|This takes strength|
An exercise program designed for horseback riding can help prepare a beginner to ride, improve performance in the saddle for established riders, and decrease the chance of injury for everyone. Horses also benefit from a rider who is able to maintain stability and balance in the saddle.
Training can be of three types, which is similar for any sport:
- The most important is time in the saddle, both for learning skills and increasing your body's specific capability to ride.
- The next priority is a foundation of strength, conditioning, and movement important for people in all sports and fitness pursuits, This foundation provides improved fitness and health well beyond riding. See Functional Strength.
- Finally are exercises that emphasize the physical demands encountered while riding, and develop good posture. Trying to exactly imitate riding isn't attempted though- the movement patterns and coordination of muscles can't be recreated on the ground.
|Squat progression for equestrian fitness|
|Pulling and core strength combined|
Another exercise that combines upper body strength and core stability, while on your feet, is an inclined row using a suspension device. The movement is in the arms and shoulders, and the entire body is involved down to the feet.
|Pulling and multi-directional stability exercise|
This version is done with a single arm, adding an additional stabilizing challenge to keep the body from twisting.
To make this exercise more difficult, change the angle of the body to be more horizontal. Holding alignment and posture here takes work! The angle can be changed as you go, making the exercise very versatile.
The trainer getting trained.
Excellent research just published.
Core fitness training for riders boosts symmetry in the saddle – research
"The physical influence of the rider is increasingly being recognized as an important contributor to equine back pain and lameness, and research demonstrates that asymmetrical loading in particular can be damaging to the horse."