I love this stuff! It really works, and once again, it has proven itself in my students.
Just last week during a teaching session, I created a tailored “off the horse” warm-up for a group of my students that proved highly effective in improving their riding. I am excited to share this sequence of poses below.
What was the impact?
- Awareness of the major muscle groups
- Allowing them to focus and warm these major groups
- Great warm-up with the result of greater elasticity in their body
- Physically preparing them to be more effective during their lesson
- Improved Performance
- I can say enthusiastically that it changed their performance that day
A note on Awareness:
Awareness was the key with these students. They had never identified the four large groups of muscles that profoundly effect our riding.
In case you are not aware of what I believe to be the four major muscle groups, here they are: Hip Flexors, Legs, Abdominals and Back.
Please refer to the “Sassy F.L.A.B.” Handbook.
A note on the Warm-up:
Each student experienced the benefits of being warmed up and ready for an athletic experience. In the past, you may have read my harpings on riders who do not approach their riding as an athletic sport. Sorry folks, but riders don’t just sit and occasionally squeeze with their legs (Yes, I have been accused of only doing just that up there! I won’t share my response of this particular accusation!). We are on a moving object (sometimes violently moving…yikes!) multitasking to the moon to get all our aides coordinated in a way that makes sense to a very large creature with whom we cannot speak English. So, with that said, we must approach our rides much the way any athlete would approach their training. Warming up, doing some mental preparedness and then strengthening and creating a little heat.
Heat? Yes, the best part of the warm-up of course.
When we spend a bit of time doing bodywork off the horse, as our muscles warm up, heat that allows for our beloved elasticity, develops… you know, the stuff that allows for mobility, grace and speed! You will feel a heat brewing deep within the muscle that external devices cannot create (heat pads, hot tubs etc…) It feels so great, it can be addictive. I find I don’t want to get on unless I have done my bodywork! But better than it feeling great, it is effective! It prepares the body for the work ahead. Rather than beginning cold, stiff and feeling less than athletic, you start your ride prepared, loose and feeling at ease.
So, with awareness of the major muscle groups and the need for a great warm-up in mind, I recommend this sequence of exercises that worked so well for my group of students.
For more poses and complete explanations for each poses, please see “The Sassy F.L.A.B” Handbook.
* As always, never continue a pose that causes any form of pain, please consult your health care provider before proceeding.