Fit Horse, Fit Rider
Hi I’m Georgie, I am honoured to have been selected as one of the Select 17 girls and I’m incredibly excited for the year ahead with team Tottie. A little information about me; I’ve been riding for over 10 years, initially at a riding stables, then I worked on a hacking yard on Exmoor for 5 years which taught me more than anything, especially how to stick to naughty ponies! For the last 5 years I’ve been lucky enough to part loan a 16hh Cleveland Bay called Fiddler, he has previously competed in higher levels of dressage but now we love to show and jump...
at local level. He may be 25 years old but he’s still full of life and very cheeky! I’ve never written a blog before but I can’t see it being a struggle at all, if you’re as horsey mad I as am then you’ll share my passion for learning from others and giving others your top tips. This month’s top tips from me are the best ways to keep up to speed with your horse.
I don’t know about you but I am certainly guilty of making sure my horse is fit enough to compete but forgetting about my own fitness. Of course any level of being an equestrian requires good fitness but as with any sport, the higher levels naturally require a higher standard of fitness. I remember finishing a BSJA 80cm course and Fiddler was as fresh as a daisy but I was exhausted…Cannot believe people think riding is easy and the horse does all the work!!! For me this was a wakeup call to get myself into shape to keep up with my horse, although this is normally easier said than done. Here are 4 simple steps that I used to get going and would advise others to consider if you’re in my position;
1-Do some research into what training is going to suit you, the gym isn’t for everyone.
*I personally chose running as where I live is very hilly so I knew it’d be challenging terrain to tackle but this is good for building up leg muscles. Also, I have more recently got back in the pool as swimming is good for your shoulder and core muscles, both of which help towards a good posture.
2-Set an achievable goal, small steps are the key as you’ll feel so much better if you exceed your target compared to falling short because it was too much in one go.
*I saw a 6-mile cross country run in the local paper for about 2 months from when I started, although 6 miles seemed daunting at first I surprised myself how easily I built up the miles week by week.
3- Staying motivated. Without motivation it’s very easy to lose track and sit and watch your favourite movie instead of training…I’m definitely guilty of doing that!!
*For me, having an elderly horse was my motivation, I didn’t want to be the sack of potatoes letting him down in the ring. Instead I wanted to show people that 25 doesn’t always mean retirement!
4-Don’t push yourself too hard. Days of are essential to allow your body to recover, without time off you’re more likely to injure yourself or even become ill as your body just can’t cope.
*I used this time to reflect on how far I’d come, even simple things like being able to run 2 uphill miles without a stop. Achievements, no matter how small, make you feel great and help to keep you motivated.
Remember that the results won’t be instant, it takes time and patience but eventually you should notice the difference. A favourite quote of mine by Vince Lombardi is ‘The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary’, I definitely think this applies to the equestrian world.
I hope you have found these tips useful, I’m more than happy to answer any questions you have and would definitely love to hear any success stories as a result of this blog. To get in touch you can contact me via Instagram georgie.tucker.eq or Twitter @Georgie_Tucker7.