How important is keeping fit? (rider) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-20-2013, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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How important is keeping fit? (rider)

So I just wanted to see others opinions on how important it is for the rider not just the horse to keep fit. I think its important to keep fit outside of riding to strengthen my riding, so I do yoga and pilates. However my sister who rode also up until recently said that it wasn't important and only riding could make you a better rider, she said I was the only person in the world who thought exercise was important.

So, I think keeping fit is helpful when you ride and can make you a better rider, but what do you think? Do you think keeping fit is important? And can it make you a better rider?

*sorry if this is in the wrong section*
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-20-2013, 06:33 PM
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Absolutely it's important. I think about it every time I ride, and I am a mess, but then I get home, and am too exhausted from riding. LOL
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-20-2013, 06:38 PM
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Riding is about balance and balance comes from core muscle strength. Yoga and pilates are great.
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-20-2013, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Well i'm glad its not only me who think keeping fit benefits you riding
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-20-2013, 06:49 PM
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Doing exercises the cater to riding helps I find. In other words, exercises that strengthen the core, aerobic exercise as well obviously, and others that help with leg and arm strength are good. I am getting into better shape and losing weight thanks to a personal trainer who is a twin brother to a sadist :), but, I have a ways to go. I did a test ride on a horse yesterday and despite the water and being careful not to over exert (either me or the horse), 20 minutes later when I got off the horse I went into standard heat stress. Had to take advantage of the owner's air conditioned house for nearly an hour before I could drive home; embarrassing but we had a very nice chat. I've ridden in high heat before (lived in Louisiana for nearly 8 years) and only once before had that type of reaction but at that point I had been riding in a show in Louisiana summer temps on three different horses for roughly a six hour day.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-20-2013, 07:10 PM
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Riding will help your equitation and control and doing the actual riding. Fitness will help you do all of that correctly, and lessen the impact on your horse's back (if you a re not fit or balanced enough to keep from bouncing around that is worse than someone who is able to stay well balanced). So I think you are both a little right - riding is the way to fix certain things but general fitness will help with others.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-20-2013, 08:24 PM
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This ^^^

Keeping in better physical condition will also give a rider more stamina so they won't tire as easily. A tired rider cannot get the same level of performance from their horse.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-20-2013, 08:36 PM
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Keeping fit for riding is very important to me. I expect my horse to be fit and up to the job, so I owe it to him to put the same effort in.

Outside of riding I do yoga, cardio exercises, and some strength training. I used to do gymnastics, and I've taken some of the warm up stretches I did for gymnastics to do before I ride. I've found I ride more effectively if I'm loosened up a bit and ready to go. On top of exercise I try to eat a healthy and balanced diet.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-01-2013, 09:47 PM
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I'm glad to see so many supportive of staying fit. We put a lot of emphasis on it at the places I go.
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-04-2013, 02:28 PM
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It's very important. If you are unfit, then your balance suffers and that makes the horse suffer.

Oh, and by "fit", I don't mean thin or even necessarily athletic. I just mean that a person's muscles are strong enough to maintain their balance and form while riding. Larger people will need stronger muscles in those areas, but they don't need to be any smaller if they've got a suitable horse for their size.
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