Jump 2: Establishing Strength & Stamina Increases Your Riding Performance
Strength is built and established in the second phase of my “signature system” in Jump 2. Strength must be established after the body is primed and ready from minimizing the imbalances and creating overall stability. Throughout my involvement with equestrian riders over the years, I’ve noticed that the best riders harness a combination of all the major components that improve their riding. These components include stability, suppleness, strength, stamina. The 4 physical pillars are the main baseline tangibles that allow riders to be the best they can be in practice and competitions.
Stamina on the horse gives you the ability to ride for extended amounts of time without getting overly winded and fatigued. No matter what anyone outside the equestrian world says, we all know how much cardio is involved while riding, and that varies depending on what type of discipline you practice. Nonetheless, a baseline amount of fitness and cardio stamina must be established to make sure that you can withstand the demands of riding and competing.
It takes a great deal of strength and body control to maneuver with your horse throughout the varying movements and aids. Harnessing strength is the ability to use effective force at the right moment when riding. Strength training is not a one size fits all category and there are multiple ways to increase strength based on where you are in your journey. Through the next 4 weeks of Jump 2, you will increase your mind-muscle connection and the overall strength within your body. This phase will empower you, seeing and feeling changes, but most importantly the more strength and stamina we possess the fewer aches and pains we will have.
Through many studies, harnessing muscular endurance has been known to improve sports performance. This type of training is built into EFA because in my experience I have seen riders consistently progress, resulting in fewer cramps, pains, stiffness both on and off the horse. Why’s that? Well, the body’s ability to maintain repeated movement gives it the advantage to perform for extended periods of time without fatigue. The longer you can ride without ‘muscular’ fatigue, the better rider you will be. Muscular endurance is an element of muscular fitness that encompasses muscular power and strength. The endurance of our muscles is just one aspect of strength and power.
Adding muscular strength brings a host of benefits to riders specifically. Let’s go back to Jump 1’s importance for a moment to help drive home the reasons why everything is in the order it is. Stability/suppleness are the foundational pillars that lead to the strength components of muscular endurance and strength. This gives riders a major boost of confidence and self-esteem. Incorporating the core stability principles gained earlier helps riders build stronger muscles to help them keep a better seat. A stronger body and core heavily assist with seat position in the saddle allowing you to have more control within your body. Strength, like endurance, also improves your sports performance, ability to burn more calories, and increases your metabolism. For example, strengthening the glutes/hamstrings helps to stabilize the lower legs keeping the heels down and producing more effective aids. It’s an all-around benefit to become stronger, and I promise your horse will be happier too.
Stamina isn’t just for the physical but also applies to the mindset of a rider, we’ll just go over the physical component in this article for now. Remember this very important statement; “whatever the horse needs, we need as well.” If training and exercising your horse is important to increase their stamina that must also apply to the rider. Improving your stamina takes place through increasing your muscular endurance and strength. Acquiring more strength makes your muscles stronger thus helping your stamina which preconditions your body to withstand and endure repetitive movements for longer. Being able to ride for longer means you can enjoy and connect with your horse more, spending more time in the saddle and in the moment. Who wouldn’t want to Minimize/eliminate pain, discomfort and have more fun...Doesn’t that sound good?
In Jump 2 of Equestrian Fitness Academy, you will build two more major components of your riding through various fitness exercises. Establishing Strength and Stamina to ride pain-free.
Strength (in the saddle) is the ability to produce power and force at the right time. To achieve this we must increase our muscular endurance and strength while continually progressing the stability and suppleness of the rider.
Stamina (in the saddle) is the ability to maintain extensive physical effort without becoming fatigued. To achieve this we must use the summation of the previous three pillars in order to see and feel specific progress. A tired athlete is not a focused athlete. You cannot get the best of yourself or your horse if you are in a state of survival in the saddle. A stronger rider who is more stable will have more control of their body, improving the precise controls of the seat aids but also the body position in the saddle. Riders with these strengths and abilities concentrate more on the important tasks required during the lesson, trail, event or competition.