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 don't have photos, didn't realise you don't HAVE to have them to submit a question- or were just shy. Many thanks to the brave souls who have shared their photos.

Now that we're really heading into the thick of the competitive season, you probably need 'fitness on the go'-- solutions you can use at the barn or home, because there just is not time for a gym on top of all the other things you are managing.

Luckily, that's just the sort of workout I specialize in. You could call it 'fitness for barn mice' instead of gym rats! LOL. Silly joking aside, you can access fitness tips many ways. I write a monthly piece on dressage today online ( http://www.equisearch.com/dressagetoday/ ) which includes photos of exercises. You can also go on the Equifitt.com website resources page, and subscribe to monthly equestrian fitness tips for free.

And, you can POST YOUR QUESTIONS HERE. It's like going to a rider fitness workshop or clinic, for free. Just add a comment to the latest Ride Better 1-2-3 blogpost, and I'll be able to respond with a new blogpost. Don't worry, I won't ever tell you you need to lose weight. If you tell ME you want to, then I can give you some ideas, but my job is to help you with the self carriage and stamina you need for effective riding: better posture, clearer aids, less risk of injury/accident, stamina especially needed for hot show days in July. Many riding accidents occur when you are finishing your ride, and are fatigued and least able to respond to a sudden occurrence such as a spook. Most people have great posture when they start out, but somewhere through the ride your body reverts to it's old habits, making your aids less clear and effective.

If you're competing seriously this summer, don't make the mistake of thinking you're too busy. Getting started now with stretches, core work and other stamina building exercise could help you peak right around the end of show season- when all the championships are, and your competitors are tired instead of peaking because they haven't been training out of the saddle.

So, whether you have questions or just some additional comments to add to previous blog posts, this is the spot for fitness related posts. In fact, if you see someone's post that sounds a lot like you, I bet they'd be very encouraged if you spoke up. Many people who have submitted photos really took a big step of courage to do so, and I found myself explaining again and again that for everyone who asks the question, there area dozen people who had it in their heads but were too shy to speak up.

Looking forward to your feedback, comments and questions on anything related to rider fitness.

Happy Riding!

Heather Sansom

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