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  1. #1
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    Sep. 6, 2016
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    Default Tips for the Rider to Know What Was A Good WorkOut

    After most rides I am sore in a handful of places depending on what was worked on that ride -
    My question is, what are some area's that should be sore vs some that shouldnt't

    For instance - My core is pretty well always sore, when working on lifting the shoulders my shoulders and upper arms are sore

    I figure back should never be sore, if it is- back is probably arched; or if one side of the body is sore it is either weaker than the other side, or maybe I was depending on one side more than the other.

    That sort of thing.


    The deeper I get in dressage, the more areas I'm finding that I never knew I had - and some of that is making me wonder if I'm holding myself correctly etc.



  2. #2
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    Jun. 30, 2015
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    Default

    There was a similar thread a few weeks back, not sure which category though.

    i think the consensus ended up being that if you were riding consistently, let's say 5 or 6 days a week, same intensity and length of time, nothing should be hurting much once you were in shape, unless you did a particularly difficult lesson that pushed you past your comfort zone. Or unless you had a pre-existing injury or condition (like knees or lower back).

    I also think it's important to distinguish between positive sore/tired, like you get after a good workout, and injured sort/tired, as when your back goes out, arthritis is inflamed, scoliosis is imbalancing your hips, old sprains or strains are coming back to haunt you, etc. etc. Tired after a workout will build more strength, and will eventually go away as you get stronger (like when you start a new fitness routine). But the negative categories of pain mean your body is breaking down, and you have to respect them and manage them.

    I know some riders whose hands, arms, and upper back are in pain after every ride, but they are also people who ride with a very strong grip, holding the horse up and rolled under. Their coaches will tell them to put the full weight of their body on the reins to get the horse "round." I can only imagine what it feels like to the horse . . .

    I find that I do get tired in my shoulders if I have a particularly intense lesson, but I wouldn't say that is sore.

    If the lessons are pushing you to the point where you are in pain, you might want to discuss this with the coach.

    I would say that if you are sore and tired after every ride, there's a problem. Either you aren't riding often enough to get "riding fit," or you need to hit the gym to build up some supplementary fitness, or there is a problem with the saddle, or with the style of riding, or you have a chronic injury or imbalance that needs a good RMT or chiropractor.

    I don't think I could keep on riding or even every day life without my monthly RMT appointments. My RMT gets in there and busts up any spasms or tight spots before they have the chance to erupt in debiltating pain .

    And as far as a good workout . . . well, my criterion for the ride is whether it was a good workout *for the horse.* Or, really, if the ride accomplished what the horse needed that day. Which might be a whole lot of walk work, and not much physical strain on my part. Or might be a whole lot of big trot and canter, and leave me puffed. So I don't necessarily think that the rider's physical exertion has any direct relationship to the usefulness of the schooling session. I'm also finding that less is more, and neither horse nor I should be leaving the arena exhausted on a regular basis. If I need more exercise, I should be making time for the gym (I do, but I'm not, easier said than done).


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  3. #3
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    Sep. 21, 2013
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    Default

    Abs. Sometimes lats, but my lats are getting way stronger from working out so not so much anymore.
    The more correct my form gets, the less sore I am. It's strange as you try to find your correct balance the different places your body will try to grip with or strain. Ive had days where I felt it in my lower back to biceps to who knows!
    A big one for me was I used to get ungodly sore on my inner thigh. Turns out I was riding in the wrong kind of saddles (cant do the huge long blocks they get in the way) where I couldn't properly engage my core for balance and was compensating by gripping with my thighs.
    Keep at it, it'll keep coming together for you.


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  4. #4
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    Sep. 6, 2016
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    Lexington, KY
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    Default

    I know the difference between pain and work out sore - I don't know why, but I feel accomplished when I'm sore. Like I did hard work or something

    Anyways - today I am sore on the top of my upper leg - rectus when I look up leg muscles.

    And I thought that was weird since the only other time I can think of it getting sore is when I do lunges or steep hiking



  5. #5
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    Mar. 24, 2010
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    Default

    Riding my gelding 6 days a week wasn't enough to keep me fit enough to not be sore from riding him, even when not progressing. He is exactly the wrong fit for me and uses my core to remain stable because of his large movement and short back making the movement seem even larger. Recently he has finally progressed to total relaxation and super soft back, and has become easier. So there is that aspect. Riding multiple other horses plus off horse work all helped.

    In general, if you aren't improving and progressing, you should never be sore. However - aren't we all trying to improve? For some of us that means soreness is more likely. I started the thread referenced, and the dismissal by some people was interesting - they didn't answer my direct questions, but their responses told me enough. You should NOT have the soreness from holding the horse mentioned above - shoulders, arms, etc. However, as you learn to correctly use muscles to stabilize yourself those muscles will tend to be sore. Recently we started in more collected work and for the first time I have had times I was sore after riding my mare - after 3 years of riding her. I have to really balance and support with my abs - lowest abs especially - to help enable her folding of the hind legs. I went through a while where the outside of my legs were sore from riding my gelding - because of his shape, my legs didn't naturally drape and I had to strengthen the outside of my legs to help hold them off. Recently I lengthened my stirrups, and have soreness because my muscles are not used to working in that stage of extension/contraction.

    So it really depends on what you're doing, learning, and how you are built. You probably have a naturally arched back if you have sore abs regularly - that was the question I was trying to get to in my thread. For me, it will always take muscle strength to hold my back straight instead of arched because that's not how I'm built. But when I'm not increasing demands on myself, I'm not typically sore. However, with a 6 year old who is stronger every day, my strength in core stability does get challenged regularly. I do a lot of pilates and yoga off horse in addition to riding my two and anyone else I can.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverbridge View Post
    If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.


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  6. #6
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    Default

    what was the thread you started?



  7. #7
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    Default

    I am curious why your upper arms are sore, along with the top of your upper leg.

    I can understand the adductors, I can understand the core muscles, but those are muscles that I wouldn't think of using in riding, unless of course the rectors are feeling the strain of stretching as you try for a lengthened leg.

    The upper arms don't elevate the forehand. The horse coming up from behind elevates the forehand.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.



  8. #8
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    Jun. 30, 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by merrygoround View Post
    I am curious why your upper arms are sore, along with the top of your upper leg.

    I can understand the adductors, I can understand the core muscles, but those are muscles that I wouldn't think of using in riding, unless of course the rectors are feeling the strain of stretching as you try for a lengthened leg.

    The upper arms don't elevate the forehand. The horse coming up from behind elevates the forehand.
    I am sometimes sore in my upper back, between the shoulder blades, but that is one of my problem areas, it seizes up and cramps. When I get sore there, it is more about tension than carrying weight. I do get sore there sometimes at lessons, if we work too long. I don't consider this however to be "good workout" soreness but rather "need the RMT" spasms.

    I don't find it is productive for me to ride through this kind of discomfort, as at this point my seat and posture starts to be affected negatively.

    But I can't imagine my upper arms getting sore in a lesson or arena context. You simply do not have that much weight in the reins. Well, unless your horse is diving to graze along the trail! But a horse that is being collected correctly gets *lighter* not heavier.



  9. #9
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    Default

    He does get lighter, but we are working on lifting the shoulders and he is still quite green at it. When I ask him to step under himself, I have to really help him not let it out the forehand.

    So I use upper arm muscle a lot especially at the beginning of a work out. But he does get lighter.

    I was actually kind of concerned about the upper leg - but I think I may just be working it when letting my leg wrap around him



  10. #10
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    Apr. 28, 2008
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    I don't think that if you ride regularly and are pretty fit that you should be "sore" after riding your usual amount. I worry about my fitness if I am sore. The only times I get sore is if I am not riding enough for some reason.

    I don't think you should be using a lot of upper arm muscle at the beginning of rides. if you are muscling a horse like that he is not really accepting the bit IMO. I don't care what his head position is like, he's not got a correct connection.

    ETA: this doesn't apply to physical injury. My back is often sore if I sit the trot much because I have a pinched nerve in my back, and all the softness and motion it has to absorb doing a sitting trot flares it up. again though the key is fitness -- the fitter I am the more trot I can sit without extreme pain after.
    Last edited by fordtraktor; Oct. 7, 2016 at 10:31 AM.


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  11. #11
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    Default

    Scribbler, I understand your tension problem. Remember first of all that it's all in your head.

    When things get tight, drop back a notch in your expectations for the day.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


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  12. #12
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    I have only heard of "lifting the shoulders" in a Western context.

    And it really shouldn't be the reins that keep things energy from running out the forehand, but engaging your core and seat will.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.



  13. #13
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    Mar. 24, 2010
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by merrygoround View Post
    I have only heard of "lifting the shoulders" in a Western context.

    And it really shouldn't be the reins that keep things energy from running out the forehand, but engaging your core and seat will.
    Which means the OP is likely to get sore from currently underused muscles!


    Bad sore which tells you that you're doing something wrong: I have been focusing a lot on transitions with my mare, and getting myself to ride them better from my core to support her. Because no exercises I do off horse help with the dynamics of the situation as much as I want, there is some good soreness after rides lately, and it goes away quickly and isn't very sore. But after yesterday, the muscles in my lower back are sore. Not good. I was bracing too much and not supporting enough with abs - so it's a good reminder to correct that today. (It's no surprise my best transition was my final one, when those muscles were a bit too tired to brace - and so my correct muscles had to do their job. )
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverbridge View Post
    If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.


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  14. #14
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    I get sore if I have taken some time off and am just getting back into the saddle. This doesn't last more than a couple days, though. Most recently I was sore when I started jumping lessons again and so was working with shorter stirrups and in two-point. Again, it didn't last more than a couple days and then the muscle memory came back.

    In the saddle I've felt muscle activation in my abs if I'm working on sitting trot (not on my young horse), but I don't think of that as being sore.

    Once when I was working with a trainer who seemed to advocate a heaviness in the hands, my shoulders got sore. I didn't like that (both from the soreness perspective and for how I want my horse to feel perspective).

    My current soreness is in my hip as I'm getting over some sort of injury. I do my yoga and PT exercises regularly so that helps, but once October is over I'm just going to stop riding for the winter and give my body some time to heal. I'm sure my horses will enjoy the vacation as well.

    Also you can be sore if you are riding in the wrong saddle (think that contributed to my hip pain).

    For me a good workout is one where I feel engaged through my body and my mind and my horse responds accordingly. It is equally mental and physical.
    My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by merrygoround View Post
    Scribbler, I understand your tension problem. Remember first of all that it's all in your head.

    When things get tight, drop back a notch in your expectations for the day.
    Totally agree! It only happens in lessons where I get pushed to work on something longer than I usually would. I've started telling my coach when I start to get tired to the point more work is nonproductive, and also when I feel that horse is on a downward spiral. My coach will let our lessons go over an hour if she has the time, which is great in a lot of ways. But after a certain point of tiredness, physical or mental, you lose your finesse.


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by netg View Post
    Which means the OP is likely to get sore from currently underused muscles!
    I believe it!

    My lower back was hurting earlier this year, which is why I have been sore more often - I try to avoid pain by using different muscles.

    I am curious if I am differentiating between good or bad sore though...



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