Using an Exercise Ball for Rider Fitness
The exercise ball is the one key fits all route to getting fit to ride.
Fancy treadmills and gym equipment are good additions but you really need something you can build into your everyday life.
Yes; mucking out, filling haynets, pooh picking and walking back and forth to the field will help with your general fitness. But yard chores can sometimes fix muscle groups in rigid positions and can over-develop your forearms or biceps on just one side. Making you over-use the rein or lean more on that side.
Here’s a small selection of exercise ball routines that will help you increase your fitness level and improve your suppleness and joint strength.
Remember to take it slowly, not to do too much and get qualified medical advice if you have any specific illnesses, disorders or disabiliites.
15 deep circles in each direction
2 Sets of 10 – 15 turns each side with 20 seconds between sets.
2 Sets of 12 – 15 lifts each side – with 20 seconds rest.
3 Sets of 10 slow lifts. Hold for 3 – 5 seconds in upward phase.
12 Slow rolls each side for 2 sets – 20 seconds rest between sets.
2 Sets of 12 – 15 lifts with 20 seconds rest between sets.
2 Sets of 45 seconds lift with 20 seconds rest between sets.
2 Sets of 15 slow lifts with 20 seconds rest between sets
15 Slow lifts aim for 3 – 5 seconds per exercise
2 Sets of 12 – 15 lifts each hand, with 20 seconds rest between sets
SCISSOR LEG / REVERSE CURL
Perform 12 slow lifts each leg, holding in upward phase for 3 seconds
LIFT AND TWIST
Perform 10 – 15 slow lifts each side, holding in upward twist phase for 3 seconds
All horse riders should do something physical other than riding.
You, the rider, are the single biggest factor that affects your horse’s way of going.
A regular swimming session, for example, is a great supplemental activity that will improve your riding fitness.
Most riders never consider it, but warming your own muscles up before you get into the saddle will help you more than you think.
You may be focused on tacking your horse up, getting your boots on and planning what you’re going to do to warm your horse up.
But stretching and warming up yourself, before you mount up, will help improve your riding and settle your horse more quickly.