Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rider Fitness

This is not my favorite topic. I know that the better shape I am in the better rider I will be. That being said I often lack the commitment and dedication to exercise regularly. This year that is more apparent than ever!

Last year I got this crazy idea that my roommate and I should run a half-marathon, which was 13.1 miles of rain and cold wind (running in wet tennis shoes for almost three hours is not fun! I ended up saying good bye to several toenails). So the point of this is, when I started riding again last spring I was in pretty good shape. Plus I had my maintenance job with the park service to help keep me in shape.

Now this year is a different story! I have not spent my winter running and cross-training with bike riding and yoga. So when I was in the saddle for the first time in months, or rather after I got out of the saddle I was in pain. My thighs protested in every movement. I also do not have my physical labor job this summer to help me gain some physical fitness.

So I decided that I needed to come up with a plan to improve my fitness level. I have decided to break my bike out and log some serious mileage that way (I would run but that is harder on my knees and my half-marathon experience reaffirmed my hatred of running). I also plan to do some Pilates and yoga to help strengthen muscles as well as work on flexibility.

To help me with these goals I purchased a Pilates book provide me with some exercises. I decided on "Pilates For Equestrians" I really like it so far it has a lot of good information on the benefits of Pilates in strengthening core muscle groups used or riding. It also has very clear photos of what the different positions look like (although I do wish there was a DVD so I could see the movements).       

But since Notch's fitness is also very important (and I didn't want him to miss out on the fun :) he got a book too!! "Equine Fitness: A conditioning Program of Exercises and Routines for Your Horse" It has a nice selection of exercises to do with your horse, I already new most of the ones that were in the book but it is nice having them all in one place.

Well now I suppose I should get off the computer and do something productive!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I just want to give a shout out to SmartPak, they are an amazing company an a fabulous representation of how customer service should operate! (This is by no means a paid endorsement, although that would be awesome if it was!!)

I have just finished designing a SmartPak for Notch, after much research and many questions I decided on a hoof supplement and a multi-vitamin.

Do you give supplements to your horse? If so how and why did you decide on what to give?