What stretches do you do for equestrians?
I have tall horses, all three are 16'2 hands.  I am not so tall, 5'3.  I have to admit, when I go to saddle up, planning on using my nice western saddle, I almost alway switch to the lighter western saddle or my english saddle because they are lighter.  Like many of you, as we get older, we can lose strength, flexibility, and balance.

I believe we were made to be healthy, even as we live more and more years so I made it my mission to figure this out.

We can do a few things before we go to ride to help us out!

Stretching - this is so important so that we don't get hurt.  If we are tight and inflammed, we are more prone to get hurt with soft tissue injuries and if we have to deal with an incident, it makes it even harder to contort if necessary, like when my mare swung to bite my other horse and I was between them.  I was able to duck and twist and she just got the back of my sweatshirt on my arm.  Here are some of my favorites and why I like them:

1. Quadriceps Stretch: Riding can tighten the quadriceps, leading to discomfort and restricted movement. Stretching this muscle group promotes flexibility and eases tension in the thighs.

2. Calf Stretch: Flexible calf muscles support proper leg position and aid in maintaining balance while riding, reducing the risk of cramps and improving overall comfort.

3. Side Stretch: Loosening the muscles along the sides of the body enhances flexibility, allowing riders to move more freely in the saddle and maintain better posture.

4. Lower Back Stretch: Stretching the lower back helps alleviate tension and discomfort caused by prolonged sitting in the saddle, promoting a more comfortable and enjoyable riding experience.

5. Shoulder Stretch: Flexible shoulders facilitate better rein control and upper body movement, enhancing communication with the horse and improving overall riding performance.

6. Neck Stretch: Releasing tension in the neck and shoulders improves comfort and range of motion, making it easier to maintain proper alignment and focus during riding activities.

I combine this with flexibility and balance which I talk about in my most recent podcast you can find here:  Episode 7: 3 Exercises Before Riding

For those of you that would like a little more support with getting over riding fear and anxiety, join my free support group here:  Equine Courage Community


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