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Not another rider fitness thread...this one's different!

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  • Not another rider fitness thread...this one's different!

    I would like to know how EVERYONE, from all levels in eventing -- Beginner Novice on up to Advanced -- keeps fit for riding. In addition, I'd like to know sort of some anecdotal stuff about what sort of body type you have, and how much time you devote per week to fitness, and whether you count in the barn time you spend -- riding, mucking, sweeping, raking, carrying, picking up, cleaning, etc. -- as "fitness" time. Also would like to know what exercising you do -- and where. Would everyone just chime in -- whatever you do -- and if you know what an upper level rider does, also provide that --

    I am looking for differences in body type, too, so stay as anonymous as you wish. I'm trying to get a feel for how much work, what kind of work, we do. I want to write something for a blog on this (tentative) but I want to use real stuff from real people, not experts' suggestions, or one or two personal experiences -- I would really like to know how many of us run, does the eliptical, lifts weights, swims, how much, how do you fit in riding with that, and how much of your work-out is pretty much just barn stuff.

    And feel free to add in whatever you THINK riders should do, or not do, and how you feel about fitness and riding! thanks everyone!
    Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
    Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

  • #2
    Let's see. I'm about 5'11. I'm currently wearing my size 4 pants. I have a very straight, athletic build. Short waist, long legs, gain muscle pretty easily.

    I do barn chores every evening and pretty much devote my weekends to mowing, mucking, etc. But I've been doing that for years, so not much of a work out.

    I ride currently (my main guy has been out of work for a couple months) between 5-10 hours every week.

    I do yoga/ab work free off my TV 5 days a week for 30-40 minutes on my lunch break or in the evening.

    Walk my dog. Some weekends go hiking in the mountains with friends.

    I try and hit the gym 2 times a week for elliptical/ treadmill if it's raining.

    I'd like to get back to running now that it's finally cooling off. Last winter and spring I was close to hitting 20 miles per week at about an 8:30 minute mile.

    And I sit in a cubicle 8:30 to 5.

    Oh, I'm mainly a dressage rider, though I like to take OTTBs and greenbeans and make them well rounded, so I usually event them lower levels. I have a 17hh OTTB schooling novice now and ready to show 1st level dressage. I left off at 4th level with my main guy.


    • #3
      I have ridden through preliminary extensively in the past, have been on green beans the past 3 years and also get some dressage lessons on schoolmasters.

      I ride 5 days per week on average, usually just one horse. Maybe once every two or three weeks, one of those days will be two horses. In addition, I typically run 2-3 times per week, elliptical, swim or bike another 1-3 times per week (45-90 minutes for all of these sessions). I also do yoga or pilates 3-4 times per week and some version of weight training a couple times per week. I've recently added Tabata intervals on the rowing machine (or other machines, depending) once per week. I have a flexible desk job, but probably sit at a computer or on the couch with an ipad or journals/papers 50+ hours per week. I am 48 years old, 5'3" and haven't significantly changed weight/size since college. I'm pretty curvy (both bust and hips) and have football player wide shoulders. I travel a reasonable amount for work and don't ride when I travel, but probably work out at least as much if not more in the other areas.
      OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


      • #4
        6'. 160lbs. size 10 jeans 30/32 breeches.
        been this way for 15 years--since highschool.
        Mostly leg and arms. Compare me to a grasshopper.

        I have no time for fitness and am often not fit enough for XC. I get tired quickly. I should ride everyday. I try. But sometimes I need a Monday to pull weeds in the pasture. I ride 2 on the weekends.

        I get up at 5am. drive 60 miles one way to work. Get home at 6:15pm. Muck, feed, ride. Done by 9pm. Eat, watch some TV, go to bed. repeat.

        During cooler weather (non 100+*) I ride my bike in the back 2 acers if I have time.
        I also have a mini trampoline in my house that I never use. I watch TV from 9-10pm instead.

        I do farm chores.

        I look physically fit. But my cardiovascular fitness is lacking.

        I never stop moving and am pretty tired.
        I go to work on Monday's to rest from the weekend.

        As long as I still fit into the same ol jeans and don't muffin top I don't bother with dieting. Just call me Mikey.
        When I start to feel chubby I'm better about diet.
        Last edited by purplnurpl; Sep. 29, 2011, 03:51 PM.
        Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


        • #5
          I'm 18-almost-19 years old, 6ft tall, all leg, size 3 jeans, size 24/26L breeches.

          I ride between 3 and 6 horses per day, ranging from my 16hh OTTB, a 14hh paint pony, and my 17hh WB/whale.

          As for staying fit other than riding, I used to run track and play soccer in highschool, and I still play soccer with friends, run between 5 and 8 miles a day, lift weights at the gym, do some gymnastics, and walk our 3 dogs in the evening. My brother is a football player, and sometimes he will ask if I will go jogging with him so he doesn't get bored on his own. For the horses, I typically have at least 1 trot set to do per day, ride over fences once or twice a day, and do flat work on everyone who isn't jumping or doing a trot set...and I am working without my stirrups until Midsouth Team Challenge... *pain*

          But other than that, to improve fitness I have quit smoking and am currently working on a senior 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

          I get up at 5 every morning and usually get to bed around 10:30 or 11. And I have fun doing it

          Please visit the Donate page!



          • #6
            I am an ammy rider with one horse, work a full time office job, live and work an hour from the barn.
            I'm 5'3", 103lbs, also short-waisted, long legs, gain muscle easily but will gain weight first around my waist (which has very little room to begin with).
            I do the elipitcal at home every morning for at least 45 minutes then an ab routine - this is a given, I only skip if I am at an event. About once a week I will add an extra 40 minutes on the eliptical, stair master or running on the treadmill at work over lunch about once a week & attend a bootcamp class about once a week. I try to put some more weights in there, but I always fall back to the cardio. I ride my horse at least 5 times a week, he is boarded so I only have responsibility for his barn work when we are traveling (so no guilt about swaping that and all the course walking when we are away!)


            • #7
              I'm 5'3, 140-145 lbs, some muscle, some fat. I have arms like a football player, and I'm a size 10 on top and a 6 on the bottom, plus I have the shortest legs ever. I ride my own Prelim horse 6 days a week and then several other pleasure horses 3 times a week. I also do 5-6 hours of barn work 7 days a week-- mucking, handwalking, carrying hay/ straw/ feed, etc.

              I have always struggled, not so much with fitness but with weight. I have an eating disorder, and tend to have extreme/ unhealthy eating habits if I am not careful. Right now, I run 30-40 miles a week and run in races which gives me a little incentive (I am the kind of person who takes any kind of competition seriously even though I totally have no talent). The horses count for the lifting portion of my exercise program. I am running enough that my weight is pretty steady right now, and I definitely feel fit enough even when it's really hot--my horse gets tired before I do. It's really hard, though, to squeeze everything in--some days something has to give and it is usually running.


              • #8
                I tend to do a number of things depending on what I feel like at the time. Like right now.. I'm doing pole classes.. .yep pole dancing. The current six week class I'm doing one hour twice a week, next go round I'll be doing it 3 times a week as they are having a special. TOTALLY amazed how covered in sweat I am after every class. It's super fun and at the higher levels (level 1 now, moving up next round) most of the women 10+ years older than me. I'll also do an occasional short run... or a fitness DVD. I really should run/bike more. I've also considered starting CrossFit at some point...
                I'm 26, 5'7" and at my smallest (that I recall) I was 145 and a size 8 (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...4&l=2cab662ae7). I've got a looong torso and am a DEFINITE hourglass shape! For awhile I was only kind of riding (not heavy and not really geared to anything) and stopped paying attention to what I ate/did so I'm not currently that, am currently more like a size 12, but again have started the exercise classes and eating better.. already down 10lbs. Don't own a horse right now, but have full use of a my friend's, who I hope to compete at BN this fall/next spring.
                Custom Painted Brushes: spcustombrushes@gmail.com


                • #9
                  Physique: I'm 26, 5'6", usually 135-145lb range (I really don't step on a scale except for Army APFT), wear size 8 jeans/30 breeches. Mostly boobs, arms and legs, short torso.

                  Exercise/Fitness: I ride at N level FWIW. I ride 5x week on one horse, try to keep it long hacks, but in the winter we get some serious flat work schooling in the ring. I don't really exercise outside of riding much, but still can pass my Army PT test with 20-40 pushups depending on if I'm trying to max the score and "walk" 2.5mi in under 30min. I should not run or do sit ups from a back injury. I play indoor soccer Sundays in the winter. I do park in the back of the parking lot and my walk is hardly ever a wandering pace. I sometimes pop in a Yoga DVD or take the class at work, but it's fairly sporadic. Started Ballroom dance class this week with DH and I was surprised at how sweaty I got! I probably should do more exercise outside of the barn, I have no self discipline when it comes to exercise regimes for myself(I think I made it to week 3 of P90x when I decided it took too much time)!

                  I keep my weight in check mostly by diet. I've cut out most added sugars in all of my meals and snacks(sometimes I indulge in a Dove chocolate square) and refined carbs, all my bread/grains are whole wheat or multigrain. I limit my carb intake, for example by making a sandwich with only 1 slice of wheat bread and pack on the protein. I mix up my own yogurt "parfaits" by using frozen berries, greek yogurt and 1 TBSP whey protein powder (so much less sugar than prepacked Yoplaits and such!).


                  • #10
                    Well, here are my current stats:

                    Height - 5'7" (long in the femur, short torso)
                    Weight: 154 lbs
                    Age: 23
                    Sex: Female
                    Dress size: 6-8 women's (depending on brand)
                    Body Type: Regular/Muscular... ?

                    However, about one year ago, I weighed in at 208 lbs due to gaining a great deal of weight in college (about 70 lbs - I was 130 lbs +/- at my lowest with less muscle mass than now). I was unhealthy and knew it, so I took charge and dedicated myself to becoming healthier, slimmer, and more toned. I am still on that path and haven't met my goal yet.. but I've made a lot of progress.

                    I currently maintain a nutritional diet that is high protein/vegetables and very low carb (+ no diary) and take a lot of vitamin supplements. I eat smaller, more frequent meals (every 2-3 hours so typically 5-6 meals per day).

                    I also work-out 3-4 days per week (at least 1 hour each day) and do a mix of cardio (elliptical, stationary bike, interval training, running with my dog) and strength training (machines, free weights, and TRX straps). And I usually try to make at least one of those work-outs per week an A.M. empty stomach.

                    I ride one horse 4 days per week minimum and we work on a good mix of flat work, jumping/grids, and trail/conditioning.. including tackling some of the mean Southern Indiana hills that I am lucky to have access to.

                    And I usually try to strip/muck stalls on the weekends, but have a pretty busy schedule so that doesn't always happen. I lead a pretty active life otherwise and also frequently take walks during the day when at work to get away from sitting at my desk.

                    I'm interested to see how all of the responses and information compile for you. Will you be posting the blog link when it's done?

                    ETA: I forgot to include my riding level.. I don't compete much, but I'm in the BN/N area for that right now.
                    I have Higher Standards... do you?

                    "For the love of my horse, I know who I am."


                    • #11
                      I'm not as fit as I'd like to be, but here it goes:

                      Female, early 40's - 5'6" 130lbs - slender/fit build

                      I ride 2 horses a day 4-5 times a week. Less in the dead of winter - been riding mostly greenies the last many years. I have been riding at the BN-Nov level.

                      I muck 2-3 stalls daily. I make it to the gym 2-3 times a week in the summer, more like 3-4 in the winter when I am riding less. Mostly weight training with some cardio.

                      I work from home and sit at a computer most of the day.

                      My biggest challenge is eating, and eating well to maintain energy levels at the shows! I don't eat poorly, just not enough foods and/or not the right foods to keep my energy level high all day.


                      • #12
                        Lets see,
                        50 yo
                        5'* (but short legs)

                        When I started riding 5 years ago I worked from home and was able to ride almost every day. I had been up to riding a bicycle @15-20 miles daily. When we went for our first big show I feel fit and ready. I struggle a little with weight, don't diet, but watch what I eat.

                        A year ago I had to take a job, working in an office. Only 30 min commute, but I bought a farm so my days are quite full now and I ride less. I still try to get three rides in a week, and a lesson. I have no time to exercise, but for riding and my energy is not what it use to be (though I feel that it is some mild depression related to my job, it does not inspire). I did change my eating habits, veggies and protein and fiber and drastic reduction in sugars, which helps offset my reduced exercise.

                        Reading posts by others, gets me thinking I cold try to work out a little more.


                        • #13
                          I am 24 years old, 5'6" and around 126lbs, give or take a few. I have a fairly athletic body build and wear a size 3 or 4 jean. Although my favorite jeans are a size 0... but I think that's why they were on sale.

                          I am currently a working student and am on my feet for most of the day. I help my trainer catch and tack up horses in the morning, set courses, muck some stalls, and do the evening chores on this schedule (bringing in, feeding, etc). I ride one or two horses, sometimes three, per day, mostly flat with jumping three or four times a week.

                          I am also currently training (with my trainer!) for my first marathon! : D

                          I run between 30 and 40 miles per week, usually four day a week of running total. Pace is between a 7:00 and a 9:00 minute mile, depending on the type of run. The other days are core workouts and weight lifting, sometimes elliptical, with one day of rest.
                          Last edited by Hevonen; Sep. 29, 2011, 07:35 PM. Reason: ETA: I am riding Training, schooling Prelim, FWIW. :)


                          • #14
                            I'm 27 years old. 5'9 and weigh about 138 lbs. People usually think I weigh around 120 I have a slender hourglass shape, and awful posture.

                            I ride 3 days per week and spend my days bent over a lab bench (I'm a grad student).

                            I just started a fitness program last week, mainly to help with core strength (posture) and flexibility. I take 2 yoga classes and 1 advanced pilates class. Outside of the 3 classes I do either an hour of pilates or fitness dvd (jackie warner or that loudmouth chick off of biggest loser ). I've noticed a difference in my riding after only a week of yoga and pilates, specifically my hip flexors are starting to open up.

                            I should really do some cardio, but I really hate it. I do plan on taking the dogs for longer walks and not leaving all the dogwalking to my SO.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Karosel View Post
                              I'm 27 years old. 5'9 and weigh about 138 lbs. People usually think I weigh around 120
                              I get this too. It's embarassing.
                              when I go to the Dr. I always have to slide the big weight on the scale over one more bump for the nurses.

                              I've gotten used to just looking at them and saying, "nope, I weight a lot".

                              At work sometimes I like to stomp real loud and shout "Fee Fi Foo Fum". My co-workers get a kick out of it.
                              Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                              • #16
                                I am a 31 yr old adult ammy, work full time and I also have a 1 year old child at home so time is at a premium. I'm a size 4-6 jeans (depends on brand really) and a 28 breech. 5'5 and 130 lbs. Luckily I am able to squeeze in 5-6 days of riding per week. I have one horse so that's usually who I ride. I do get most of my fitness from riding but I also attend a pilates class once a week and do pilates workout videos a couple times a week in addition to the class. In addition, I hike or bike several miles a week with my hubby and daughter. I don't really diet but I bring my own lunch everyday and eat very healthy so that helps. I started the pilates about a month ago and I already feel an improvement in my strength, balance and posture while riding, especially in my Dressage position/riding.

                                I've competed Beginner Novice in the past but my horse is getting older so I jump low stuff for fun once a week or out hacking xc. Most of our rides are Dressage focused with hillwork/conditioning/trail etc.. thrown in.
                                Last edited by LookinSouth; Sep. 29, 2011, 09:51 PM.


                                • #17
                                  I feel very shamed about my fitness after reading this thread!

                                  But to give an accurate sample, here you go:

                                  I do NO working out (but I need to! I get very winded jumping a course). I event at Novice. Don't really do barn work, horse is on pasture board.

                                  I felt much better back when I was jogging or going to the gym, which I intend to start back up after the time change cuts into my after-work riding daylight (then I will ride at lunch and go to gym at night... hopefully 3x/week like last year).

                                  I ride one horse about 5 days/week. 5'4", 34 years old, 115-125 lbs depending on carb consumption.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by purplnurpl View Post
                                    I get this too. It's embarassing.
                                    when I go to the Dr. I always have to slide the big weight on the scale over one more bump for the nurses.

                                    I've gotten used to just looking at them and saying, "nope, I weight a lot".

                                    At work sometimes I like to stomp real loud and shout "Fee Fi Foo Fum". My co-workers get a kick out of it.
                                    My sisters teased me when I was younger by calling me an amazon, or a glamazon (it's from a MAD TV spoof).

                                    I used to weigh 118-120 as a teen. I must have looked quite angular, since I still look quite slender. I guess I've just "filled" out a bit


                                    • #19
                                      Just have to say...FUN thread!

                                      Here I go: 50 yrs old, 5'7, 150 pds. Do BN. Ride 4 days a week, one horse. Am shaped like a long brick. No boobs, no hips...you get the picture.

                                      Run 5 days a week, 2 miles each. 10 minutes of Yoga before I go. Work 45 hour week with a 2 hour r/t commute. Desk jockey.

                                      Take care of my horse only part of the week...so barn chores are 3 to 4 days a week. Does not count as much exercise in my mind.

                                      I am totally motivated to stay in shape to RIDE. I have done events where my legs were like jello by stadium. Never again. And I love being 50 and feeling like a 30 year old!


                                      • #20
                                        I'm 30, 5'3", and very curvy and womanly...very typical hour glass kinda shape. I wear a size 8, though I fluctuate some and can go down close to a 6 and up to a 10. I am NOT built to ride! Fairly "tall" upper body and short legs. And, actually, like purp and karosel, I weigh more than I look! But I won't say what!!

                                        When things are going well, I usually ride 3 or 4 a day, sometimes 5. I don't have to muck stalls anymore, which may be part of the reason I am feeling fluffy. But, I walk a ton, mostly on hills.

                                        My prefered method for fitness is riding a bike. At my best, I was riding probably 60 miles a week. But, I probably haven't ridden that in the last few months i've had a tough time with my time management the last few months! BUT I am very excited. A new client is a personal trainer and she is kicking my ass twice a week in exchange for lessons! She's getting me doing stuff I normally struggle with (strength training, core work, and flexibility) and it is great...in that "omg! You are an evil woman!" sort of way! She was quick to remind me, as I was whining about being fat and out of shape, that my version of fat and out of shape is pretty damn fit for most people....so , she has me motivated to make time for my bikes (once I can walk again!) and try and get my diet back under control so I can keep this rolling!