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  • kmbleekman

I know I'm riding ok but know I could be doing better

Updated: Jun 2

How many times do we say the diet starts Monday? I'll try those exercises tomorrow? Sure I'll buy a foam roller next week? But we never actually do it and are then always left sitting here thinking come on!! I know I am not doing my best,  I know I should be riding better and I know I can be fitter and I can do that! Sometimes it's just the fact of not knowing how to & a lack of accountability, often that's where a personal trainer who understands your world comes in.  Ta da, debunking myths & giving you clear direction that clears up the confusion. So if you are feeling like this first of we need to understand why? Why are you feeling like this? Just stop for a moment and think about the real reason underlying that why. Now list down on paper 3 things you know you could be doing better & should be if you felt fitter & stronger when you're riding. When you write down these 3 things try and really focus on your WHY. Not just because I want to ride better, like the real reason deep down in your gut that makes you feel emotional when you think about it. Maybe you saw a video of yourself riding & realized how much you are leaning to one side & how that is causing your horse to have problems, now that would be a real why. Try & connect to your why, take some time to think about the real reasons behind your thoughts. Once you have established your WHY you can establish a goal. So set yourself a goal to achieve in the next 12 weeks, maybe it will be to strengthen up my left side so I am more even and sit more evenly balanced. Now you have established your goal & where you want to get to look at where you are currently at. So assess yourself, if you have pictures or videos of you riding fantastic. Don't be hard on yourself just look at what you are currently feeling and doing & note that down. Do the same from a standing position, if your standing crooked off the horse it's no surprise you struggle once you're on.  Establishing where you are currently at & where you want to get to is key so you now have a goal to work to and achieve and can tailor your training around these goals. If you are not used to training then start small, for the majority of riders we need to focus on strengthening;

  • HAMSTRINGS

  • GLUTEAL MUSCLES (YOUR BUTT!)

  • LOWER BACK

  • MID BACK

  • UPPER BACK & SHOULDERS



As you can see there is a recurring theme of strengthening the muscles in the posterior of your body, this is because these are the muscles we use when we ride & we need these muscles to be strong & functioning correctly so we can use them correctly when we ride. Whether you ride for a living or have an office job due to spending a lot of time seated the front of your body becomes very tight & overused, this leads to a shortening of the muscles such as the hip flexors & chest which would be referred to as "tight" muscles. To allow the posterior of your body to function correctly you must make sure the front of your body is supple & mobile. Without first having a stable & supple base you are just loading an immobile structure which can lead to injury. So always first focus on building a solid foundation of mobility before anything else, this can be done easily from home a few times a week. The muscles you want to focus on stretching, releasing & foam rolling;

  • CHEST (PECTORALS)

  • UPPER BACK & SHOULDERS

  • HIP FLEXORS

  • QUADS (START ON TOP THEN BOTTOM)

  • INNER THIGHS



Start by focusing on releasing the front of your body, spend 15 mins a day on mobilising your back, spine & hips whilst concentrating on releasing these tight muscles on the front of your body through stretching, foam rolling & ball work. Once you have done this you will have established a strong base for movement & to add strength. Like a horses programme, everything must be done progressively & first we must nail down the basics. Next email we will look at how to go about strengthening the body but first focus on your mobility, I cannot stress how important this is and how much it will help you to start riding better! Hope this has helped clear things up for you, Katie X


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