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"A"HunterGal
Jul. 4, 2009, 05:59 PM
Yesterday, a young horse stepped on my little toe, and so while I can still ride, my other fitness routine of running or elliptical is out the window for a few days. So today I swam instead, and it was lovely!

And then I started thinking about the level of personal physical fitness for professionals. I know that many pros can ride 8-10 horses or more a day and still have high BMIs, so I think that riding fit and physical fitness are not nec. the same thing.

My personal belief is that since I ask my horses to work daily for 30-45 minutes, I should be able to do the same: 30-40 minutes of cardio, 5-6 days a week. I also think it's only fair that I'm as fit as I expect my horses to be. Not an Iron Woman, but capable of sustaining a high heart rate for a good half hour.

I don't really want to start a discussion on amateur riders, because I know that for many, riding IS their workout, and I completely understand that. When you juggle a job, kids, etc, just getting to the barn and riding is the work-out time.

So what are your expectations for professionals? Do you think your trainer ought to be physically fit? Do any other pros have mantras similar to mine? Different than mine?

Trixie
Jul. 4, 2009, 06:05 PM
I think for most trainers, particularly those who ride all day, not being physically fit can be a big hindrance. Heck, I DON'T ride all day, and if I'm not fit, it's a hindrance.

Fit isn't always the same as slim/low BMI, though. I've known a lot of people that weighed more than I do that can easily outrun me, out bike me, or outride me. I've also seen heavier riders that ride far lighter than slim ones.

warmbloodguy
Jul. 4, 2009, 06:14 PM
If they can get the job done in a professional/soft manner while making the horse preform at its best...I honestly do not care what their body looks like fitness wise.

Fit and being slim/skinny are two different things. I dont go out "trainer shopping" and say to myself "ok my new trainer has to have huge biceps, a ripped back, and an 8-pack" because in all honesty I dont think you see riders that worked-out.

When I think of a fit professional I think of someone who had developed their riding muscles "core" through the correct riding of multiple horses a day. IMO your core and seat will develope the correct muscles over time with just riding alone. Sure you can throw some cardio and light strength training in at the gym, but I think that depends on the person.

As for being as fit as the horse. My cardio has been raised greatly by riding everyday. I can run 40 mins no problem while keeping an elevated heart rate, and I never run. My seat and core always stays tight and I never go to they gym...so on...

So for a professional I think that riding 8 horses a day is work out enough and that any extra time put in at the gym is a choice by them.

kashmere
Jul. 4, 2009, 06:24 PM
If they're fit enough to do their job, they're fit enough.

Hunter Mom
Jul. 5, 2009, 08:54 AM
Fit and being slim/skinny are two different things. I dont go out "trainer shopping" and say to myself "ok my new trainer has to have huge biceps, a ripped back, and an 8-pack" because in all honesty I dont think you see riders that worked-out.

Not necessary, but nice! :cool:

Seriously, I don't care what the trainer's measurements are if they can ride! I'm not a pro, but know that pros around here are all shapes & sizes.

Nikki17
Jul. 5, 2009, 02:58 PM
Yesterday, a young horse stepped on my little toe, and so while I can still ride, my other fitness routine of running or elliptical is out the window for a few days. So today I swam instead, and it was lovely!

And then I started thinking about the level of personal physical fitness for professionals. I know that many pros can ride 8-10 horses or more a day and still have high BMIs, so I think that riding fit and physical fitness are not nec. the same thing.

My personal belief is that since I ask my horses to work daily for 30-45 minutes, I should be able to do the same: 30-40 minutes of cardio, 5-6 days a week. I also think it's only fair that I'm as fit as I expect my horses to be. Not an Iron Woman, but capable of sustaining a high heart rate for a good half hour.

I don't really want to start a discussion on amateur riders, because I know that for many, riding IS their workout, and I completely understand that. When you juggle a job, kids, etc, just getting to the barn and riding is the work-out time.

So what are your expectations for professionals? Do you think your trainer ought to be physically fit? Do any other pros have mantras similar to mine? Different than mine?


I have noticed that with age, I have had to cross train (I do yoga/pilates) to stay in the condition I need to be in to do my job. I think it's funny you think it's "fair" that you be in the same condition of your horses, I doubt they feel the same way:lol::lol:

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Jul. 5, 2009, 03:05 PM
Well, I definately don't want a trainer that is too heavy. I don't want my horse to have to carry around 200lbs!

Tha Ridge
Jul. 5, 2009, 03:07 PM
Well, I definately don't want a trainer that is too heavy. I don't want my horse to have to carry around 200lbs!

That would exclude many male professionals - including some of the best riders out there.

I wouldn't necessarily just my professional on weight alone - one can be 150 lbs. and still be overweight.

Nikki17
Jul. 5, 2009, 03:21 PM
Well, I definately don't want a trainer that is too heavy. I don't want my horse to have to carry around 200lbs!

that would also count out many male trainers. I think it is about fitness level over actual weight. Of course you can't put a 200lb person on a small pony, based on your "name" I am assuming you are a pony person. Those pony jocks are generally smaller trainers.

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Jul. 5, 2009, 03:46 PM
No actually I have two 16hh horses but I call all horses "pony" like I call all dogs "puppy" and all cats "kitty." I really would not like anyone over 150 to ride my horses. Especially jumping, that extra weight is coming down to earth and add on to that the force of gravity and the distance coming down. Plus both my horses have front leg problems as it is. If I want to learn from a big person then I'll be the rider and they can talk to me from the ground. Maybe if they needed to hop on for a feel for a few minutes that would be fine, but not day after day.

spmoonie
Jul. 5, 2009, 03:59 PM
No actually I have two 16hh horses but I call all horses "pony" like I call all dogs "puppy" and all cats "kitty." I really would not like anyone over 150 to ride my horses. Especially jumping, that extra weight is coming down to earth and add on to that the force of gravity and the distance coming down. Plus both my horses have front leg problems as it is. If I want to learn from a big person then I'll be the rider and they can talk to me from the ground. Maybe if they needed to hop on for a feel for a few minutes that would be fine, but not day after day.

150 pounds isnt *that* heavy. I have a friend that is 5'8" and 145 pounds, and she is very slim.

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Jul. 5, 2009, 04:23 PM
150 pounds isnt *that* heavy. I have a friend that is 5'8" and 145 pounds, and she is very slim.

She's just under the mark! So yay! She can ride my pony! Better stay slim though, no Chipotle burritos or anything before riding. ;)

danosaur
Jul. 5, 2009, 06:49 PM
I'm a junior, but I feel the same way as you do about fitness. I don't think it would be fair at all if I was out of shape and riding my horse. I guess I take kind of a harsh view on weight, but since it's directed towards myself it shouldn't be insulting to anyone. I feel that if I were to let myself get heavier than my body is meant to be, then I would have no place on the back of a horse until I got my butt in gear and got back in shape. I think that some horses, like mine, require a lot of muscle to ride them well. My horse is BIG, like 18.2 big. He can get stiff and evading sometimes, and it has nothing to do with actual muscle stiffness, he just braces against me sometimes because he's an annoying teenager. It takes strength to get him to give and move off my leg. He's seriously a full cardio workout sometimes if he's being exceptionally stubborn. So in my case, I really could not properly school my horse if I wasn't in exceptional shape.

sp56
Jul. 5, 2009, 07:11 PM
How many successful GP riders in Dressage, Eventing, or Jumping are above the recommended BMI? Enough said.

Recently they did a study about dressage horses and weight. Turns out that keeping dressage horses a little trimmer greatly increased their performance ability and decreased their likliness to get injured. I think as a professional trainer, staying on the trimmer side as well can only help your performance.

warmbloodguy
Jul. 5, 2009, 08:46 PM
She's just under the mark! So yay! She can ride my pony! Better stay slim though, no Chipotle burritos or anything before riding. ;)

Haha, reading everyones opinions is so comical. Actually if you are just going off of weight, why even stress BMI at all. Think more fitness and thow BMI to the side. BMI is one of the most ineffective means used to determine whether or not some is fit and healthy. Ask any knowledgeable person in the medical profession about it. You have to take into more then weight to height ratios, basic things such as: bone mass, muscle density (because muscle weights alot more then fat), and body type (ecto. meso. or endo. morph) because each shape holds weight/fat/muscle different.

Anyway with that said I guess I wont be riding your "pony" any time soon due to your standards. I mean, even though I am a guy, I guess I must be "to fat" :lol: ((dont take that the wrong way because I am kidding)) or something because I am 5'8 and weigh 165lbs.

However, keep in mind some riders, such as good dressage/jumper riders, would have more weight on the back end. Because of this, weight does not play a factor in their "front end" that much any more, because they have effectively shifted to the rear. But sure if you have a 200lb person on your pony that is slamming their forehand in the dirt, then more power too you, get their butt off of the horse.

sweetpea
Jul. 5, 2009, 09:23 PM
I view fitness as a huuuuuge issue with riding.
Almost far more important for an amateur because of the safety aspect.

If I could switch jobs I would try to go pro-
But since I can't -
I do the following
I ride 6- 7 days a week my horse and as many others as times permits
I do my own chores for me and 6 horse 2 X a day - yes I am up early
I do 3- 4 sets of push ups with those handle things that you put on the floor.
I do power squats up into a strong stationary chair every morning.

If I was a pro I would seriously consider other fitness techniques other than riding.
Being a former fitness trainer I know the body gets soooooo used to a routine.

WHy do I do this?? ---- I don't always make the best choices as oftens as the pro's do and if I can stay on and ride through it then YAHOO!

Yes I do have a strong opinion that if you are riding as a pro then it is the whole package
with fitness form & function .

Granted there is no perfect size --- But when you see a gymnast you assume they are fit & trim . Same as most other sports. I think it is fair as a partner to the horse we do our part.

Horseymama
Jul. 5, 2009, 09:39 PM
Running, weight training and yoga have greatly improved my riding. I try to go to the gym at least 3 times/week, as well as all the riding I do. I don't know about anyone else, but the fitter and trimmer I am, the better I ride.

theblondejumper
Jul. 5, 2009, 11:33 PM
Running, weight training and yoga have greatly improved my riding. I try to go to the gym at least 3 times/week, as well as all the riding I do. I don't know about anyone else, but the fitter and trimmer I am, the better I ride.

Big ditto! I find that I have much more muscle awareness when I am fitter and more endurance too. While riding is the best exercise for become a better rider I have found that yoga has been an incredible help to me getting back in shape and being fit when I'm not able to ride as consistently.