So that you can keep in shape year round, even during the non-riding season, continue
walking, stretching exercises and strength training. In addition, try to find
other activities that will keep you ready to ride. Companion sports will help
you minimize weight gain, prevent muscle atrophy, and reduce chance of injury
when you do return to active riding. Even if you ride all year, it is a good idea
to participate in other sports or activities to make you a well-rounded person
mentally and physically.
and bicycling provide great cardiopulmonary benefits and fine-tune your rhythm
and equilibrium. Cross-country skiing is a wonderful off-season sport to keep
your muscles and cardiopulmonary system in shape. The characteristic crouch of
the skier uses many of the same muscles as riding does, and the aerobic exercise
is unequaled in winter sports.
cross-training can include various types of dancing. Ballet improves flexibility
and the ability to execute patterned movements. Ballroom or country and western
dancing can improve your coordination and the ability to perform sequenced movements.
Fencing utilizes some of the same leg muscles as riding and can improve your reaction
time as well as developing a sense of poise in your body carriage. Gymnastics
can improve balance, strength, poise, and focus.
Tai Chi is an ancient
Chinese system of relaxed concentration that focuses the mind, balances the body
and enhances energy. It is practiced through a series of hand and body movements
with a great emphasis on breathing. Tai Chi can help a rider gain body awareness
and coordination and when it comes time to sit on a horse, many riders have found
that Tai Chi helps them to be a more balanced and perceptive rider.
Read these other articles
in the Back In The Saddle series:
Part One: Evaluation
Part Two: Improvement