This is all very interesting, thanks guys. I'm learning a lot about what people really want and need and it looks like it doesn't really exist too much in the world right now. GimmeQs, if you could embellish a little more in terms of what you think would be gimmicky, that would be really helpful. I mean, I've seen tons on combine specific or independent strength and conditioning coaches for other sports look super gimmicky (I mean, you could all make an 18 year old male with an advantageous muscle fiber distribution who has never done any serious training before get big and strong and fast in very little time. And I don't mean to generalize, as there are some independent coaches that are good.), but if you could give me a better idea of something in an equestrian realm that would make you think gimmicky, that would be awesome. I would like to avoid that, as I do fancy myself a scientist.
I could not disagree more. I would expect a dressage-specific workout to focus heavily on balance and stability exercises and core muscle strength, with far less emphasis given to the traditional large-muscle-group exercises that are designed to build brute strength. I would also expect a dressage-targeted workout to ensure that as we strengthen muscles, we do not compromise flexibility, which is something that a lot of regular old-fashioned workouts and non-riding personal trainers do not address or understand the importance of. Further, I would expect a dressage-targeted workout to help us learn to engage certain muscles (core) while simultaneously relaxing other muscles, in ways that aren't always intuitive. We need to learn how to use muscles in a very targeted fashion without letting the entire body become tense. Also, as OreoCookie mentioned, I'd expect a dressage-specific workout would help me overcome imbalances in my musculature so my body was balanced.
I think trainers that work with dancers or gymnasts, especially at a high level, probably could do a good job. But your average trainer in your average gym doing old-fashioned lifts? I've had about 10 or 12 personal trainers in my life, and only one came close to the right mix. And it was still pretty far off.
In terms of riders not "doing their research," frankly, I have a job that keeps me plenty busy and even though I do have a fitness background, I would much rather outsource this work at this stage in my very-busy life. We all reach a point where we just don't have time to do everything for ourselves and so we start hiring professionals with specific tasks.
I agree with this post completely. I think an understanding of which muscles work together to help a rider is key. In my case, I have had problems with my knees coming up when I use my leg on my horse and a "weebil" type wobble. It turned out I wasn't using my hamstrings enough. A knowledge about positional flaws and what they indicate in riders to help strengthen, increase flexibility, etc., based on that specific individual would be extremely valuable. A canned "here, do these exercises these days" which isn't tailored to specific riders and revisited wouldn't be worth it to me beyond the resources already out there.
My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.
Originally Posted by katarine
If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed
I have not read all the replies but a resounding yes. The only person who does something like this in my area is way too expensive for regular work. I currently take two yoga practices and a "Booty Barre" class every week but I would be much more interested in a dressage fo used program.
I am really lucky that I work with a personal trainer that also works with other riders. So not only is she improving my overall fitness, but she is also helping work key muscles that I need to be a better rider. She started me just working on my overall cardio/fitness and building muscle and now she is progressing me to balance, core strength. I am now doing lots more barre, TRX, and ball exercises. She also always asks me how my riding is, what is helping my riding, what differences I feel. And she focuses on my form as much as my riding instructor does! She makes lots of analogies that help me with my riding.
"I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
"With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!