Regardless of discipline, level of expertise, training philosophy, body shape, or fitness level, all riders do better in horse-related activities on the ground and in the saddle when they take care of their bodies and maintain their fitness.
While riding is a great way to enjoy an active lifestyle, on its own it is not enough to condition and tone the body to the degree we need, and then the horse must make up the fitness gap in our physical partnership. If our reflexes are slow, if our bodies fatigue, if our position collapses, if tension patterns appear, then the horse suffers repetitive asymmetrical strain or develops compensatory movement habits. It is for his good, as well as ours, that certified personal trainer and riding coach Heather Sansom has developed an utterly achievable 9-week plan to give every rider the straightness, suppleness, strength, and stamina she needs to rider her best.
With hundreds of one-of-a-kind illustrations depicting accurate musculature on the rider's body, and dozens of proven exercises organised in a progressive fitness program with easy-to-use schedule charts, Sansom’s book is the key to enjoying the ride, being fair to your horse, and getting into fabulous shape in nine weeks!
Fit & Focused in 52
Coach Daniel Stewart has made a name for himself over the past 25 years, enthusiastically training riders of all levels throughout the world, as well as coaching top athletes on several US Equestrian Teams at World Championships, World Equestrian Games, and the Olympics. He's widely considered one of the world's leading experts on equestrian sport psychology, athletics, and performance, providing tips and quips at hundreds of clinics a year, in his bestselling books, and online through his Pressure Proof Academy.
Now Coach Stewart is combining his popular rider mental conditioning techniques with ideas for physical conditioning, as well. In Fit and Focused in 52 for Riders, readers get quick-hit recommendations for one exercise for the body, and one for the mind, for every week of the year. The end goal is attaining full-on fitness that ensures improved performance on horseback, whatever your age, ability, or discipline. With 52 weeks of creative cross-training and loads of ideas for customizing workouts to fit personal goals and lifestyle schedules, riders are sure to find themselves positive, pumped up, and ready to go, from head to toe.
Posture and Performance
This beautifully illustrated book looks at how to deliver a safe, varied, fun, effective and achievable training programme. It provides all the ingredients for riders to make informed decisions to maximise their own and their horse’s potential, gain more enjoyment, satisfaction and improve their skills.
Based on the principles of anatomy and biomechanics with welfare in mind learn all about: Skeletal maturity; how to achieve good back posture; how stresses and strains in one part of the body affects another; why some muscles become long and weak and others short and tight; how to reduce strain on ligaments and tendons; movements to strengthen and condition muscles; exercises for suppleness and core stability; why pole work and gymnastic jumping benefits horses for all disciplines.
In line with the other books by Gillian, Posture and Performance looks at training and management from a completely different perspective and is certainly too good to miss!
Aimed at riders, horse owners, professional therapists, trainers, instructors and anyone interested in learning more about the anatomy and biomechanics of horses, this refreshingly different, practical and comprehensive riding and training guide reveals how, by understanding how their horses function, they can maximise potential, improve skills, reach their goals and enjoy their horses to the full.
The Right Track
With arena exercises designed to fine-tune rider coordination and communication and improve transitions, rhythm, flexion, accuracy, and balance, this indispensable collection of schooling techniques will revitalize flatwork sessions, making them interesting, effective, and fun. Including clear diagrams, step-by-step instructions, and tips for improvement, these exercises provide a range of patterns that will keep the rider and the horse challenged throughout each training session.
When Two Spines Align
Within riding there exists a fundamental conflict of interest: The rider needs to have control – their confidence depends on their ability to control the balance of their own body as well as that of their very powerful horse. The horse, by nature, needs to feel free - free in both mind and body to express himself through physical movement.
In this book, author Beth Baumert, writer and editor at the internationally recognized equestrian magazine Dressage Today, resolves this conflict by taking a close look at the individual components that make up riding and dressage. Beth provides insight gleaned from years of working with the best riders, trainers, and judges in the dressage world, and details practical ways riders can learn to harness the balance, energies, and forces at play when they’re in the saddle.
Readers will discover how to use "positive tension” and what the author calls the four physical "Powerlines” - Vertical, Connecting, Spiralling, and Visual - to become balanced and effective in the saddle. Readers will then find ways to understand and manage the horse’s balance and coordination challenges, including the fact that he is inherently crooked and naturally inclined to do too much with his front end and not enough with his hind. Ultimately, the rider learns to regulate and monitor the horse’s rhythm, energy, flexion, alignment, bend, the height and length of his neck, and, finally, his line of travel by properly aligning their spine with his. When the centre of gravity of a balanced rider is directly over the centre of gravity of a balanced horse, that place where two spines align becomes the hub for rider and horse harmony - a dynamic and remarkable riding rapport that yields beautiful performance.
Equine Biomechanics for Riders
By understanding how the horse's biomechanics works and how to influence it, most of the misunderstanding between horse and rider is avoidable, and the vast majority of schooling problems solvable. Although in its infancy, equine sport science teaches us how a horse's body and mind functions. Through an understanding of this natural science, together with literature left to us by the classical masters, training horses, without the dependence on gadgets, becomes extremely easy and logical. The knowledge of equine biomechanics turns horse training and riding teaching into a completely logical process.
In this work, Karin Blignault investigates the horse's natural methods of performing movements and compares this with the movements he performs in dressage and jumping. Examining each individual gait and movement - including lateral work, piaffe, passage, flying changes - the author highlights the biomechanical difficulties the horse encounters in his effort to please the rider, gives suggestions to riders and trainers on how to overcome these difficulties, and further gives judges pointers on how to recognize these problems.
Through Rider Biomechanics, one gains a complete understanding of the biomechanics of the rider via a new understanding of fascia, the fabric of the body that links muscles into functional chains, rather like strings of sausages. Within both human and equine bodies these form lines of pull, affecting posture, movement, stability and mobility.
Through clear how to descriptions, coupled with copious illustrations, the reader learns how to rebalance the tension within and between one's own lines of pull. The ultimate task is to use this developing awareness to rebalance the tension in the horse's line of pull, gaining much more influence over his carriage and movement. The secrets of talented riders are laid bare.
Mary WanlessBSc BHSI developed an effective method of teaching, based on an understanding of the biomechanical demands of riding and the communication styles that make riding skills easy to learn. She coaches riders at all levels, from relative novices to elite riders, including some who have competed at the highest levels of international competition.
She is the author of the highly successful Ride With Your Mind, For the Good of the Rider, For the Good of the Horse and Ride With Your Mind Essentials.