If you’re taking horse riding lessons, you have probably realised it is not as easy as it looks. It not only takes skill, which you’re obviously learning as each lesson passes, but you also need strength.
Rather than wasting your costly lessons slowly building up your fitness, there are horse riding exercises you can do at home in preparation. That way, you’re increasing the benefits of those lessons as you are doing a lot of the strength work at home.
So, without further ado, why not try some of the following riding exercises?
Squats for Balanced Riding
Balanced riding begins with a strong lower body. Squats are an excellent exercise to develop the muscles you need for a steady seat and effective leg aids. To perform squats correctly, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, lower your hips as if sitting in a saddle, and then rise back up. Remember to engage your core and keep your heels down, just like you would in the stirrups.
Planks for Core Strength
A strong core is crucial for maintaining your balance and stability while riding. Planks are a simple yet effective exercise to target your core muscles. Get into a push-up position, but with your weight resting on your forearms. Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels, engage your core, and hold the position for as long as you can. As you progress, you’ll notice improved posture and stability in the saddle.
Leg Raises for Lower Body Control
Leg raises mimic the motion of giving leg aids to your horse. Lie flat on your back, hands under your hips for support, and raise your legs up while keeping them straight. Slowly lower them back down without letting them touch the floor.
Wall Sits for Endurance
Long hours in the saddle require strong leg endurance. Wall sits are a fantastic way to build up your leg strength and endurance. Find a clear wall space, slide your back down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, and hold the position. Focus on your breathing and maintaining proper posture. As you hold the wall sit, visualize yourself riding through different paces and terrains.
Yoga for Flexibility and Relaxation
Yoga is not only beneficial for your body but also your mind – both essential components of successful horse riding. Incorporate yoga stretches and poses into your routine to improve flexibility, balance, and relaxation. Poses like Downward Dog, Child’s Pose, and the Warrior series can help release tension in your muscles and enhance your overall riding experience.
Cardiovascular Exercises for Stamina
Horse riding can be physically demanding, requiring cardiovascular endurance. Incorporate cardio exercises like jogging, jumping jacks, or skipping rope into your routine.
Gearing Up for Equestrian Excellence
The work you put in at home will make a significant impact on the work you do the next time you take a horse riding Essex lesson. You will gain the fitness and strength that you need and give yourself a better chance of enjoying a successful lesson. So, grab your exercise mat and start working towards equestrian excellence – your next ride will thank you for it!