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Why I’m passionate about rider fitness

A friend once told me, ‘Karzan, you would be better off focusing on your rider fitness than riding bad horses’. It was a poignant thing to hear and it really challenged my beliefs when it came to horse riding and rider fitness. On the whole, I mostly agree with the sentiment.

I’ve long believed that when you ride a horse, it is an opportunity for you to develop your partnership and relationship with that horse, and an opportunity to improve your riding skill set. Horse riding is not the place to improve your fitness, balance and any other physical abilities needed as a horse rider. This has become an integral part of my health and fitness coaching philosophy that I really emphasise to other equestrians.

I didn’t start horse riding until I was 26 years old and did not grow up in a horsey family. I wanted to utilise everything that I knew and loved about working out in the gym to improve my horse riding. As horse riders we need to be fit, balanced and mobile, as well as many other things. Every time I train off the horse, I see it as a chance to develop the physical attributes needed to be a successful horse rider. It’s having this alignment with my health, fitness and riding that keeps me motivated to reach my goals.

Working out can be fun and easy once you know how. You can also train at home very easily with minimal equipment such as a swiss ball, small weights and resistance bands.

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