How are you all?
If you don’t think that riding a horse can help you to get fit, you have probably never tried it before. Many horseback riders have heard all the comments regarding how riding isn’t really that much of a workout and how it’s the horse doing all the work, but sitting atop a large and powerful animal which has a mind of its own requires a level of strength and balance which amounts to a full body workout. There’s a reason why so many guys check out female horse riders, and why male riders are so popular with the ladies. Riding horses is bound to test the notions of fitness and strength that you already have, and if you give it a go, you’ll realize there are more health and fitness benefits to the sport than you initially thought.
Balance and Stability
When riding on an ‘unstable’ surface such as the back of a horse, balance is absolutely critical. If the horse is being hand-walked then it seems pretty easy, but add some speed and different maneuvers, and it can soon get pretty tricky. If the horse dives to the left, for example, you don’t do the same – you need to remain upright in order to stay upright in the saddle. What makes this even more difficult is that your legs and arms need to be free to give cues to the horse. After a few weeks of practicing horse riding, you’ll be surprised at how much your overall balance and stability improves.
For first-time riders, the realization that horseback riding is more difficult than it looks tends to come quickly. In order to get a horse to pick up speed or even walk in a circle, there is a lot which needs to be happening simultaneously and coordination is key to ensure that the horse takes the cues and doesn’t just end up wandering off. Coordinating leg pressure, rein pressure, and body position all at once might seem impossible at first, but with some practice it becomes like second nature and your coordination will improve both in and out of the saddle.
When you first begin horse riding, you should prepare for soreness in your legs, arms and cores after a day of being in the saddle. Unless you’re simply sat there doing nothing, there is no room for passive sitting in this sport with no way to ride unless you’re engaging almost all of your body, especially the adductor muscles in your legs. In order to stay put in the saddle a rider must ‘squeeze’ these muscles, and the core must also engage in order to keep the rider upright and protect the spine. All of this might not seem like your average weights workout, however after riding regularly for a few weeks, you’ll start to see noticeable differences in your arms, thighs, and core. You will be more toned, stronger, and flexibility will improve.
What to give horse riding a go? One Stop Equine Shop sell all the equipment you’ll need from a helmet to horse spurs – click here to shop their store.
Have you tried Horse riding?