Category Archives: Rider Performance & Health

Integrative Movement Series: Thoughts & Suggestions for No Stirrups November

Great read from Kathlyn Hossack below. I use no stirrups work throughout the year so all my riders, from children to adults are used to this form of training. I use the No Stirrups November as a fun initiative to delve deeper into balance, seat awareness and to push the riders that little bit more.

However, I couldn’t agree more with caution. I think all exercises, whether for rider or the horse, have their stages. First is when everything is a little messy but productive and is finding its ways. Second when it enters the “oh oh it’s working stage” and third when it’s back to messy but counterproductive this time.

Hope you’ll enjoy the read below 🙂

Wiola

no-stirrups

Don’t get me wrong… I’m 100% for feeling the burn and making those riding muscles work without the aid of those things we put our feet in.

I just have a few things I need to get out about the entire month dedicated to riding without stirrups.

As any rider who came up through a lesson program likely has experienced, No Stirrup November is a time where either someone suggests politely to you to ride withouts stirrups as much as you can, or (more often) someone literally steals your stirrups and you spend a month without them, hacking, in lessons, jumping.. you name it, you’re stirrupless.

In my professional opinion, I believe riding with no stirrups has a great place within the realms of developing position, strength, and function in the tack. Hunter/Jumper/Event riders, we’ve all found ourselves in the middle of a line approaching a huge oxer or in the middle of a combo just having conveniently lost our stirrups at some point, amiright? Having some background in being able to keep your leg and your balance without weight bearing is hugely beneficial.

We know the pros to this. Increased balance, strength, and confidence. These are great pros! But if NSN is done wrong, you may not get the full benefit and actually end up affecting balance, strength, AND confidence.

Yes, there are safety cons to NSN. Falling, muscle soreness/strains, higher chance of injury.. etc. However, that’s not exactly what I want to focus on today.

Too often what I see happen with NSN is an immediate jump into absolutely no stirrups (as in the cases where stirrups mysteriously disappear from saddles and aren’t returned for 4weeks).

While, yes this is a sure way to commit… it’s also a sure way to develop bad habits,

compensations, and put yourself at risk for newly developed poor equitation come December. Think of it this way.. if someone took away your desk chair and you had no way of modifying the desk height or finding another seating device, so you had to still get down low enough to work at the desk.. Let’s say you’re ambition and you try to maintain a seated position (now squat) position (because we all sit in that nice posture, right?!)… you probably wouldn’t last long, and soon you’d start trying other weird things just to keep functioning. You’d probably start out by hunching or crouching, then maybe try to kneel and crane your neck, then maybe standing in a lopsided posture looking down…

Now think about the last time you rode without stirrups. Were you fluid and efficient with your movements? Or did you immediately lock up your hips, clamp with your legs and knees, and stiffen your arms and the rest of your body in an attempt to maintain your “normal” eq? This is before muscles even got tired!

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Sofija and Ozzy. Aspire Development Programme

If the above didn’t happen immediately.. it likely happened as soon as you got fatigued. Which is very normal. My issue with this? Now you’re training bad habits, and strengthening in your position in the wrong ways. Yes, the more the month goes on, of course the stronger you’re going to get. But if you build that strength on top of incorrect equitation.. it’s not really benefitting you. Also, your horse won’t appreciate you bouncing around all stiff and clampy for the first few weeks either. Think of their back and yours!

All this being said.. I’m still in favour of no stirrup training. If it’s done appropriately. Here’s my recommendations for NSN.

Week 1 (3-4x/wk):

● Regular warm-up with stirrups

● 1-5 min of no-stirrup work (or as long as you can until you find you begin to lose good equitation and posture.. this could be only 1-2min to start!). All gaits. Trot is obviously going to be the most difficult gait, with walk and canter being a little easier to maintain.

● 10-15 min regular riding. Do any jumping or more intense work within this time.

● 1-5 min of no-stirrup work. Focus here on things like sitting trot and transitions to build that core stability. Make sure you’re still letting the hips move, and keeping the legs in an appropriate position and of course maintaining a correct posture!

● Cool down. Or continue with a regular ride with stirrups.

● Repeat this every second ride (if you ride every day) or 3-4x/week with days in between.

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Caitlin and Jasper. Aspire Development Programme

Week 2 (3-4x/wk):

● Reg. warm-up with stirrups.

● 10-15min regular riding with stirrups.

● 3 min trot work with out stirrups, posting and sitting, 2 min canter work and transitions from trot to canter no stirrups. ● 2 min break

● 3 min trot work with out stirrups, posting and sitting.

● 1 min break

● 1 min trot work with out stirrups, OR transitional work (walk to trot, trot to canter, canter to sitting trot, sitting trot to canter, canter to posting, posting to walk.. etc).

● 1 min break

● 3-5 min with stirrups holding two-point at trot. Focus placed on leg position and hip elasticity!

● Cool-down.

Week 3 (3-4x/week):

● Reg. warm-up with stirrups

● 10 min reg. ride with stirrups.

● 2 min with stirrups holding two-point at trot. Focus placed on leg position and hip elasticity. Trust me you’ll feel the burn in your legs!

● Jump-work with no stirrups (if you jump), or lateral work or advanced work with no stirrups. Do this only until you feel your position slipping… Take breaks as necessary.

If jumping, start at a level you’re comfortable with (obviously). Ideas here could be: ○ small gymnastic exercises or grids or small course work.

● 1-2 min break.

● 5 min regular hacking or jump work with stirrups.

● 5 min hacking with no stirrups, all gaits. ● Cool-down.

Week 4 (3-4x/wk):

● Reg. Warm-up with stirrups, including 3-4min two point position work at trot.

● 5-10 min no stirrups, all gaits.

● 5 min regular hacking with stirrups.

● Any jump work or advanced skills with NO stirrups. If you’ve been working on jumps, work towards a full course at a comfortable height for you within this week!

● 1-2min break.

● 5-10min no stirrups, all gaits.

● Cool-down.

Some general rules of thumb for this progression:

1. The times are a suggestion. If you feel you can do more or can only do less before your position and posture get poor, by all means modify!

2. The point is to challenge yourself, but not to the point of training a bad position. Be aware!

3. The two-point position holds will challenge your position in a similar way to not having stirrups. I recommend throwing these in at the beginning and end of every ride you do for 2-5 minutes. Challenge yourself to control your horse with your legs, while keeping good position, and maintaining balance. Use your saddle or horse’s neck for balance IF NEEDED ONLY. This will work legs, core, and overall postural stability.

4. Perform the above progressions every second ride, or 3-4x/week. On days off from no stirrup work, add in the two-point holds and ride as usual otherwise.

NSN is often viewed as a month to go hard or go home. While I’m all for challenging riders to improve their fitness in the saddle.. it has to be done appropriately and smart. If it’s not then that’s where we end up with injuries, chronic pain, and perpetually fixing bad habits!

If you’re interested in a consult and a more personalized program for your NSN… contact me at katmahtraining@gmail.com

Happy Riding!

Integrative Movement Series: Lower Leg Strength (hint: it doesn’t mean strengthening your lower leg muscles….)

Do you find that your lower leg is a constant issue?

Keeping that leg a mixture of functional, strong and supportive as well as not letting it get stiff, slip back or forward can be tough if you don’t have the right tools. I see plenty of riders who thing their lower leg is perfect, only to look at a photo of them over a fence, or during a ride and find it’s slipped behind them, or watch a video of them posting and see that it is wiggling up and down with their seat in an attempt encourage their horse forward.

It’s not an uncommon issue, but it does take some outside thinking to fix. Problems with the lower leg can come from weak hip stabilizers. The leg, although made up of many parts, acts to some extent as a whole when it comes to our position. If our hips aren’t stabilizing correctly, it’s going to be pretty hard to keep the leg functional underneath us. Symptoms of weak hip stabilizers can include low back pain, poor balance, knee pain, calf pain and ankle pain as well as an inability to keep the leg strong or underneath you during a ride. Below is a diagram of where the gluteus medius sits, one of the major players in pelvic stabilization. Other big players are the core musculature, and quadratus lumborum which sits in the low back attaching from the pelvis to the ribs.

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Another piece to this problem is the foot’s position in the stirrup. An often overlooked factor, if the foot isn’t balanced and centred the alignment all the way up to the hips  will be off.. which will interfere with how the hips function, and therefore the rest of the leg and even torso.

The foot in the stirrup should be similar to how we stand. When we stand, there are three points on the foot that should be the main points of contact. The ball of the foot, the base of the pinky toe, and the heel. If you stand with more weight to the outer or inner edges, or more to front or back of your foot- you have some work to to. An easy way to test this is to stand on one foot and see how you shift your weight in the foot. Feeling for those three points of contact equally is the first step.

In the stirrup we only have two points of contact with the foot- the ball and the pinky toe’s base. Next time your in the saddle, note if your foot is equally balanced or if it is shifted more to one edge. If it is shifted, practice focusing on getting the balance equal between both feet and see how that effects your lower leg’s ability to work.

The position of the foot plays a minor roll to the hip’s stability when it comes to the lower leg. The hip itself and our ability to balance and stabilize the body is the biggest part. The muscles that help with this are often over looked in training programs, and subsequently forgotten about by our brain, and not used as they should be. It sometimes takes an outside eye, and assistance retraining how to move before it all clicks into place.. but here are a few of my favourite exercises that combine balancing the foot and the hip to better the lower leg.

Side Plank/Bridge:

– Start from your knees moving from the hips, as shown in the video. Once you feel strong holding from the knees.. you can progress to a full side plank position.. having the feet wide is often more comfortable then stacking the feet. Try both out and see which is best for you!

These exercises should not cause pain anywhere, and you should be checking for proper alignment and core activation the entire time! There is many progressions to both those exercises, but master the basics first and then move up. Remember, perfect practice makes perfect!

The next is the Flamingo or Single Leg Deadlift. Basically anything single leg is going to be awesome for you, as it really targets our balance (obvi) but also gets us using the foot correctly

(if we focus on it) and works the hip stabilizers. This one in particular is my all time favourite for the hips, and everything lower body.

Make sure the body stays in one straight line, as in the second picture.. the shoulders must stay active as well as to not let the posture fail. Move continuously on one leg in and out of the posture, feeling the standing leg work- especially in the hips. Make sure the leg in the air is active too- push the heel down and back as if you were standing in your stirrup on that side.. this will help keep the hips even. Doing 10 on each side, x3 is excellent! I often have my riders work on this exercise off the horse, and then feel for the same activity once their are on the horse as well (visualizing the leg being this active really helps kick the musculature into action).Here’s a video of a similar exercise. The technique remains the same between the two. Maintain a strong posture, keep hips level and toward the ground, use the core to help balance, and keep everything active!

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Lastly, reverse lunges to a step up..

Here we start with the reverse lunge. Stepping backwards and bending, then swinging the back leg up as we stand to step up to a small box or bench (or bale) to stand straight, bringing the other leg up to the high knee position as shown. Master your reverse lunge first by just doing a few week of step backs and lunging.. this is often a big enough challenge balance wise. Watch the hips don’t sway, and your maintaining equal contact between the three points of your front foot. From here progress to the reverse lunge plus a high knee afterwards (no step-up yet). After you feel confident at that movement, add the step up. Be warned, it takes a lot of concentration!! Shown in the picture is a reverse lunge to a high knee. This is where you all should be getting comfortable. Once you have at least a few weeks of consistently practicing this move and feeling stronger in your balance and stabilization… then add a bale, or box in front to perform a step up instead of the high knee (and then come to high knee on the opposite leg… reverse lunge, step up, high knee, reverse the process).

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Try those out by adding them on their own into your day, or adding them to your regular work out. Looking for some guidance in your exercise and health? My membership options may be just what your looking for. Check out my membership page for more.. at offers as low as $10 for your first month.. what are you waiting for? Really?

As always, if you have questions about your riding or these exercises specifically.. shoot me and email at katmahtraining@gmail.com!

 

Rider Fitness Series with Integrative Movement aka Kathlyn Hossack – 1.Core Activation for Riders

Welcome to this new series on Aspire Academy’s blog – it will be packed with quick tips, visuals, photos and videos, all in a form that can be easily replicated by most and in most places.

Your Rider Fitness Trainer for this series: Kathlyn Hossack

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Certified Athletic Therapist, CAT(C) Kinesiologist, BSc. Pn1 Nutrition Coach. Rehab, training, and health consulting (online options) for all humans. www.katmahtraining.com/blog

She is off for a Nepal trek very soon so if you are into fitness, life challenges and travel, follow her on Instagram @integrative_movement for photo and video updates!

EXERCISE 1: HOW TO ACTIVATE YOUR CORE

Stay tuned for the next parts and feel free to comment if you had a go and with any rider fitness questions you might have so we can choose exercises and tips to suit. We will also be having a go at the exercises with the Academy riders 🙂

Until next time!

Riding For Fitness and Riding for Weight Loss aka Horses as a Gym – Yes or No…

Please note our website is now: www.aspireequestrianacademy.com

As you can guess, the subject of obesity among riders is not one that can be discussed easily without a cloud of controversy. I don’t wish to stir an argument but simply share my thoughts on the matters of riding fitness and weight issues from a riding instructor point of view. I’ll start with looking at horse riding as a fitness routine and then share my thoughts on using it for weight loss. 

RIDING FOR FITNESS

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Post-jumping happiness 🙂 The rider had a body protector on which she removed before these photos were taken – hence such sweaty patches!

In my view, on average, there are really only two stages in which the rider truly and fully appreciates the requirement of own balance, mental focus, muscular effort and core stability needed for good riding. First one is the early lessons stage on the lunge or otherwise when postural habits and behaviours are explained and taught: staying in harmony with the motion, first rising trot, first sitting trot, first canter. Second stage is when a rider first learns about their share of responsibility for the balance of the horse.

Outside of these two stages or if the rider never experiences proper tuition at the time, it is somewhat easy to overlook the element of own fitness in horse riding at lower levels.

Travelling on horseback vs horse riding 

For the purpose of Aspire riding courses I divide horse enthusiasts into two groups:

1) ‘Passengers’ – riders who get on a horse to travel. They expect no effort, the horse should have a go and stop and turn buttons, comfortable saddle and should be unaffected by either rider’s posture, weight or riding abilities. Riders in this group might be of any level, from beginners through occasional riders to competition riders. Attitude is irrelevant of experience I find.

2) ‘Riders’ – riders of any level who want to improve own skills to pursue preferred way of riding be it hacking, dressage, jumping, general schooling etc and who have minimal to extensive understanding that horse riding, whether done as a recreation or amateur sport, requires muscular, mental and cardiovascular effort to various degrees.

The main difference between the two, especially at lower levels, is earlier mentioned attitude and perception of the horse’s “job”.

Travelling on horseback rarely has any real fitness benefits for the ‘passenger’ and it’s the horse who does 99% of the work with the rider just choosing the way to go (sometimes just following another horse). Here is also where many rider’s strains and problems can occur like back pain, joint pain or muscle cramps due to the ‘passenger”s relative lack of responsibility for own posture. Sadly, these issues are then said to be the problems of horse riding in general.

I am personally the happiest in my job when focusing on the group number two. It doesn’t matter whether riders want to ultimately be happy hackers, never compete or whether they dream of Olympic medals one day. It’s the drive to be the best they can be for their horses or horses they ride at a riding school whilst enjoying the level of riding they find most suited to them – teaching these kind of riders is what drives me in my work. The kind of training or lessons they do is also where to me, riding can be a fantastic way for active, fit and healthy lifestyle.

AmyHe carries you, you carry yourself 

I would like to share with you an interesting fact…I have taught quite a few riders over the 20 years of my teaching journey and observed that horses don’t go better or remain healthier for riders who love them more or who know more about them but for those who respect them more…What I mean by this is that if a rider has a respect for the horse they ride, they do all they can to carry themselves in own self-carriage. And the process of acquiring such self-carriage is the most amazing fitness and wellness routine out there…

Having said that, I disagree with the notion of using horses as gym equipment, they are more of a master-motivator, challenger, maintainer and a condition tester 😉 We ride and we discover which of our motor skills need working on, which emotions need attention, which behaviours need improvement.

Then we need to find ways to improve those areas and so a supplementary plan of action is put in place. We might need to move more and sit less, we might need to address certain areas of our diet, perhaps we need to stretch something and strengthen something else. Maybe we need to learn to be calmer, less aggressive or more assertive and energetic. Perhaps our overall body balance needs attention, or our posture, or attitude to others. Before we know it, we can have a nice little wellness routine going so we are a partner not a burden for our horse(s).

Horse riding, when treated as a progressive learning process of certain skills rather than as a “sit on a horse, pull here, kick there and off you go” will maintain and improve your fitness, I have absolutely no doubt about it.

On so many levels…

hacking

You know that feeling you get hacking through the narrow green lanes between stubble fields with sun adding so much contrast to the colours around you that you have to squint your eyes to look? The scent of leaves, the sound of bird songs? Or the absolute focus on minute movements in your dressage lessons? Adrenaline rush approaching a cross country jump? The studious precision with which you make your transition to canter so you can get the perfect amount of impulsion and control at the take off to your jump? Or the evening after work when you walk on the yard and your horse’s head looks out of the door, looks at you? How do you feel?

At times I see horse riding as the multi-disciplinary therapy which, when utilised in the right way, can enrich our lives beyond our expectations.

RIDING FOR WEIGHT LOSS

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Rider too big for both the saddle and the horse. Photo credit: unknown. If you would like to claim this photo or wanted it removed please contact me.

Now, since riding can be so beneficial for ones health and since obesity is currently one of the biggest health issues in the UK, the crucial question is – should we promote horse riding for weight loss?

The way I see it, horse industry is so diverse that people of all shapes and sizes can get involved in various equine activities. If a person is too heavy or unfit to ride a horse, they can slowly work their way into a weight that doesn’t compromise horse’s welfare.

What’s too heavy though? 

When it comes to riding I personally would not teach any obese adult and would assess case by case when it comes to overweight novice to experienced riders. If you click on the underlined words above you can read the exact definition of both based on BMI (body mass index) formula.

Most riding centres I have worked with have a weight limit of 14 stone (88.9kg / 196pounds) plus horse’s tack (which can add a stone), rarely 15 stone plus tack, which corresponds with type of horses they have and kind of lessons they do. As long as an overweight rider can be matched with a suitable horse (so rider + tack doesn’t exceed 15% of the horse’s normal weight) and is willing to work on oneself, I will teach with pleasure.  

It’s easy for me to control the situation when dealing with riders without own horses but everything becomes much more complicated when teaching horse owners. I have not had an extreme experience yet which I heard or seen other instructors having to deal with.

Over the last 20 years I noticed a considerable shift in how riding establishments handle their weight limit policy. When I first worked at a yard for lessons at 14 no obese person would even ask to get on a horse. I doubt the understanding of horse’s welfare was greater than it is now but somehow people instinctively knew that if they struggle to maintain good balance on the ground due to their size or sometimes even simply walk well with a good posture, they should not inflict themselves on an animal to carry them. If they didn’t consider themselves obese and did enquire we simply said it was not possible for our horses to carry them in lesson environment.

Serious health issues aside, obesity is a reversible condition that requires discipline and commitment to tackle – two qualities that are also great attributes of any rider. From my experience of preparing heavily overweight people to ride, once they set their mind on the goal of riding, they are one of the most rewarding of pupils.

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Read more about Haflinger Horse: http://www.haflingerhorses.com/ The one on the photo above is lacking some strength in the loins area. Photo credit: Unknown. If you wish to claim the photo and have it removed please get in touch.

If you are too heavy to ride dear reader, and you are desperate to be around horses, you don’t have to wait until you lose enough weight to start learning. Here are my suggestions for a little game plan for obese of heavily overweight horse enthusiasts who want to get ready for riding lessons.

  • find a riding school or a friend with horses if you already have some experience, where you can groom 3 to 5 horses per visit. Commit to come at least once a week and give all the horses very thorough groom doing it correctly i.e. changing hands when changing sides. Grooming is a great exercise for the rider-to-be: it builds trust and connection with the horse and it gives both sides of your body a steady, gentle but effective work out. If it hurts your back or knees to pick out feet leave it for now and focus on the rest of the horse. As you groom, you can learn about conformation, muscle development, injuries, back issues – in fact, I have done fairly comprehensive, practical lessons that didn’t involve any riding yet brought a lot of satisfaction and motivation to the person involved.
  • address your diet – sooner the better. Find what works for you, be it Weight Watchers or other formal groups or simply own determination.
  • get yourself in a pool regularly. Swimming is a great exercise for anyone carrying spare weight due to joint relief.
  • try yoga. It focuses your mind and incredibly strengthens your whole body. It’s one of the best exercise routines for riders I discovered last year and now, after some months of practice I can really feel its benefits. Go yoga.
  • book in-hand lessons: working with horses in-hand is like a power walk, intense riding theory and fresh oxygen mask in one. Keep them short to start with – 30 minutes is plenty. You will learn more about riding in two months of weekly in-hand lessons than in six months of weekly riding lessons…Trust me here 😉

feet on scale

As you gain fitness and lose pounds/kgs, keep your eyes open for a suitable horse to ride that can cope well with a larger rider without undue stress on own body. Search for:

  • a horse of a breed traditionally bred as a riding/weight carrying horse: Norwegian Fjords, Iberian horses from older, bigger boned lines, Haflingers, Highlands, cobs and draft x (be watchful with lighter types of cobs and also draft horses as although seemingly massive the latter are often bred for pulling power not for carrying ability and can have surprisingly weak backs)
  • a horse with a fairly wide, well muscled back and loin area
  • go for a mature horse that is done with his skeletal development, check individual breeds for details but generally avoid horses younger than 6 years old,
  • a horse whose shoulder and back conformation can accommodate a saddle in which you can comfortably sit in the right (centred) spot (without your seat pressing onto the back of the saddle)

I would personally prefer to see horse riding being strongly promoted as a prevention NOT cure for national obesity problem. Rather than riding being an outdoor gym for obese enthusiasts I would like to see it to be motivation to lose enough weight to be able to ride and further maintain own fitness.

P.S. There is a great national programme set up by BETA together with HOOF and British Equestrian Federation encouraging active and healthy lifestyle with horses, do check them out as often you can take part in very inexpensive lessons via participating centres.

Main Take Up The Reins website: http://www.takeupthereins.co.uk/

What do YOU think ? Please share your views whether you agree with me or not 🙂 

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Now, as we know our wonderfully legality obsessed world I must stress that although I have a huge interest in both human and equine fitness and physical education I am not a doctor and therefore any suggestions mentioned in this post must not be taken as a qualified advice. If you wish to follow anything I mentioned above, please first consult relevant specialists. 

Recommended reading:

Review of “Evaluation of indicators of weight-carrying ability of light riding horses” by DM Powell, K Bennett-Wimbush, A Peeples, M Duthie, Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute, Wooster, Ohio

How Much Weight Can Horses Comfortably Carry? (very interesting study focused on use of Japanese native horses for therapeutic purposes) 

How Much Can a Horse Carry? – summary of recent research presented by Horse Science News

How Big is Too Big?

15 stone woman loses weight to ride her horse

Rider’s Mind: Fear of Failure, Lack of Self-Confidence, Yearning For Perfection

Horse watching
Horse watching (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

It so happens that I am helping three lovely riders at the moment who are each battling with their own minds and this has inspired me to write this post.

Unless you are going through serious emotional issues that cause you distress and which might need professional attention, hear me out.

There is nothing fabulous about perfection.

It’s a done deal, end of, static, cold state that cannot be improved upon, that is never developing, never getting anywhere. There is nothing sexy, exciting, intriguing or curious about perfection.

Now, progress is another matter…Progress is “the After” in the “Before and After”, it’s what we have to show for our efforts. It’s our own, sweated out, laughed out, cried out journey. It’s ongoing, dynamic, changeable, unlimited, sometimes painful, sometimes beautiful.

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Continue reading Rider’s Mind: Fear of Failure, Lack of Self-Confidence, Yearning For Perfection

Great new book for riders’ and coaches’ bookshelves! – The Science of Equestrian Sports by Inga Wolframm

Inga
See Inside the book feature

“The Science of Equestrian Sports is a comprehensive study of the theory and practice of the rider in equine sport. While most scholarship to date has focused on the horse in competition, this is the first book to collate current data relating specifically to riders. It provides valuable insight into improving sporting performance and maintaining the safety of both the horse and the rider.

Drawing on the latest scientific research, and covering a wide range of equestrian disciplines from horseracing to eventing, the book systematically explores core subjects such as:

 

  • physiology of the rider
  • sport psychology in equestrian sport
  • preventing injury
  • biomechanics and kinematics
  • coaching equestrian sport
  • the nature of horse-rider relationships

This holistic and scientific examination of the role of the horse rider is essential reading for sport science students with an interest in equestrian sport and equitation. Furthermore, it will be an invaluable resource for instructors, coaches, sport psychologists, or physiologists working with equestrian athletes.”

More: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415637251/

 

What’s all the fuss with aspirations and passion…

Hello there 🙂 Everything I post on here is inspired by conversations I have with clients, friends; by things I read or hear about on daily basis.  Today, a chat with an old friend who is having a hard time juggling life with a small child and a partner who is rather negative about her aspirations have both inspired this post.

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I don’t want to sound like I’m telling people how to live their lives so please take it or leave it but here it goes…If you have a passion for something do everything to immerse yourself in it. If you read this blog right now and have some shy goals of starting to ride or setting up an Etsy shop for your creative product, or go on a world tour or starting a process to prepare yourself and your horse to an event a year from now, make a step towards it today. Why?

Continue reading What’s all the fuss with aspirations and passion…

What’s your biggest riding fear…?

You might think that my support for today’s International Helmet Awareness Day comes from being an instructor, you know a proper Ms-have-you-checked-your-hat’s -kite- mark type every time you have a lead rope in your hands. It’s not.

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http://www.riders4helmets.com

I used to like riding without a hat and guess I could say I still like it, I just don’t do it any more. Self-perseverance doesn’t necessarily guide me nor am I scared to ride without head gear as such.

The driving force behind my passionate support for wearing a helmet when riding at all times is

Continue reading What’s your biggest riding fear…?

Hey Riders – Glance at This Plate :)

health
http://www.equestrianhealthcoach.com/

Something interesting right from the world wide web 🙂 I love healthy food and always see a huge difference in my energy levels and overall passionate hyper-ness about what I do if my nutrition is good.

I came across this short video and thought I would share for a quick Friday “apple a day” kind of thought 🙂 Have a great weekend everybody!

Continue reading Hey Riders – Glance at This Plate 🙂