all tense and stiff myself. After all, we should help them in movements in balance, not get in their way just because our bodies aren't ready for the exercises we ask our horses to practice.

I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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