Getting Fit ...

Well I sold my mare about two years ago and haven’t ridden since  :frowning:

But I’m going to start taking dressage lessons soon, yay!   ;D

The problem is, I’m a bit out of shape, and I’d like to be a little fitter to start riding. It’s not that I need to loose weight, I’d just like to tone certain parts of my body so I’ll have more strength which will hopefully translate to a more independent seat. (… hopefully, lol)

I just started power walking on a treadmill, which is what I’m doing for cardio. But does anyone have any good exercises they could reccomend to help with riding? Anything that could be good for my back and abs especially, but also legs would be great. I remember a few years ago in a pratical horsemen magazine they had an article like this, but of course I threw all my mags out when I sold my mare   ::slight_smile:

Thanks for any suggestions!

I always use the thigh machine…both directions (squeezing in like you’re on a horse, pushing out) work great for riding.  Using a shuttle machine/quad lift works well for posting/2-point.

For back stuff, I just use one of those “machines” (benches, really) where you brace your feet, and have a bar at your waist, and then you can bend forward/backward against the bar…works really well if you bend forward while holding weights, and then straighten back up…about 10 reps with 20lbs does it for me.  :wink:

You should work on your core strenght. This is turn will tone up your abs which will help your back. Lay on the floor stretch your feet behind you and stand on your toes and then up your elbows on the floor and try to hold your self up that way keeping your head up. Or lie on your back and hold your legs together and lift them about 1 foot off the floor and keep them there with your arms near your side. These really work for getting your core strength.

Consider squats (If you think about it, nicely duplicates the posting motion, except with weights). Power walking is good. Cycling is good. You definitely need to work on the abs…I do curls for abs, and don’t just do ‘straight up and down’, also do each /side/…elbow to knees on each side, same number of reps.

But equally important, don’t neglect flexibility training. Lying on your stomach and pushing your torso up with your elbows, like a kid lying in front of the TV to watch it works well for abs. Bringing your leg under yourself and folding all the way down so your shoulder touches your knee (do both sides) helps with getting your foot high enough to get it in the stirrup (Although I still have to lower it to make it onto almost 16hh Baby Doc…). Standing on one leg and bringing the other heel to your buttocks is another good leg stretch. Also, stand with your toes on a step and stretch down into your heels…that’s for the back of the leg and to get you used to keeping your heels down.

Those are the stretches I use, anyway. Other people might have different ones.

Thanks for the suggestions  :slight_smile:

I’ll definitely try them.

I did the pushing off the floor with my elbows and toes and I started quivering after about 4 seconds, lol, I really need some work, but I really like that one.