How a Warm-Up Could Improve Your Riding
Leave the office/drive to the yard, tack up, get on, 10mins spent walking/loosening off your horse but what about your warm up?
Minus maybe a walk to the field/mucking out, have you paid any attention to making sure you are ready to ride?
All too often I have witnessed riders carry tension from a stressful day, stiff hips due to sitting at a desk or totally unaware they are sitting lopsided, only then to wonder why their horse struggles more on one rein or are unable to create that harmonious partnership.
There are two athletes in your team and both need to be adequately prepared for training/competition in order to create that picture perfect partnership.
Why Is a Warm Up So Important?
As you well know as a rider you do far more than just sit on the horse. If you have read my last blog with Forelock & Fringe on rider fitness you will know full well how important our position is not only to improving your riding but also aid your horse’s movement and helps prevent muscular/joint problems for your horse. Remember you are an athlete too, you would never see a 100m sprinter jump straight into sprints or a netball player straight into a game – just as you warm your horse up, every athlete needs a warm-up in order to train correctly, effectively and to avoid injury. A good warm-up routine will prepare your whole body, increasing your heart rate, relieving any stiffness and also help you identify any problem areas and even differences in mobility between your left and right. Any stiffness or imbalances in your body will directly affect your horse.
So What Do You Need to Do?
In this months May Forelock & Fringe box you will find a series of warm up exercises specifically designed for the equestrian athlete. It takes no more than 5 minutes to complete and will ensure you are supple and ready to ride! The exercises also work well as a morning mobility routine to kick start your day or on your lunch break at the office – as much movement as you can fit in your day the better you will ride, move and feel for it! When performing the exercises pay particular attention to any areas that are especially stiff or where you know you have a weakness and make sure you push the stretch, (it may feel a little uncomfortable) but never push it to the point of pain.
Make it a Habit
Time may be tight and everyone rushes to just get on and get it done. But taking 5 minutes out to warm up will make your riding session far more beneficial.Take a picture of the exercises on your phone or pin them up outside your stable – set yourself a goal to perform before every time you ride and remind yourself this is for yours and your horses benefit.
To help you reach your riding potential I am offering all subscribers of Forelock & Fringe £15 off your first session with me (either online or in person).
If you need any help with any of the exercises or have any questions please do not hestitate to contact me via social media or email [email protected]
Look forward to seeing all your photos!
Owner and Lead Trainer at CentreLine Performance
BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Therapy
Level 3 Personal Trainer