What are your fitness challenges and what types of injuries have you had?

What are your biggest fitness challenges as a rider? Which areas of your body give you the most trouble and which do you wish you could improve?


What types of injuries do you have now or have you had in the past? What types of injuries do you think riders struggle with most?


If you could ask any fitness or injury-related questions to a top-notch osteopath and athletic therapist, what would you ask?


Thanks for your input!

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Hi Lise!
I know that feeling as I'm still nursing my daughter!
Any type of sensation that you're fighting collapsing forward includes tight anterior (front) neck and chest muscles and weak and lengthened posterior upper back and neck muscles. Therefore, a good routine for you would include doing the opposite: stretching the front muscles and strengthening the back.
Can you clarify your core stability program?

A common mistake I find is that many people always ignore their back muscles and only work on their abdominal muscles. I'll incorporate a program for you in the series as well. In addition, one reason your right shoulder may be unable to move very well is for that reason: a muscular imbalance between the front and back of the shoulder muscles. Surgery wouldn't be an option at this point, as the muscles may still be in tact, just not firing when they're supposed to be. What did the Sports Doc say?

Thanks for your reply!
He said to see the physio ~ which I haven't yet (my bad) and to buy a brace. The worse injuries I sustain to my shoulder are during sleep ~ which I can't control because it dislocates all the time at night. My rear delt and rotator cuff muscles are injured, and I have a bad tendonitis in my right arm that is being reinjured constantly at night ~ from dislocations, even with the brace, because like you said the muscles are imbalanced, and it dislocates. It feels better than before ~ but progress is really slow in healing (my fault for not seeing the physio)
Intersting about the neck muscles and back muscles. I've been working on the seated row with elastics, several types of sit-ups and leg lifts for the upper mid and lower abs as well as obliques. I have extremely weak obliques. Although recently my biggest weakness is motivation to exercise, because of my weird shoulder...

I start with 30 min of exercise bike ~ then usually 20 min of strengths training.

Now with the shoulder injury I cannot do any type of 'fly' with the elastics or weights (or nothing) because my shoulder threatens to dislocate. I can pull straight back as in a row ~ just nothing over my head or lateral ~ as in opening a rein. (it hurts when I ride)

Thank goodness my mare has a light mouth :)

Thanks for all your interest!
Hi, Claire and Lise:

I only had the "frontal imbalance" issue when I too was nursing my daughter, and I could not wait to get rid of it! However, I coach many middle aged adult amateur women who struggle with this issue. Go out and get an Enell sports bra (if you can afford it buy 3). It will minimise the frontal imbalance, control bounce, AND act as a shoulder/back brace.

I'm sure Clare can come up with some exercises to help with your shoulder. I also have clients with a similar problem and exercise has been of assistance. Having had many major injuries, several involving intra-articular fractures, I can say from experience that the right exercise (and motivation!) can make all the difference, but be prepared to be uncomfortable and be prepared to focus hard on every move you make while doing the exercise regimen. Inattention can cause a lot of problems. When I fractured my shoulder (took the ball off the humerus and crushed it into crumbs) I was told that at best I would lose all of the function in my arm. I refused to accept that, and once I was out of the sling/weight I started grooming horses for physiotherapy (I also used that as physio when I broke my right wrist last spring). At first it took 2 hands to move the curry around, and move the brushes, but it got better, and in both cases my orthopedic surgeons were amazed at my recovery of range of motion and strength. I have recovered total range of motion in both joints when the prognosis was for a 60% to 100% loss of range of motion and strength.

With regard to Jennifer - I too have structural scoliosis, and my x-rays look pretty awful. I've had recurring problems with my back partly due to the scoliosis and partly due to lumbar fractures in my late teens, but again, the exercise program that Heather Sansom worked up for me (online and on the phone) has worked wonders, and I have no back and hip pain at all now, and am riding and training hard again.

I hope this helps!
I need help on anything and everything to do with tension in my shoulders and neck. Thanks!
Hi Barb,
Will do. I'm in the process of re-doing the videos, so they should hopefully be up in a day or two!
Which is better for aches and pains (sore back, joints, etc.), Advil or Alleve?
Hi Gary,
Great question! I will have a video for this as well within a day or two.
Thanks for the input!
A couple of years ago I got bucked off my horse and fractured my left tibial plateau. I was in a cast for 2 months, then physio, etc. I am going to be 55 years old this April and have a lot of arthritis in that knee. I can only ride a maximum of 2 hours on the trail because of pain in that knee. What exercises would you suggest that will not cause inflammation or pain to my knee, but would help to strengthen it? Even walking is painful.

Looking forward to hearing any advice you might have!

Thanks, me-and-Cisco!
I've had a similar question regarding knee rehabilitation, so I will try and combine the two subjects. I'm feverishly working on them as we speak!
I would like to know what I can do to strengthen my lower leg effectively.
My coach is always telling me to squeeze, squeeze harder! I feel that I am,obviously I am not....
Being "older", I find I am now dealing with sore hip joints after riding and workouts- some really good exercises and stretches for the hip flexors would be nice too.
Thank you,
Hello Stephanie,
I would be more than happy to include some exercises for your legs, with some stretching. It's not about being "older" it's about retraining your body, which can be done at any age!
Thanks, Claire!
I am really looking forward to your posts.


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