Rider fitness

My goals this year, as they are every year, are to be a better rider. I've been working on my fitness for quite a few years now, and while I am fitter and stronger than I used to be I haven't been all that serious about it.

This year I have a goal and I really am sticking to it. I think having a solid date set to do something is more motivating for me. I've talked about what extra exercise I do so I wont bore everyone any more, except to say that getting fitter makes eventing so much easier!

We had a big weekend, and of course I was very active through it riding, walking courses, walking horses, walking in general. Often in the past as I have galloped around cross country on a horse I have put a lot of time and effort into conditioning and feeding correctly, I feel myself tiring and not having the fitness to ride my best. I would get tired, my legs would be on fire, and I would be out of breath, and I would make bad decisions. This weekend I felt none of that! I was always thinking about the approach to the fences, making sure I sat up on landing, ensuring we had the right canter, thinking about turns. I never once felt tired. Even after we crossed the finish line both Coolie and I felt like we could have gone again.

Throughout the weekend I was conscious of what I was eating. I made sure I wasn't eating junk and that I was fueling my body correctly. Usually I eat lollies, chips, cake, sugar galore. I would suffer from sugar highs and lows but not realise. This weekend it was all about fruit and veggies and my energy levels were way more consistent.

Monday when I woke up, I had no sore muscles. I went for a run and felt fine. Tired yes but that was all. I honestly think that it made a huge difference to look after me the same way I look after the boys. Being more self aware is something I am going to do at events from now on having experienced both sides. I'll still eat cake though. Cake is life.


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