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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all!
I have been wondering if being fit and eating healthy improves your riding. No, i am not talking about skinny, but being strong and healthy.:)
Pleeze answer!
 

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Why thankyou:) I am flattered.
 

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It does. You can think better.....and have more muscle for those heavy wetsern saddles! lol......
 

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Yep! Strength, Stamina, etc are all extremely important for riding. You don't necessarily have to be skinny, but strong is always good. Yoga and Pilates are great for riding as well as cardio and free weights :)
 

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Absolutely, and with just about anything else you do! And, conversely, after you have been consistently riding for a while, you will notice yourself getting more fit.

Thunderhooves has it right--if you eat well and are fit, your brain functions better, and your body responds and behaves better. If you're not doing things to keep yourself fit, start making little changes like taking the stairs over taking an elevator or escalator, or swapping peanut-butter crackers for peanut butter on celery. Don't ever "go on a diet"--that implies you can "get back off" of it. Make lifestyle changes instead (make small changes over time and keep telling yourself it is for your health, fitness and longevity).
 

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Being fit and having good nutrition has a lot to do with how we ride and work with our horses.

A strong core allows us to balance better when we ride as well as be able to handle and carry large objects such as saddles, wheelbarrows, hay bales, and feed sacks. It allows us to be able to ride and work longer with out slowing down and becoming sore as easily.

Having good nutrition allows our bodies to work efficiently and effectively. It allows our brains to work better, our eyes to see better, and even our ears to hear better as well.

Being skinny, not so much. There is a difference between being thin and being healthy. The thinner you are(past the "healthy" BMI), the less strain your body can take, the harder it is for you to recover. We are made to function at a certain BMI, not less than that. Being too thin affects your ability to handle activities that come with handling a horse.
 

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A strong core allows us to balance better when we ride...
Yes, the core muscle groups are very important to balance. I know folks my age (50+) who have actually taken up riding as a way to excercise these muscles.
 

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Well said MuleWrangler and Honeysuga!

Just a little story to emphasize that being fit is very beneficial to your riding development.

Several years ago (actually it's been more than several), my daughter began riding lessons again after a winter break. Well during that winter break, she took dance lessons and karate lessons.

Upon beginning her riding lessons in the spring, her instructor asked her what she had been doing over the winter break. When she was told, she said it was apparent as Jasmine had much better control and awareness of her body and parts of her body.
 

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I'm quite fit yet but in school I now have a fitness class and a gym class so I normally run twice a day and over the semester I'm finding that I'm riding better. It's easier to give my horse cues and I can keep up with her better( ottb). I think being fit plays a major role in a pesrons riding ability.
 

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We are made to function at a certain BMI, not less than that. Being too thin affects your ability to handle activities that come with handling a horse.
Take the BMI thing with a grain of salt, if not a whole shaker full. It's a quick & dirty guide for the average, not very fit person, but if you seriously work out, you can wind up well outside the "normal" BMI range - on either side, depending on your activity & general body type. People who do weight training (or similar activities like tossing around a lot of hay bales :)) can easily wind up being overweight by BMI, while more accurate measures show a low body fat percentare.
 

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Absolutely!

My weight has remained about the same, but I'm not nearly as muscular as I was when I first got my horse. The guys I used to trail ride with would comment on how toned my arms were and at how easily I could pull myself up into the saddle.

Due to a busier work schedule, I haven't been weightlifting like I usually do. Last time I rode I was barely able to pull myself into the saddle and I needed a boost - I'm not that heavy, but my arms are really puney these days.

Riding won't keep me as fit as running and weightlifting, but it makes me want to get back to running and weightlifting so that I'm a better rider.

I think I'll go do a few pushups....... ;-)
 
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