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  • Virginia Shaw, BTB Trainer

You horse is an athlete; why can't you be?

It’s always fun when you tell someone what you do for a sport and they say: “horse backing riding isn’t a sport! The horse does all the work.” I can guarantee, if you ride horses, you have heard this. Some of it is a true statement; let me explain before you get annoyed! It is true your horse does the work. If you have been following me, you have read a previous blog I wrote about how your horse can only be as good as his/her rider and fitness falls right into this spectrum.

For those of you who don’t know me, I was diagnosed at age 25 with Rheumatoid Arthritis. RA is a disease typically found in older women, but I was a lucky one! I have also never been a super healthy person. If I could go back, I would change my habits knowing how I feel now.

Here’s the thing, we develop and create workout plans, eating plans, supplementations, vet, farrier, masseuse/chiropractic schedules, etc. for our horses. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! The list can go on of all the things we do for our horses and rightfully so, as they do a lot for us. The question is what do we do this for ourselves? We are just as much of an athlete as our horse and not only that, we are just as valuable. If we aren’t taking care of ourselves, how can we take care of and show up for our horses? By no means am I saying we can’t do it, however when you feel good and strong that follows you into your riding.

In this day and age, there is plenty of free information and guidance you can get when it comes to health and wellness. Learning about your body and what works for it certainly isn’t a bad thing. The stronger and fitter you can be and feel, the stronger you will feel in the riding. Your horse is required to show up and be their best self for you, so make sure you are doing the same for your horse.

If you’re wondering: “what can I do at home to get myself stronger for the saddle?” Follow me on Instagram or Facebook as I incorporate stretches, workouts and health tips for my fellow equestrians.

Happy Horsin’


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