Overweight Riding - Page 2

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Overweight Riding

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    08-08-2012, 11:02 PM
Gaining flexibility and balance would be a big start. Yoga is easy, stretching using rubber bands. Keep it simple. But it will help you gain confidence in your body and prepare you for the actual riding.
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    08-09-2012, 05:37 PM
Welcome to the forum!

I agree with what others have said about just calling some barns and asking about rider weight limits. I'm sure you'll find some are more accommodating than others, but you will find one!

If you want to start preparing yourself for riding, then I would start with some simple exercises and stretches--someone mentioned resistance bands. That would be a great start. Go on some walks, starting with very short distances first and slowly building up to longer ones or slowly increasing your speed. Don't overdo it and hurt yourself, but I think you'll find it very helpful if you're working on your leg muscles already when you get back in the saddle again.

Good luck, and have a great time riding!
    08-09-2012, 05:57 PM
Something else that will help you with riding, too. Start WALKING...a LOT. We riders use our legs more than anything else to balance and cue the horse. You might also do some pool-walking to help ease any stress on your bones. We'll all rooting for you!! Keep us updated!! =D
    08-09-2012, 06:15 PM
Maybe the BO will let you work off part of your lessons with some stall cleaning. That's great muscle building exercise plus it's gratifying when a stall is clean and freshly bedded. If you have back problems why not try a Tennessee Walker. They come highly recommended for back backs because of their lateral movement which sure beats a trot.
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    08-09-2012, 09:19 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys. It looks like I'm going to have to shelf the riding till I loose enough weight to make the weight limits. I like the idea of the pool exercise and building up to long walks. I don't know about yoga just yet but that would be a good goal :)
    08-09-2012, 10:07 PM
Pool walking is awesome because you also use some core muscles.

But, as a form of weight loss, swimming is not the best choice.
Lifting weights builds muscle mass, which burns many more calories, so you lose weight faster.

Now, if I could only take my own advice.
    08-10-2012, 06:29 AM
As someone with an injury, doctors have told me EVERYTHING in order to lose weight... do this, do that, try this, eat less, eat more - the works. And they wonder why I'm so confused

I have to totally put forth the idea of joining a gym if you can. Swimming, like tinyliny mentioned strengthens the core. It's a non bearing type of exercise, but that alone (aqua jogging or actual swimming) is not going to be enough. My injury is in my knee, and I was so against the idea of joining a gym. However I eventually took the advice of a specialist and joined one. It was the best decision I've made to manage my injury and weight. I was lucky to find one close to home that's for women only, and they offer a great variety. I've found myself fitter and more capable of staying in the saddle - which with the extra weight on us plus riders, can be an issue with balance. I can now easily ride two horses in one day and school both. The other week I rode my friend's show mount (he's very well schooled though very leg orientated) as well as our two horses - by the time I had done it all I was knackered, but I wouldn't have been able to do that 6 months ago - let alone two, so it goes to show just how beneficial it is for us riders - big or small - to stay in shape.

Now if you can't access a gym, there's a lot of exercises you can do at home. If you have steps around, they can become your friend. Also, if you can get a swiss ball, it can help teach you balance, and make excellent tools for core work. When I was going to physio for my knee, they made me do three things, bike, treadmill & stomach crunches on a swiss ball. I can tell you right now it was the last thing that made the most impact! I swear by them, and if you feel pain the next day, you know those muscles are awake!! Also as others have suggested, walking is vital! Just think about how handy it'll be to have that walking knack under your belt when you're having to chase a darn horse around a field to be caught haha! Finally, housework normally gets me sweating. Vacuuming is excellent, as is picking things up off the ground. I know one friend who's working off baby weight - she tips out her young toddler's toys all over the floor and picks them back up. Pointless? Not in the slightest - think of that repetitive action of bending at the waist and standing back up again! That's another reason why I muck out my paddock in warmer months with gloves - what a work out!

As for not riding now - I don't see why you can't. I'm not afraid to say I roughly weigh 244 lbs at present and weighed a little more when I got back in the saddle. Like smrobs said, it's all about the horse's build. I was worried that my mare who was a freaking tub when we first got back into things early last year wouldn't be able to carry us both (had a bit of an accident in 2009 which left us out of work until late 2010). She's a stocky little thing and I was told she could carry someone heavier than myself comfortably after my attempts. I am a light rider despite my weight, so I do have that in my favour. However, draft or not, depending on where your weight is situated and the shape of a horse, you could very well be riding tomorrow and it'd be down to your fitness more than the horse's I'm sure! Don't rule yourself out until you've lost some weight... may I point out that horse riding is a darn good exercise in itself!

Good luck with your search!
    08-10-2012, 06:44 AM
Don't give up on riding. The right place will come along. Where are you located??
    08-10-2012, 08:56 AM
I gave up too until I visited my old instructor one day and she told me of a place that might be good. I didn't even know this place existed and it was 15 mins away! I emailed, telling them my weight and height as well as prior riding experience, and they emailed back :) Go for a drive in your area and write down numbers and emails of places that you see.
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    08-10-2012, 09:29 PM
I am in Nebraska. I've called a ton of places already because my daughter is getting into riding as well....no luck yet. I willl keep looking and start a weight loss regimein in the meantime :)
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