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The Importance of Fitness as a Beginner Equestrian

As you have probably discovered, there is a lot more to riding than just sitting on a horse’s back. Horse riding engages muscles throughout your entire body, particularly muscles in your legs and stomach. Riding in itself is a very good way to keep active, as is general daily care and maintenance of your horse. As a beginner equestrian, it is likely that you are an animal lover and so we tend to focus on the health of our horse, but as the rider, our health and fitness is also very important in improving performance and reducing the risk of injury. This article explores the importance of fitness as a beginner equestrian and tips for improving your health and fitness in order to help your riding. 

Why Fitness is Important as a Beginner Equestrian

Fitness is so important as a beginner equestrian because all good riders need to be able to move with their horse. In order to do this, you need core strength and control, coordination and of course balance. Being supple, having a good level of stamina and overall general fitness is also important to help you to maintain good form whilst riding and feel safe and secure in the saddle. In more practical terms, fitness is important as a beginner equestrian because good fitness allows you to sit to the trot without bouncing. Working to improve your fitness including your strength and flexibility can therefore be game-changing for your performance as an equestrian.

How to Improve your Fitness as a Beginner Equestrian

You will be glad to know that improving your fitness as a beginner equestrian doesn’t have to take you away from horseriding for vast amounts of time and completing two 15-20 minute workouts each week is sufficient to help you improve your riding. Your core and lower body are the main muscle groups to focus on when working out to improve your fitness as an equestrian. Any fitness workout that targets your core will help your stability when riding. Lower body strength is also important as an equestrian as this will help you to stay in control in the saddle. You can improve your lower body strength through doing exercises such as bridges, squats, lunges and toe taps. 

Varying your fitness routine will not only stop you from getting bored during your workouts but it will also keep lots of different muscles active and available to you when riding. You can mix up your workouts by attending a range of fitness classes or have a look on YouTube for workouts for equestrians.


How to Improve your Flexibility and Posture as a Beginner Equestrian

Improving your flexibility and posture is a big part of working on your fitness as a beginner equestrian. Having the correct posture and balance is crucial for the right alignment when in the saddle. Working on your posture isn’t just about having the correct posture whilst riding, it is also important to keep a neutral spine throughout your daily life in order to maintain a good posture. 

Stretching can also help to improve your flexibility, posture and general fitness as a beginner equestrian. Stretching, in particular, stretches aimed at the hips and upper and lower back are hugely important to keep supple and at ease when riding your horse. Doing a weekly yoga or pilates session – whether you are attending a class or following a pre-recorded video – is a great way to ensure you are taking the time out of your day to stretch your muscles. Plus, yoga can also be a meditative practice to help you to relax and take time for yourself whilst also improving your balance. 

As part of improving your fitness as a beginner equestrian, it is also important to remember to warm up before you go riding. Warming up will reduce the chances of muscle injury and also improve your flexibility and suppleness.


Summarising the Importance of Fitness for Beginner Equestrians

Although horse riding in itself is a form of exercise, you can improve your form as a beginner equestrian by also engaging in other forms of exercise and fitness in order to improve your strength and flexibility. By improving your strength, flexibility and fitness as an equestrian you can improve your performance, technique and reduce the risk of injury.

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