As I come into this season fresh from a broken foot, I know I have a lot of big changes to make in my life. Not exercising at all for four months left me more than just a little "fluffy". It had me thinking.
When I bring Riesling back into work this spring I will start slow from the ground up to make sure he is at peak physical fitness before I can ask of him what we trained last year. Shouldn't the same go for riders?
As I'm dipping my toes in the water of pursuing my equestrian dreams, I picked up Denny Emerson's book How Good Riders Get Good. This book has spoken volumes to me, and I will be writing a full review. But as I'm a few weeks into my gym membership and 5k fitness app, this paragraph really shared exactly what I was thinking.
Aside from the fact that I'm a long, long, way away from even being considered somewhere ready to tackle professional riding, this really is about the amateurs as well. How can I put Ries in fitness boot camp on the lunge and under saddle, yet spend my time out of the saddle loafing around? In what universe does that equal a fair and committed partnership?
Maybe if I was already at a fit state and I spent enough time in the saddle to maintain that. But I'm not. I might be the only equestrian who failed to neglect this important part of the equation, but I can't ignore my responsibility to be a better rider anymore. I'm expecting my horses to be athletes, but how can they excel if they are doing more than their fair share of the work? I need to help my horse, not hinder its ability to execute movements because of my lack of core strength and independent seat.
I know this will take time. And a lot of hard work and dedication on my part. But I can't pretend to be ignorant anymore. Even if I never get past training level dressage or ground poles, I'll be the best damn rider I can be at that level.