Any professional horse rider will tell you that it is not a vocation for the faint of heart; the sport is both physically and mentally demanding, and top riders compete at their peak fitness! Horse riders are noted for their strength and flexibility, which comes through hours of in-and out-of-the-saddle training; even at the lowest levels of competition, strength, stamina, and flexibility are required to perform at your best. So, why don’t you compile a list of horseback riding activities you can perform from the comfort of your own home?
You may devote significant time to considering your horse’s health, diet, and training. On the other hand, many riders are completely unaware of their fitness levels. Fitness is more important than increasing your riding skills; it’s also about avoiding injury and ensuring that you can ride for years to come!
Since the introduction and spread of COVID-19 over the world, many horse riders are spending less time in the saddle and remaining at home to limit the virus’s transmission and the burden on public health services. Competitions and performances may be postponed for now, but staying fit and healthy is critical if you want to be ready to go when they return. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the greatest horseback riding exercises you can do at home, in the house, or the garden – why not mix and match for a full-body workout?
Horse Riding Exercises necessitate core strength.
Riding a horse has long been linked to core strength; we’ve all had a tough schooling session and felt our stomach and leg muscles screaming at us the next day! Retaining a straight posture and optimal riding position while maintaining a good seat and autonomous hands requires core strength (there should be a straight line from your shoulder to your hip and through to your heel). Weights are needed for several of these workouts, but if you don’t have any, you can make weight by filling a sack with water bottles or other household items.
It’s time to wear your gym clothes instead of your riding gear and train!
Lunges in a counter-clockwise direction
This practice is fantastic for training and developing your legs and working toward a more solid leg position, comfortable seat, and the ability to urge the horse forward with your body (we’ve all heard “more leg!”). Make sure you wear your weighted backpack on your back if you’re completing this workout with weights. Take a deep step backward with one leg and lunge, making sure your knee contacts the floor to return to a standing position with both feet parallel.
Repeat for 20 lunges; if you don’t feel a burn after that, do another 20 until you do — no pain, no gain!
With a Zercher, squats
Another leg-strengthening exercise that combines well with reverse lunges is the Zercher Squat. Keep your hands together in front of your face with a bent elbow if you’re using weights, or keep both hands together in front of your face and balance your backpack on top of your arms if you’re not using weights.
Slowly squat, gently bending your knees and pressing your hips back and down. After 20 repetitions, you should be able to feel your legs working.
Sumo Deadlift with a High Pull
This exercise has 20 reps and involves upper and lower body exercises. Although riders are famed for their strong cores and legs, upper body and arm strength are just as important.
Standing in a wide sumo stance with your feet parallel and your body looking forward is a good place to start. With both hands, hold your weighted backpack by the straps or your kettlebell/dumbbell in front of your hips.
Squat and lower your weight while keeping your back straight and chest up, straighten your legs, and pull the weight or backpack upwards, finishing with your weight beneath your chin and elbows high and wide.
In the stomach, there are crunches.
Crunches are an exercise that no one likes. Whether you like it or not, these stomach crunches and leg raises will strengthen your core and train your stomach muscles. Your riding instructor will thank us afterward.
Begin by lying flat on your back with your arms behind your head and elbows out. Using your core strength, lift one of your legs/knees halfway up, touching them with the other elbow while crossing your body.
Rep the process, lifting your upper body by placing your hands behind your head and your opposing elbow against your knee. Perform 20 repetitions of this exercise until your core muscles ache – you’ll know it’s working when your core muscles ache!
No matter where you are, we hope these workouts will help you stay active and strong while living at home! If you do our top riding exercises at home, you will feel stronger and more confident than ever while horseback riding. Don’t forget to look into online horseback riding lessons if you’re working out at home.