I am by no means a gym rat or a fitness junky. My workouts have largely been limited to only things that included horses (i.e. riding, grooming, bathing my horse) - you get the picture. But when I was watching myself ride on video bouncing hands, a swimming leg, and hunched over shoulders (the horror) were in all the frames. I knew that if I was too close to the camera at the end of one of my jumping rounds you would hear me gulping down air as if I just ran a marathon.
Still I was hesitant to go to the gym. I had never really worked out in the gym and I didn’t know where to start, let alone what exercises I should do to help me in my riding. I didn’t even think to try to find equestrian rider workout apps or programs.
I just went online and found different articles talking about the ‘best’ free fitness apps. After reading all the different articles I downloaded three of them and entered the world of the gym. Swimming in workout videos ranging from HIIT, to pilates, barre, and more I felt overwhelmed and lost.
Unsure of what to do, I began selecting workouts at random just making sure I was doing 45 minutes to an hour of exercise videos/running a day. Over the next month my cardio did improve, as you can imagine it does when someone who only runs to jog their horse starts actually running for exercise. But my strength and muscle tone didn’t really seem to be changing and I wasn’t seeing the changes in my riding I was looking for.
I could still crush the lower body portion of the workout videos I choose, while doing a pushup felt like I had noodle arms. Then I got sick, had a horse show, finished school, leased out my horse and just kind of fell off the workout wagon along the way.
Now that I am getting ready to get back into riding I decided to ditch the free but overwhelming free fitness apps and find workouts designed for equestrian athletes.
Equestrian Rider Fitness
Diving into the internet and Instagram led me to some great equestrian rider fitness workouts, apps and challenges specially tailored to horseback riders. I have narrowed this list down to the top options (in my opinion) that are reasonably priced. Like many other horse owners, I have a limited budget and I'm always looking for value.
Here are the best options I've found, in no particular order.
I am always looking for new rider fitness programs, so if you know of any apps, videos or equestrian fitness challenges, I would love to hear from you.