Cardio Training For Riders?

So we all know that fitness is a key factor to be coming a better horse rider. But how important is cardiovascular fitness for riders?

What is it? 
Cardiovascular fitness means how well the heart, blood cells and lungs can provide oxygenated blood to our working muscles.

When do we use it in horse riding? 
No matter what discipline you ride in cardiovascular fitness is very important. We use it mostly when trotting, cantering and jumping! Have you ever felt puffy after a jumping round? I bet you have after a cross country round!!

Equestrians who have a higher level of cardiovascular fitness can perform better, recover quicker and experience less fatigue. This means the rider can be more efficient, both physically and mentally, which means they have more control with their horses. This results in a better performance and a reduction of risk to injury!

How do we add this to our training? 
Cardiovascular exercise is any exercise with enough intensity to raise your heart rate. The best exercises for these would be:

  • Running.
  • Brisk walking.
  • Swimming.
  • Biking.
  • Working out on cardio equipment.
  • Aerobic classes or DVDs.

You will see the benefits of cardio training, by just including 2-3 workouts a week, for 20-30 minutes. This can be any of the above exercises. This could then be increased to 4-5 times, for 30-60 minutes a week as your fitness increases. If you can’t set aside a full 30 minute block, then three 10 minute periods would also be benfical.

However I know we are all short on time with our fur babies to care for. So one is better than none! So just try and squeeze them in when you can. Or try and include into your daily routine. Try cycling to the yard, or a gentle jog to the horse’s field to get them in?

Time to get those running trainers on 😉

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