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With the 2022 season behind us, we are all looking ahead to the 2023 season with great anticipation. As the winter months set in and we start planning out our schedules and marking our calendars for the new season ahead, let’s not forget about what we can do to get physically prepared for the coming season. We put in long hours conditioning our horses, but somehow it is easy to forget about conditioning ourselves as riders. Here are three ways you can become a stronger rider this year:  

  1. Let’s get running! Running is a great way to build up your stamina for riding and improve your cardiovascular fitness. Even if it’s a short one, try to get a run or jog in a couple of times a week. Not only is running great for your health, but it is also very beneficial for mental health. Studies show that running every day or a couple of times a week can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. See if you can find a human or canine running buddy to keep you motivated.  
  2. Work on building your core strength and balance. Sitting twists and crunches are great exercises to work those ab muscles. Both these exercises will build up your core, improving your stability in the saddle. To make your ab exercises a little harder, add some weights or a weighted ball to your workouts. Another exercise to try is planking on a yoga ball. This exercise will force you to find your balance only using your core which will help you in your sitting trot, canter work, and half halts.  
  3. Start doing yoga. There are numerous benefits to doing yoga, especially for equestrian athletes. Practicing yoga works multiple muscle groups and improves balance and flexibility. Yoga is an all-around workout that you can’t go wrong with and can be done anywhere.  

By: Alessia Salati 

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