Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com's Blog (29)

Rider Fitness- those old bones!

Hi, I just posted a blog entry about managing age and injury as a rider. The post was doing some funny formatting, so I had to fix it. Here it is again:

EquiTip July 2010: Those Old Bones…


Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on July 19, 2010 at 7:34pm — 1 Comment

Those Old Bones- Ride well after injury (or age!)

Hi, I thought I'd share a recent fitness tip I send out in my newsletter about how to recover from injury and manage age so your body works the way you want it to when you're riding. (by the way, you can sign up to receive free monthly fitness tips for riders at www.equifitt.com )…


Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on July 17, 2010 at 12:09pm — 3 Comments

Ride Fit 1-2-3- How to Ride Better

Hi, with so much going on at this time of year, I thought I'd share my latest fitness tip for equestrians. The EquiTips go around the world to a few thousand readers, and subscription is free (just email me at personaltraining@equifitt.com if you want to subscribe to the fittips). You can also read lots of free articles by looking up Fitness Tip of the Month in the search bar on www.equisearch.com .…


Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on March 29, 2010 at 10:30am — No Comments

Ride Fit 1-2-3: Making Sure Your Barn Chores Aren't Causing You Postural Problems in the Saddle

Hello and Happy New Year!

I had a great question recently posted to my page about the effect of barn chores on your body, as a rider. Lorel's question about barn choring is actually quite common, so she gave permission for me to post her question here in the blog so that others could benefit.

Lorel's Question:

Hi Heather, I struggle with a problem which I am sure many other riders have. I am employed working with horses then do farmwork when I get home so I have… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on December 28, 2009 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Ride Fit 1-2-3: Self-carriage & Centered Riding

Since my last blog entry, I decided to follow up the Centered Riding clinic that inspired that blog, with some lessons in the process of becoming a Centered Riding instructor.

It's an interesting journey. If you've never read Sally Swift's book, Centered Riding, I highly recommend that you do: there are great illustrations and visuals in there which can really help you with awareness and posture while you are riding.

The Equifitt work I do most of the time is about building… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on November 25, 2009 at 1:30pm — 5 Comments

Fit to Ride 1-2-3: Centered Riding, Balimo and Awareness

Hi, As you know, you can post questions to the Ride Fit blog, along with photos (if you have them and want to) and take advantage of the blog as a free online 'clinic' to help you with specific suggestions for getting more alignment between your riding, and your fitness activities.

Just as with other sports, there is no single workout you can pull out of a box that will make you a better rider. There are some principles: good posture, for example, is essential to good riding whatever… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on November 5, 2009 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

Ride Fit 1-2-3: More on Soft Hands and the Connection with Shoulder Strength

Comments and questions recently posted to my last blog were really excellent. I've copied them here, with some answers. Remember- you can post questions, comments and even photos for analysis to the latest Ride Fit blog. I try and respond in the next blog posting.


OK, I totally agree with this:

"we do look for alignment from the elbow through the forearm to the bit, regardless of discipline. A rider should also have softness… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on October 1, 2009 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Ride Fit 1-2-3: Fitting up for Cross Country

Hi, I had an excellent question about suitable training schedules for getting fit for Eventing in my inbox in response to one of the recent Ride Fit blogs. The question and response are below.


Hi Heather

Thanks for responding to my blog post about neck stretches. As my neck and back have been causing me problems lately I've decided to start up my clinical pilates again which I'd let slide when life got busy. I'd be interested on your opinion about a couple… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on September 5, 2009 at 9:30am — No Comments

Ride Fit 1-2-3 More Stretches: Get better shoulders


Since the questions and comments to last weeks' lengthy blog on stretching were related to how to get better shoulder mobility, I've uploaded a new video showing some pre and post ride stretches for chest and shoulders.


You can post comments, questions and even photos to this Ride Fit blog anytime. The… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on August 12, 2009 at 8:58am — No Comments

Ride Fit 1-2-3: Stretches for Riders


I'm sitting in my training studio and it seems eerily quiet these days- except anywhere near horse show grounds. For some of you, the show season is in full swing with long days, and long weeks. It seems like the summer daylight hours just give us more time to work: more time to train, more time at the barn—and less time for other things, like off-horse exercise. And with the sun rising later and setting just a little sooner- it's like we're really trying to 'make hay while the sun… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on August 5, 2009 at 11:09pm — 1 Comment

Ride Fit 1-2-3: Getting a Great Core Workout

Hi, I have to first apologize for being slightly longer with getting this latest blog out to you. This month has been quite busy due to preparing for an interview with Jane Savoie for her 'Interviews with Experts' section of her Dressage Mentor site (great site by the way!), and the launch of my books, Handy Stretching Guide for Riders, and The… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on July 28, 2009 at 11:30am — No Comments

What to Do When You're 'Older' to Enjoy Your Ride and Ride Safely

Hi, This week I spotted a great question posted to the 'over 50 rider' group. I've copied it below:

What are you doing to keep fit/get fit, keep supple, improve or keep your balance, stretch muscles or even to control nerves and be calm? And what supplements are people taking, or herbs or meds to keep from feeling pained and creaky before and after…


Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on July 11, 2009 at 11:30am — No Comments

Ride Fit 1-2-3: Rider Question- Rounded Shoulders and Spinal Issues

Hi, The rider that submitted her question for this weeks' blog was so clear, her question is pasted below:

Hi Heather, I have two main problems that I am dealing with right now. The first is that my shoulders are very hunched and rounded forward. I have a hard time keeping them open and back when I'm riding (and in general!). I have some back problems (a rotational scoliosis in my T10/T11 vertebrae and a tendency for my L3/L4 disc to want to herniate), but I do not believe that… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on June 25, 2009 at 8:33pm — 2 Comments

Ride Fit 1-2-3: Rider Analysis- Head Forward Problem

Hi, There were some great comments to last weeks' blog on soft hands and the training scale for rider fitness. One rider submitted some detailed information and photos with her question, so we will do an online clinic this week. My mandate with the Barnmice online 'clinic' is to provide three recommendations for off-horse exercises. It's actually hard for me to limit to three, and I often write in a few more bonus suggestions. A few exercises doesn't make a suddenly fitter, better rider.… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on June 16, 2009 at 5:00pm — 3 Comments

Ride Fit 1-2-3: More on soft hands and the 'training scale' for rider fitness


I just had the privilege of auditing a clinic with Jane Savoie this weekend. Now I'm in a kind of overfed state of sleepy shock...a little like you feel after Thanksgiving dinner because last weekend I also worked at a clinic in Nova Scotia as co-clinician with Lisa Wilcox. I don't know if my poor brain can handle any more rich input for a few days at least!

From a fitness point of view, last weeks' blog entry on light hands and proper use of the back really came back to me… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on June 7, 2009 at 11:30pm — 9 Comments

Ride Fit 1-2-3: Fitness for Riders- Getting Better Arm Position and Softer Hands


This week's topic comes from a rider (Erika) who posted the following question:

Though recently I've done very much to my core and leg positions, my arms have been neglected! Though I do not try, I know I keep my arms tense and not as relaxed as the rest of my body.

So my question(s) are, where exactly should I keep my hands (I show Training/First Level), and how should it feel? How can I relax my arms, and keep the contact that I need?

I have posted her picture in… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on June 3, 2009 at 9:30am — 3 Comments

Ride Better 1-2-3: Fitness for Riders- Getting better posture and aids with fitness on the go


Over the past three months since starting this rider fitness blog, we have had some really great questions and photos submitted. We've covered topics from back strength to leg position and more.

Some of you may not realise that each week I select one reader's questions (pictures are great but not necessary), and provide feedback on fitness recommendations targeted to specific goals as a rider.

Because so few of you submit photos, I was starting to wonder if you either… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on May 26, 2009 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Ride Better 1-2-3: Fitness for Riders Week 12- Get a Better Back


I love to get your comments and questions for this blog- so don't be shy! Attach them to the comments section of a fitness blog that interests you. I select one rider's question each week (if there is one- this week there wasn't) and provide some feedback and fitness tips.

We're officially into the swing of show season now. You still have time to do a little work to boost your stamina. By July, I see riders wilting in the heat, and by the end of season just plain… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on May 20, 2009 at 12:30pm — 3 Comments

Ride Better 1-2-3: Online Rider Fitness Clinic Week 11 What to Do About Tight Upper Thighs/Hips

Hi, Welcome back to the rider fitness blog. We had a great question from a reader last week about tight hips, and tight inner thighs. The fact is, riding causes tightness in the hips and thighs which has to be undone to ride better. As is the case with many sports such as hockey, golf, soccer and the list goes on, practicing your sport uses your muscles within a particular range of motion, in repetition. Failure to bring the muscle out of that range results in a shortening of the muscle,… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on May 12, 2009 at 10:00pm — 2 Comments

Ride Better 1-2-3: Online Rider Fitness Clinic Week 10- Stretches for Tight Thighs and Hamstrings


Last week there was a great comment posted to the Ride Better blog, with some really good photos and questions about tight hips and hamstrings.

The Rider

Sarah's clinic submission is in the comment section of the Week 9 clinic if you are interested in reading it in her own words. In summary, she is a 21 year old rider who has just picked up riding again after a break. She would like to do Eventing, but she is working on the flat with her coach to establish a… Continue

Added by Heather Sansom at Equifitt.com on May 5, 2009 at 10:29am — 4 Comments

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