It’s finally the best time of the year! Horse show season is in full swing and depending on where you live, you have probably shown your horse at least once. After hitting the show ring, you know what you need to improve upon and have started practicing for bigger shows like the Buckeye, regionals, and perhaps even the national level shows. Although you can’t replace spending time at the barn and actually riding your horse, there are other ways to prepare for the bigger shows – from personal experience, I believe that is working on your physical fitness. Your horse is already in great shape – why not get yourself into shape as well?
Lace up the Sneakers
Classes at the larger shows are always longer with more horses in them – it is paramount to increase your endurance. There’s nothing worse than feeling winded in your class when the judge hasn’t even called for the line-up yet. Whether it is taking a brisk walk during your lunch break to becoming BFF’s with the treadmill, aiming to do some sort of cardio 3-4 times a week will help drastically.
Pump Some Iron
Grab a pair of weights to help develop your muscle control and coordination. Strength training a few times a week will improve your posture and help you have a better seat in the saddle. Another thing to consider is that when you have better control of your muscles, your cues to your horse will also be more consistent ultimately creating a better performance.
Stretch It Out
Flexibility is more crucial to riding than you may realize. If yoga isn’t your thing, remember to stretch your muscles after a cardio or strength session since they will already be warmed up. Besides making you may limber, learning how to stretch properly develops your ability to relax and alleviate tension you may be feeling. Remember, when any anxiety you feel, your horse will as well.
Besides improving your health, knowing that you are feeling fit and strong will give you a major confidence boost. Being in tune with your body will also help you empathize with your most valued teammate – your horse! We hope that you have found these tips helpful and wish you the best of luck the rest of this season.