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8 Week Core Strength and Stability Training Program

In today’s equestrian world, rider fitness has taken centre stage as an essential component for riders of all levels. Equestrians are realising that enhancing their physical fitness and overall well-being is key to improving their riding skills and comfort in the saddle. As a result, riders are now engaging in various exercises and training programs outside of their regular riding routines to enhance their performance and overall experience.

One prominent advocate for rider fitness is Jamie, the founder of Haybales and Barbells, a dedicated platform catering to equestrians of all riding levels. Jamie’s mission is to educate equestrian athletes about the numerous benefits of incorporating fitness training into their equestrian lifestyle, both in and out of the saddle. By highlighting the positive impact of physical fitness on riding ability, Jamie aims to inspire riders to prioritise their well-being and unlock their full potential.

Here at Ridely, we have Jamie’s 8 Week Core Strength and Stability Training Program, providing a supportive community for equestrian athletes, where riders can connect, share their experiences, and motivate each other on their fitness journeys. Follow the training program, virtual challenges, and weekly posts to get motivated and feel supported on your journey. 

Jamie shares a wealth of knowledge and resources, offering tailored fitness programs, exercise routines, and guidance specifically designed for equestrians. Recognising that riders have unique physical demands, this program focuses on strengthening the core, improving balance, flexibility, and stamina—all of which are crucial for maintaining stability and harmony with the horse. 

We chat with Jamie about her story and thoughts on equestrian fitness!

How did you get into equestrian?

– When I was 10 years old, my mother asked me if I wanted to take horse riding lessons and of course I said yes! Ever since then, I’ve just been hooked for the last 20 years. 

When did you start to incorporate fitness into your riding? 

– I started serious fitness training 10 years ago when I was taking a hiatus from riding due to college. When I got back into riding, I realized that although I stopped riding, I became much more athletic in the saddle and actually was a better rider because I was more aware of my body and physically stronger.

What do you think the most important thing is for equestrians when it comes to fitness?

– The most important thing is consistency and keep working at your fitness for the long run. Fitness like riding is a journey, there is no end destination and there is always room for improvement and always room for growth. Just like any sport, if you stop working at it, all your progress will be lost and you have to start from ground up again. I think that when it comes to fitness, a lot of people want an easy way out and to do as little as possible to achieve the best results but unfortunately that’s just not how it works! 

What is your favourite exercise for improving the sitting trot?

– The sitting trot requires a lot of core strength and stability and also requires you to have a lot of control in your hips and glutes. My favourite exercise to improve that is the traditional glute bridge, as well as variations of the glute bridge like single leg glute bridges or weighted glute bridges. 

What is one exercise or stretch you suggest all riders do? 

– One exercise that I suggest all riders do is the good old traditional squat! The squat is one of the most functional exercises that everyone should be doing, not just riders. It is a useful movement that not only strengthens your lower body, it actually helps improve your overall core strength and stability too. Frequently doing squats can also help you with daily barn chores like lifting grain bags and sweeping and can prevent injury!

How many times per week should a rider workout to improve? 

– The most important thing is to make sure that all your major muscle groups are worked every week. If you only have time to do 2-3 workouts week, then it would be more effective if they were all full body workouts. If you can do 4-6 days a week, then you can split your workout days into different body parts!

What are your top tips for balancing riding, working out and life?

– The number one reason why people don’t workout is because they think that they have no time. But the truth is that a workout does not have to be done in one session for it to be useful. Studies have shown that you can split your workouts into little chunks throughout the day (even 10-15 minute intervals) and that it’s equally effective as doing your entire workout in one session! 

Which top rider inspires you the most with incorporating riding fitness into their training?

– I know that Anna Buffini is a top rider that incorporates a lot of fitness into her training. Watching her journey is so inspiring and she is such a beautiful rider!

If you could tell equestrians one thing, what would it be? 

– If I could tell equestrians one thing, it would be to keep asking questions no matter how long you’ve been in the horse world. No question is a dumb question and it is so important to keep an open mind and to keep learning about our sport! 

To get your rider fitness on the right track, head over to the Ridely App and join the 8 Week Core Stability and Strength Training Program. Follow each session step by step and feel your core strength improving in and out of the saddle! 

Learn from Carl Hester in Ridely!

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