Riding exercises

Riding exercises

Post by Jenn026 » Mon, 13 Nov 2000 04:00:00


What are some good exercises to strengthen legs for riding dressage?  I am also
thinking about purchasing the book on the Female Equestrian (can't remember
what it is called exactly).  Anyone recommend the book?

In particular I am looking for exercises that stretch/strengthen my hips and
that strengthen my lower legs.  I tend to get some sort of cramp in my right
hip especially when we are doing alot of circles and my right leg is definately
weaker than my left.

Thanks

 
 
 

Riding exercises

Post by Li » Mon, 13 Nov 2000 04:00:00

Quote:
>I tend to get some sort of cramp in my right
>hip especially when we are doing alot of circles

I get a cramp too if I do lots of circles.  Lazy me just says "maybe the horse
feels the same way I think I'll work on straight lines!".
I don't know if these exercises will help, my instructor liked to torture me
with them:
1.  Ride holding your knees up in the air.  This is a killer exercise.  I hate
it.  So it is probably very good for you.
2.  Ride standing up (sort of kneeling position over the withers) with arms
straight out to each side.  This is more of a  balance exercise, but it seemed
to require a lot of muscle to me!
3.  With your legs down in proper position, fold your leg so your foot is up by
your rear end, use your hand to hold it there.  Can be done with either one or
both legs.  This is another killer exercise.  I once saw a German lunging
master yell at an instructor that she was making her student hold the position
for too long and that the exercise should be done briefly.

 
 
 

Riding exercises

Post by Northsta » Mon, 13 Nov 2000 04:00:00

What might be some good exercises off the horse?

NT..

Quote:

> >I tend to get some sort of cramp in my right
> >hip especially when we are doing alot of circles

> I get a cramp too if I do lots of circles.  Lazy me just says "maybe the horse
> feels the same way I think I'll work on straight lines!".
> I don't know if these exercises will help, my instructor liked to torture me
> with them:
> 1.  Ride holding your knees up in the air.  This is a killer exercise.  I hate
> it.  So it is probably very good for you.
> 2.  Ride standing up (sort of kneeling position over the withers) with arms
> straight out to each side.  This is more of a  balance exercise, but it seemed
> to require a lot of muscle to me!
> 3.  With your legs down in proper position, fold your leg so your foot is up by
> your rear end, use your hand to hold it there.  Can be done with either one or
> both legs.  This is another killer exercise.  I once saw a German lunging
> master yell at an instructor that she was making her student hold the position
> for too long and that the exercise should be done briefly.

--
"The wind flew.   God told the wind to condense itself and out of the flurry came
the horse.
But with the spark of spirit the horse flew by the wind itself."

--Marguerite Henry, Kind Of The Wind

 
 
 

Riding exercises

Post by m j » Tue, 14 Nov 2000 04:00:00

get a well fitting pair of running shoes and hit the pavement. stretch out
before and after.

i started my cross training 3 months ago and can now easily run 4 miles, and
i have a nice quiet strong leg in the saddle.

-mj

 
 
 

Riding exercises

Post by Jenn026 » Wed, 15 Nov 2000 15:20:28

I had a friend in high school that started running cross country and had to
quit riding because everytime she did ride her legs would cramp up unbearably.
This was the only time that her legs would bother her.  Later on after college
when she started riding again she was fine.

This has always kept me from running but maybe she just wasn't riding regularly
enough or something. I don't remember! I am always paranoid because I tend to
get cramps rather easily (charly horses, I think they are called)!  I do like
to go bike riding although I don't do it nearly enough!

So did you notice a great improvement in your riding?

Quote:
>get a well fitting pair of running shoes and hit the pavement. stretch out
>before and after.

>i started my cross training 3 months ago and can now easily run 4 miles, and
>i have a nice quiet strong leg in the saddle.

 
 
 

Riding exercises

Post by m j » Wed, 15 Nov 2000 04:00:00

jenn,

i have a tendency to cramp too (calves and feet), but i've found a
solution - water and lots of it. i only cramp when i'm not properly
hydrated - i currently drink 4 -6 liters of water a day (not including what
i drink with meals). i run 5 days a week (squats, sit-ups and push-ups too)
and ride 3-5 times a week, weather permitting. bonus note for the water -
it's great for your skin too.

the first 2 months were pretty tough getting up to speed, and on the days
when i ran and rode i could REALLY feel it, i got fatigued after a good bit
of posting.but now -  huge improvement in my seat. i ride hunt seat and have
always had a problem with my leg slipping forward at trot transitions, i
think i was bracing myself in the stirrup a bit. i find it much easier these
days to keep that leg still through transitions. i also feel like my
reactions are quicker and more precise, correction with my legs is much
easier.

my trainer and my riding buddies have also noted the changes. my usually
quiet 5 year old has done some really dramatic shys this fall (crunchy
leaves and golden retrievers) and i haven't moved in the saddle. my friend
saw one this weekend and she couldn't believe i stayed so solid in the
saddle.

-mj

 
 
 

Riding exercises

Post by Tim Shurtlef » Thu, 16 Nov 2000 04:00:00


Quote:
>e book on the Female Equestrian

Fitness, Performance and the Female Equestrian.  By Mary Midkiff, Howell Book
House, NY (A Simon and Schuster McMillan Company.  Copyright 1996

ISBN 0-87065-945-0

95% of it is applicable to riders of both genders.  The female focus is just
marketing.  I got it for my wife when we were at Equitana in '97.  The author
was presenting and I asked her about the female focus and she said that it was
where the market was, and agreed that the info and exercises would be useful for
men too.  

Tim Shurtleff...

Life is like giving a violin concert,
while trying to learn the instrument...
With everyone you care about watching.

http://www.usmo.com/~tshrtlef

 
 
 

Riding exercises

Post by Richard Bisho » Fri, 17 Nov 2000 04:00:00


Quote:
> Ballet and/or yoga.

Tai Chi.

Sue

Quote:

>    Jan



> >What might be some good exercises off the horse?

> >NT..


> >> >I tend to get some sort of cramp in my right
> >> >hip especially when we are doing alot of circles

> >> I get a cramp too if I do lots of circles.  Lazy me just says "maybe
> the horse
> >> feels the same way I think I'll work on straight lines!".
> >> I don't know if these exercises will help, my instructor liked to
torture me
> >> with them:

>    [...]

 
 
 

Riding exercises

Post by Richard Bisho » Fri, 17 Nov 2000 04:00:00


Quote:




> >> Ballet and/or yoga.

> >Tai Chi.

> >Sue

> >>    Jan

> Yep, that's a combination of both, and it's even good for making your
> mind shut up, so you can hear yourself think.

> Good call, Sue  :)

I need to get back into Tai Chi.  Haven't been doing it for a while and I
notice
the difference.  BTW, folks, I highly recommend glucosomine (sp) and
Chondroitin (sp).
Both of them along with a pain killer named Vioxx have put me in very good
shape.

Sue

- Show quoted text -

Quote:

>    Jan

> --
> "A travelling preacher came to town; he didn't charge anything
> for his preaching and it was worth it"                   -- Mark Twain

 
 
 

Riding exercises

Post by Dawn Lawso » Sat, 18 Nov 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

> Ballet and/or yoga.

>    Jan

Ballet is really not a very good choice, since it is based on being able to turn
your legs OUT from the hip where good riding requires the exact opposite.  No point
in spending your out of saddle time developing muscles to work against you in the
saddle.

Quote:


> >What might be some good exercises off the horse?

> >NT..

--
?????????????????????????????
 
 
 

Riding exercises

Post by Joel B Levi » Sat, 18 Nov 2000 04:00:00



Quote:

}
}> Ballet and/or yoga.
}
}Ballet is really not a very good choice, since it is based on being able to turn
}your legs OUT from the hip where good riding requires the exact opposite.  No point
}in spending your out of saddle time developing muscles to work against you in the
}saddle.

I can't comment on whether ballet is a good exercise for an active rider.  I
did know one *** rider who had been a dancer (more modern than ballet, I
think, but she did both) for a long time before she started riding.  She was
in excellent shape (wrong muscles, of course, when she started) but later felt
hampered because she could not get her heels down.  Stretching down she could
barely get her foot past level.  This was because all the years of dancing,
including en pointe, had contracted her achilles tendon to the point where she
could not lower her heel in the saddle.  I don't think it affected her riding
ability so much as her ability to satisfy an instructor as to her position.

Just another (outlying?) data point for the exercise discussion.

        /J

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