Hadlow Rider Fitness

Riding is a great exercise that elevates your heart rate, makes you breathe deeper and requires your muscles work hard to maintain balance and rhythm. However should you only ride to maintain your fitness? Or look to include additional work to improve riding performance and health?

From the journals and books I have read they rightly encourage riding as an excellent way to reduce body fat and improve fitness. Maximum heart rate and the ability to use oxygen improve through riding, this is particularly relevant given that the performance of competitive riders is influenced by their aerobic capacity (how well they transport and use oxygen). Despite this most riding is predominately walking and trotting, but this can obviously vary depending on the standard of the rider and what the rider is training for. It’s not surprising that energy and oxygen demands are higher during jumping sessions than dressage and over…

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