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centrestableswendy 12-26-2008 10:22 PM

Leg strengthening exercises????
I am getting back into riding after a long 7 years off, due to car accident, work, and raising my kids. I am looking for any ideas on exercises I can do on my non-riding days to help improve my leg muscles. I am 5'2", and will be riding a 16.1hh OTTB. I am concerned that I haven't ridden in so long that I will need to be working on building my legs back up every day. I will be riding 3 days a week, with weekly lessons. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I also suffer from some minor balance issues due to a bad car accident and head injury in August of 2002. I've been working on posting at the trot with no reins, and also staying in my half-seat for several minutes at a time. The mare I'm riding has a great trot, and such a bit stride that I'm getting more comfortable with my balance, but any added input would be much appreciated! Thanks everyone. Also, if anyone here has facebook, my name is Wendy Cable, and I live in Pa. Feel free to send a friend request and we can talk horse even more!

horsesandponies 12-27-2008 04:23 AM

What about dance classes? I'm talking about tap, jazz, and ballet is helpful even if it is the very basic classes).

centrestableswendy 12-27-2008 01:47 PM

I never thought about dance classes. The only problem with that is all my money is into horses! Between me and my daughter, it's getting expensive, lol! Plus 2 car payments, rent, insurance, get the idea, there's not much extra other than riding money!

missy06 12-27-2008 02:13 PM

One seemingly random thing I've found that's greatly strengthened my legs is cycling! During the spring/summer/fall, I was biking 18 miles a day (to and from work) and I noticed that over time, having stronger legs from cycling translated into stronger legs (and butt) for riding.

Equuestriaan 12-27-2008 03:21 PM

Wow cycling is a great idea. I only get to ride once a week and have been trying to come up with ways to strengthen my legs, too. I'll have to try cycling!

mlkarel2010 12-27-2008 05:50 PM

Yoga, pilates, and cylcling have gone hand in hand with horses recently. Another thing that does wonders is trotting stirrupless. That will really give you a work out believe me. I did it once for 3 hours straight and I couldn't sit the next day I was so sore.

Squats are good too. And if you aren't into the big barbell fiasco never fear! Just grab some canned food around your house and hold those straight down and do squats. Oh and then while you are doing that just do Straight-leg Dead Lifts. Scary name, but not that bad. Just hold them w/ your arms down along your sides then bend over like you are touching your toes.

Wall sits work too, but I personally don't like them.

Another thing I do is ankle weights. Just to wear them around the house to make me a little bit stronger w/o really noticing.

I also have a thing called "Leg Magic" Just got it today, but I'll let you know how it works. It's a pretty inexpensive piece of exercise equipment.

Hope that helps

centrestableswendy 12-27-2008 06:18 PM

Thanks for all the great ideas. I'm going to get on the old bike and give it a try. I'm getting ready to go to Wal-Mart to pick up ankle weights. Yay! Mlkarel2010, let me know what you think of the "Leg Magic". I'm having surgery on my arm on Tuesday the 30th, so I won't be riding for about a month, but hopefully with these ideas I'll be able to get my chubby stumps back in shape while I'm off!!!

mlkarel2010 12-27-2008 11:13 PM

I think the "Leg Magic" would work wonders. The instant you get on it you can feel it working your muscles. Which if it matters are the exact same muscles that you use a ton while riding stirrupless.

centrestableswendy 12-28-2008 02:09 PM

Thanks for all the great ideas guys! I started working with ankle weights last night, and I'm already feeling it. Doing some squats and also standing on the step with my heels hanging off and raising up with my toes and back down. Geez that hurts after 15 minutes! Well, surgery is in 2 days, so please say a little prayer for a speedy recovery so I can get back in the saddle ASAP! Happy NEW YEAR!

horsey*kisses 12-28-2008 03:07 PM

good luck with your surgery!!!
i jog alot and i dont mean just running up and down the road no, what i do is i loosen up do a few sprints or suicides(?) to get warmed up so i dont hurt myself then i start jogging REALLY SLOW lol im not kidding really slow, it gives my calves some serious work but surprisingly it makes you breath really hard so dont overexert yourself then after a while of that i relax for a minute and do some more sprints or suicides(sp?) my calves are rock hard and from the suicides my thighs are pretty toned too lol
good luck again!

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