Why it’s important to be physically fit as a rider/trainer
A fit horse that has good endurance, is supple, strong, and moves in balance. That’s what every trainer/rider wants. But what about the rider himself?
The truth is that many trainers/riders are far from fit …
Ask them to run 200 meters and many drop half dead…
Hands flat on the floor with stretched legs? Few will be able to do this …
Twenty squats? For some, 5 is already the limit …
Do you recognize yourself in this? Time to do something about it, because it’s not only better for yourself to be in good shape, but also for your horse.
Need extra motivation? Here are 7 reasons why you need to be physically fit as a trainer and rider.
1. Smooth and free movement
Horses mainly use body language to communicate. If your body moves freely and smoothly, you will also be able to communicate more freely and smoothly with your horse, without much effort, in a natural way.
2. Better coordination
The more you move (in the right way!), the better your coordination becomes. Especially if you do special exercises for that. This ensures that you will also give your aids better (both on the ground and in the saddle), it will be easier to move your limbs independently from each other.
3. Moving symmetrically
You become aware of your asymmetry and you can help yourself to move more balanced and symmetrically by doing specific movements and exercises. This is particularly important in the saddle: you want to sit up straight and be able to give your aids from a symmetrically moving body.
4. Positive and confident appearance
Horses like positive and confident people. Movement and sports make you feel better. The better you feel, the more positive and mentally stronger you will be in life. Horses feel that. But you will also be less likely to get frustrated if you run into a problem while training your horse. You will remain more positive about it.
5. Greater empathy
When you do some form of sport or movement practice yourself, you understand that some exercises are more difficult than others. That it takes time to improve your endurance. That your back twist is more difficult to the left than to the right. That you sometimes have muscle pain and that you can get tired if you continue too long.
This ensures that you can empathize better with the training of your horse. You understand, because you have experienced it yourself, that it’s not easy for your horse to be able to do a movement to the left as good as to the right, or to participate in that long day ride without proper preparation.
6. A better sitting position
You will become a better rider: because your body can move with suppleness, you will also be able to better follow the movements of your horse in walk, trot, and canter. This feels more pleasant for the horse as it is no longer hindered in its movements. The more supple your hips and back, the better you sit. But your muscle strength is also important, especially the deeper abdominal, pelvic, back, and leg muscles.
7. Less tired, more energy
If you’re fit, you don’t tire as quickly when you train your horse. That means taking longer walks with your horse in hand, in trot, and walking uphill. More energy to play with your horse and run along with him in the pasture. Staying fit during a longer ride with a lot of trot and canter.
I hope you now understand, being as fit as possible according to your limitations and possibilities can make a big difference in your horse life.