’ve been meaning to write this for a minute. I want to talk about fitness. Both for riders and horses.
As you know, I recently came back from California where I spent a considerable amount of time learning how to properly condition endurance horses. Us Eventers tend to take pride in fitness levels of our horses (with good reason) but it seems some folks don’t give their own fitness levels as detailed attention.
“You are either helping you horse, our hurting your horse. Get your ass out of the saddle and gallop.”
It’s not likely that I will forget those words.
So, are you helping or hurting your horse?
Ahhhh, I see some of you rolling your eyes at me. I’m thin, right? What the hell do I know about working out and weight management? Oh I don’t know, I used to weigh just over 165 and now sit consistently at 120-125. Maybe, just maybe, I work my ass off.
That’s my job. I owe it to my horses. I owe it to your horses.
I’m not saying you have to a triathlete (like a few of my students!!) or be a food nazi… but a general awareness of your health and how it affects you and your riding partnership goes a long way.
For me, quitting smoking was a really big deal. We all have our health challenges. The key is to remember that you want it more. You work harder. You try harder. You draw strength you didn’t know you had from your equine partner.
“A six pack starts in the kitchen.”
Another phrase I wanted to punch someone over. The thing is, it’s true.
I have a few students who work their asses off to be fit. None of us are super models; we are athletes.
We eat healthy, go for a run, do ab work, tease each other about Zombie Runs or who can off-the-couch a triathlon… we support each other. Your teammates will be there to support you. Make a plan and stick to it. Cut out soda or processed foods or sugar (except chocolate… I’m not crazy) and just see how it affects your riding and general life enjoyment.
What are you waiting for? You would never feed your horse a diet of cheetos and Diet Soda. Why do it to yourself?