BioRider Fitness

A horseback rider’s lifestyle is very different from that of the average person. When at the barn with your horse, time can slip away and eating is usually the last thing a rider is thinking about. Thinking that you are going to lose weight because you’re not eating but still doing barn chores will backfire. Anytime you withhold food from your body, the body will slow down and prevent losing weight.

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Riding is one of the best forms of full body aerobic activity. When in the saddle, the rider’s core is essentially working the entire time. Muscles are constantly firing to keep core stability, core balance, and core support on the horse. I am not aware of one equivalent activity that has the same full body benefits as riding.

Riders in jumping disciplines (hunter/jumper/eventing) are always told not to lean up the horse’s neck before a jump or on the neck over a jump. Doing so puts the rider in a precarious position if the horse stops, and throws the horse off balance, which may cause his front end to hit the jump. Leaning up the neck may also lead to the hard-to-break habit of “ducking.”

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Everyone loses motivation from time to time, riders included. Motivation doesn’t come easy. Situations such as your horse going lame or being stuck at a training plateau for a long time can make any rider lose motivation. These are the times when you have to really push yourself. The only way to find motivation is to create it.

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By Bridget Braden-Olson

Something I never see at barns is a rider warming up before they get in the saddle. I get it – horse life is busy and very energy-consuming – but the body works better if it is properly warmed up.

Unless your schedule allows time for a full workout, rarely will you get more than ten minutes for a warm-up. I ride in the morning hours and there is seldom time for a long warm-up.

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What is it about side planks that makes them so hard? If you’ve ever done them in your workout, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Whether you do them on the ground or with your feet in TRX straps, they are one of the most challenging exercises there is. Thankfully, there are several great modifications you can do to help make the side plank more or less challenging as you work up your strength and endurance.

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Pelvic stability is a problem for many riders, and typically gets worse over time rather than better. It can be fixed by riding with even seat bones which increases pelvic strength, but various factors can contribute to uneven seat bones or an unbalanced pelvis.

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