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Love Horseback Riding, Issue #007-Spring Readiness
March 31, 2015
|Dear Horsey Friends,
Hello,Spring is in the air! Well, at least in most areas of the country. If you’re in the Northeastern USA, wow, what a winter!
What's NewWith the temperatures rising (finally) and more daylight into the evening hours, it’s time where people start to get more saddle time. Check out this page on trail riding with tips to help you in the saddle.
Trail Riding in the SpringThere’s nothing better than getting back in the saddle and hitting the trail in the spring after a long winter. Here are some tips to get you and your horse back in “ready” condition to tackle whatever adventure you have in mind.
The key to spring riding is preparation.
I know, I know. Most of us hop on and start to ride. It’s hard NOT to when the weather finally gets decent. And then afterwards you feel sore in muscles you forgot you even had.
This year to ease the burden, try even a light exercise routine to get you back in shape and minimize the discomfort from beginning riding for the season again.
Weight lifting can be a great way to signal your muscles that you are going to start using them again. The idea is to start several weeks before you intend to pull that longer weekend ride to give your body time to adjust.
Another great way to help your body prepare is yoga. Yoga builds both strength and flexiblility. These are both vital to your time in the saddle! There are even books and videos just for equestrians.
Remember, always talk with your doctor about what exercises/routines are best for you before beginning any program.
For Your Horse;
One of the biggest favors you can do for your horse if you haven’t been riding much over the winter is to start conditioning him again through a gradual increase in exercise.
Start with groundwork, especially if your horse has had most of the winter off. It will build his confidence and yours.
Then when riding start by walking several times a week, then add in some brief trotting times of 1-5 minutes each.
If you prepare your horse both physically and mentally before taking a longer ride it can help avoid tying up and muscle soreness. This will make riding more enjoyable for both of you.
Also you may need to have shoes put back on (if pulled over the winter) to keep his feet from getting sore or from bruising.
Be sure to clean and inspect all of your tack if it has been sitting over the winter. This will help you avoid equipment failures on the trail.
If you haven’t already, try your tack on your horse and make sure that it still fits.
I hope these spring tips will help ease both of your transitions back to longer hours in the saddle as we head towards the lazy days of summer.
What else do YOU want to know about horses and riding? Contact me here to give me your ideas/suggestions for future newsletters and/or lovehorsebackriding.com pages.
In the meanwhile, visit Lovehorsebackriding.com on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter! Until then,
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