While I am temporarily riding two horses, I can’t help but hope that the added exercise will make me a more fit rider. Equestrians are athletes, whether or not the general public believes it, and as such, a certain level of athleticism is required. We may not always be shaped like Usain Bolt, or Simone Biles, but we are still athletes nonetheless.
Now, I’m not here to talk about body type or body-shaming (hell, I just watched a video of myself and was lamenting that oh-so visible cellulite through my jods. Ugh), but I do think it’s worth noting one trend that I saw at the Olympics. And that is that those riders looked fit. It made me wonder- is this the result of their likely riding multiple horses a day? Do they supplement with working out at a gym, or running, or other non-riding cardio activities? What part of their routines make them look so damn tough?
I’ll be the first to admit that I do not work out regularly. I go through spurts of attempts to get to the gym, and recently I started doing an ab routine at home, and hopefully that won’t fizzle out like it has before. But truthfully, after a day at the office, and a trip to the barn, all I’m really thinking about is peeling off my disgusting sports bra and wondering if we’re out of red wine at home.
In my heart I know that I could really benefit as a rider from being a stronger, more fit person. Especially as the questions ramp up, whether that be on the flat or in the jump tack, I definitely think being in better shape makes me a better partner to my horse. And maybe it’s still as important on a greenie. Or is my level of comfort with that skill set (ie, bringing along greenies) sufficient? All things I am currently pondering.
So I want to hear from you- do you supplement riding with other physical activities? What demands do you place on yourself as an athlete and rider? Do you think that the riders at the upper levels are so fit due to riding alone, or do you know if they are potentially also lethal in the Zumba classroom? (Boyd Martin doing Zumba, now there’s an image for ya)