Thursday, April 13, 2017

Making a Rider

Now that we've talked about Katai I thought it would be fun to talk a little more about me and what I'm doing outside of lessons and rides to make progress.

First, I'm a HUGE proponent of rider fitness. I truly believe that if we're going to ask our horses to be athletes we should as well. That doesn't mean that we need to be out running marathons but at a minimum I want to be able to make it through a 45-60 minute lesson without becoming a burden to my instructor, clinician or horse. Not that they may not as for something at some point that wears me out but I want it to be the exception rather than the rule.

I ran Ragnar in 2014
A few years ago when I was early in my weight loss journey I started running and while I'm extremely proud of myself that I made it through I realized that running just isn't my thing. I hate it so much that I wasn't exercising at all because I felt like I needed to run and I REALLY didn't want to run.
Running pictures are always funny
Recently I've switched to just making sure I'm active. I go for long walks with my dog (and sometimes run or jog a bit), go for hikes, ride, and do body weight work outs at home. I'm happier, love it rather than trying to avoid it, and feel stronger than I have plus I'm continuing to get leaner which is a nice side effect :)

In addition I've always had really bad anterior pelvic tilt. I didn't know that's what it was but I'd always had a sore back and had a tough time not always having a really hollow back when I rode. Once I started working with Jane I started looking for answers and found some great tips and exercises to fix it. Now I'm doing the exercises in these videos along with many others and it's been making an amazing difference!

My absolute favorite workout video right now. 
I also enjoy the rest of this youtuber's videos

These changes in my strength have been a big part of the change in my position and the improvement in my riding.

I've also really changed my mindset around Katai as I've mentioned. I've become much more gentle with her thanks to Jane and we're working together as partners rather than me feeling like I need to be the instructor/leader all the time with her as the student/subordinate. I think it was partially tough for me since I've had her from the beginning when she was a baby and a brat and partially it's just a mindset that I have in general. It's been nice to change this both around Katai and in the rest of my life.

It's pretty cool when you get to improve your riding and a good therapy session when you pay for riding lessons ;)


  1. What a great post. The more fit I am the better rider I am. Like you I tried running when I was working on losing weight. But I really never liked it. I like to walk and do my Zumba class and I'm much happier.

    1. Thank you! Yes, it's amazing what a difference it makes, especially core strength. I always sort of thought I was petty fit but as I've started to build more core muscles I know how far from it I was before haha