What I'm looking for is suggestions on new exercises or training programs that you've found helpful in your dressage riding. I already plan to double down on my core strength exercises, but would love some new ones. And I'm going to try adding some speed work to my running workouts. Just looking for some additional suggestions to step up my workouts on the ground to help my riding.
So...what's worked for you?
Last edited by eponacelt; Dec. 17, 2012 at 05:50 AM.
More riding time is the one thing that had the most impact for me. Everything else, yoga/pilates cardio training helped, but I didn't see a big difference until I just started riding more.
Sadly, that's the one thing I really can't do. I have another horse, but he's been laid up for the better part of a year. And with my own farm to care for, riding at the farms of others is difficult from a time perspective.
Thanks though! After I posted this, I realized that I should have said more riding just isn't in the cards right now!
Honestly, I don't know how often you are working with a trainer, but I would look at what you are doing with yourself/your riding. I can only surmise that the difference in how this horse goes vs a tb/arab is making you work entirely too hard and not effectively.
Someone with your stated level of exercise/fitness should not be in that amount of pain/cardio stress after each ride. I'm not close to your level of fitness and have a horse that is a bear to ride/sit and while very occasionally my back is trashed after I ride, I'm not out of breath after about 60 seconds once I stop.
The ball-up exercises she does I also do as a pike lift, ball up/pike down, straddle up/straddle down, pike up/straddle down, and scissor. It is FAR more important to do this with control than it is to get height. Any straddle and scissor work improves hip flexors.
With silks, also: Knot the bottom of the silks about a foot off the ground (have an aerial instructor show you the proper way to knot the silks). Put your feet through the silks so your ankles are resting on the knot and go into pushup position. From there, bring your knees to your chest and back out. Also, hold a plank, and then tic tock your hips from side to side in the plank. Draw circles with your hips from this position as well.
I still struggle with that level of conditioning in the aerial video, lol. Thanks to pole and aerial, I have a pretty strong upper body, core, and thigh. It's also pulled a little over 60 lbs off my body in a matter of 7 months (and I've got a TON of additional muscle as well).
yikes if your cardio and core is good no reason you should have to try and do some other workout to keep up with your riding. Even the largest horses can only tug back and forth if the rider joins n
Your leg should be a request and then a follow up with good hello if not enough reaction but if you are leg, leg, leg, leg, and heavy in the hands after I think the training has to be evaluated because you shouldnt feel like you are the one doing all of the work... Some but not alone! lol
As for the rest of you who've given me advice on my horse, thanks, but thats not what I asked. I work with a trainer regularly, and yes, we need to work on some things. And are. But the fact is, he's never going to be as hot and forward as my other horses, and will always require a little more strength.
And let's face it, who among us couldn't use a little more fitness in our riding, regardless of what kind of horse we have.
If anyone has any more awesome workout suggestions, please send them on!
I've found that pull-ups help strengthen specific back & shoulder muscles that I use when riding. The same muscles that help me keep my shoulders back & down on a big mover. I've done other strength training in the past but I've found that pull-ups in particular have helped. And, of course, planks & any other abs exercise you can dream up.
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince
I go to a core class twice a week. We use the big stability ball as well as free weights. We also do quite a bit of body-weight exercises. I feel like its a combined cardio-strength training class since there aren't a lot of breaks and I usually come out of there exhausted but feeling like I accomplished something. Its done wonders for my riding. I have the strength and endurance needed for a 45-minute or hour-long riding session.
Just thinking about the exercises we do in class, I can come up with a few that helped me the most. Push-ups with your legs on top of the ball work the upper back and shoulders. Various versions of crunches while sitting on the ball, especially alternating left and right. Anything that involves holding the ball between your feet will work your hip flexors. Feel free to ask me for more suggestions if you want.
I agree with those that love pilates. I used to do pilates 3-4 days a week and walk on the treadmill (w/ a steep incline and a pretty quick pace, so it isn't easy, trust me ) 2-3 days a week, but in the past couple of months I'd upped the cardio and decreased the pilates and could really tell the difference in a bad way. Now i've upped the pilates again and can really tell how much tighter my core is and I sit up a lot straighter and have had much better rides since. PM me if you want some suggestions for pilates vids