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kalete 03-26-2010 01:47 PM

Exercises.. For Me
So, last week I had my first lesson.. in eight years. While it was an absolute thrill to be near horses again, I was completely embarrassed. I'm very overweight and out of shape, and I couldn't really post the whole way around the ring. By the end of the lesson, my ankles felt like they were going to fall off (I assume from pushing them down the whole time). It was basically an English lesson in a Western saddle, if that makes a difference.

My trainer gave me some exercises to do, like holding on to a railing near stairs and stretching my ankles out. She also said to sit on the edge of a couch and hold my legs up, and then put a ball between my ankles and hold it up as well. I'm not describing these very well, but hopefully you get the idea.

Anyrate, what I'm looking for is more exercises to do. Do you have any to share? Particularly ones that would strengthen my ankles would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

ALottaTrot 03-26-2010 02:16 PM

Leg lunges and stretching definitely help. Also, maybe it would be easier to take your english lessons in an english saddle? I would think that riding english would be more difficult in an western saddle. Is English the route you are going? Or do you want to ride western?

kalete 03-26-2010 02:30 PM

Thanks for the response. :) I've ridden English before, and that's what I'd like to get back to. My trainer suggested a Western saddle for the leg support, and because it distributes weight better, I believe.

MN Tigerstripes 03-26-2010 02:41 PM

Yoga, Pilates, walking, crunches, hip strengtheners (leg lifts, etc).

These pages have a good overview and may give you some ideas.
Groundwork for the Rider Exercises
Exercise for Horseback Riding - Horse Riding Fitness

xdrybonesxvalleyx 03-26-2010 05:02 PM

English saddles are better. I'm in a western saddle now because of my myopathy, but when I get stronger I'm going to be in an English saddlle. So you /can/ technically post, you just need to relax. You shouldn't be working hard to do it, just let the rhythm of the horse go with you and let his movement propel you up.

I suggest getting an exercise ball. They have books on exercises for horses. As for me, horseback riding takes care of a lot of core strength. Practice balancing.and cardiovascular activities are good. Even if it's not running or jogging, you can bike or jumprope to get your heart rate up. Contrary to what many people believe, even if you do sit-ups, your abs will grow stronger, but the belly fat won't necessarily come off. Your fat distributes through your body, so don't think locally, necessarily. Doing cardiovascular activities are very good for this, and just doing a little bit of something will help your heart and your center.

Another thing I recommend is swimming. Swimming is very good to help with your rhythm and breathing, because some people forget to breathe well and correctly.

Another thing is, do yoga, Take several minutes to go through your body. Go into positions as you would, or do it on your horse, and you might catch sight of some things that you didn't realise were tense before. If you relax and just put your weight in your heels you will find things a lot more comfortable.

DustyDiamond 03-26-2010 05:59 PM

I get a lot of good info and stuff and about english riding too

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