Exercise and Nutrition for Equestrian Pursuits

dp / 24 February 2012

Motus Training founder, Darren Putt, has been helping people with their health and fitness for almost 10 years. Over that time Darren and the Motus Team have worked with many clients involved in various forms of horse riding and consistently produced amazing results for both the individual and their riding.

In this special report, Darren shares with you some of the most effective exercises and tips you can use to improve your riding and get even more enjoyment from the hobby you love.

?Many people who ride think the only way to improve their riding is to ride more - practice more. Whilst, of course, practice is important if we look at the skills and elements of fitness that horse riding requires, there are a number of ways we can help you improve much more quickly. From working with a range of horse riders, I have been able to identify key muscle groups to train and strengthen along with areas that can become inflexible and dysfunctional if not attended to. Also, through our work with an experienced riding instructor, we have found that many technical problems with someone's riding are often due to a physical limitation in strength and/or flexibility. The knowledge we have built up has allowed many of our clients to take their riding to a new level?.

Anna Ogilvie has been teaching horse riding in the Cotswolds for over 20 years and has worked with complete beginners to 3-day Eventers.?Many clients have asked me what they can do in between lessons to improve their riding. This type of training is undoubtedly the most effective I have come across and has allowed my clients to get even more out of their lessons and improve their riding skills more quickly?.

1)          Improve your Balance and Coordination: Leg exercises are a great way to do this. Start with leg squats or deadlifts. These can be progressed to more complex exercises as you improve.

If you can master exercises like these which work on your spatial awareness, you will see an immediate benefit with your dressage.

2)         Strengthen your Glutes (bottom) and Lower Back: Deadlifts and Good Mornings are the best exercises for horse riders. Seek expert instruction before attempting these as technique is everything.

Strengthening this movement will help reduce falls, particularly when jumping.

3)          Work on your Posture:  Sit tall. A variety of the squat called the Front Squat, where the weight is placed on the front of your shoulders rather than behind your neck, is ideal for this.

By improving your posture and balance, your positioning on the horse will improve. This will not only help you stay on the horse but also mean your weight is being distributed evenly, minimising the chance of muscular imbalances developing in him/her.

4)          Keep your Heels Down: Stretch your calves.

5)           Do your Horse a Favour ? Part 1: If you are carrying a few extra pounds, losing some weight will ease the pressure you place upon your horse and he/she will thank you!

Your riding can be transformed just by losing weight, toning up and improving all-round fitness.

6)          Do your Horse a Favour - Part 2: Improve your endurance.

When riders tire, they tend to slump on the horse and sit incorrectly which will overload the horse's back and potentially cause him/her injuries

7)          Have regular Sports Massage: Certain muscle groups are prone to tightness from regular horse riding. One of the best ways to alleviate this before they cause injuries is to have a regular sports massage. Common muscle groups affected are the hip flexors, mid-back, calves and ilio-tibial band (the outside of your thigh). To book a specialist sports massage at our studio or your home, call 01789 450 141

Your horse has a training regime ? so should you!

Motus Training run a private Personal Training Studio on Alscot Estate near Stratford-upon-Avon but also offer home visits throughout the CotswoldsThe team at the Motus Training studio are dedicated to offering the best possible Personal Training and Nutrition services to help you transform your body, fitness levels and health.

Darren and his team would like to invite you to get in touch to arrange a free consultation to discuss your needs, please call 01789 450 141 or email darren@motustraining.co.uk

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