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Horse Rider Fitness | United Kingdom | RiderCise
RiderCise® renews Endurance GB Championship series sponsorship for 2020

RiderCise® renews Endurance GB Championship series sponsorship for 2020

RiderCise®, a provider of online rider fitness programmes designed specifically to improve fitness, performance, recovery, and confidence in riders, has signed up in support of Endurance GB’s expanded Championship series for the second year in succession.

The agreement extends the RiderCise® Championship classes across new distances to include a RiderCise® Open, Novice and Grassroots Championship alongside a RiderCise® Advanced Regional Championship. The distance of each Championship class will vary at each venue with the Advance Championships being CERs of between 80km-100km. In addition to the extension of classes RiderCise® has offered a new cash prize structure which will award the winners of each class up to £50.

The events scheduled include:

  • the RiderCise® Southern Championships at Three Rivers (6-7 June)
  • the RiderCise® Northern Championships at The Cumbria Challenge (30 August)
  • The RiderCise® Advanced Welsh Championships at Wentwood In Summer (3 July)

The Open, Novice and Grassroots classes, which were due to take place at Pembury Country Park near Llanelli (25-26 April) have been postponed due to the Coronavirus epidemic and the prize fund will be rolled over to 2021 if the ride cannot be rescheduled for later in the year.

RiderCise® founder Clare Gangadeen explained why she is so keen to work closely with the sport.

RiderCise® Sponsor of the Endurance GB ChampionshipsShe said:

“Endurance riders spend more time in the saddle in both training and competing than any other discipline and have more to gain from learning how rider fitness can not only help them to reduce after-riding aches and pains but also help their horses through being truly independent in the saddle and thus improving performance, as a team.

Ultimately, I believe that riders participate in endurance for the love of the sport and their horses and having spent more time at rides last year, I really see that at all levels. Endurance GB members really support each other and build communities and I love that aspect of the sport especially when equestrianism can be ultra-competitive. This inspires me to do all I can to help the endurance community both for the love of the horse and equestrianism.

For this reason, I am delighted to be continuing my sponsorship of the Regional Championships and extending them to include classes at all levels and am pleased to be able to offer prize money as I believe they deserve to be appropriately rewarded.

 

My vision for RiderCise® is ‘to improve the lives of horses and riders and promote equestrian sporting excellence’ and supporting Endurance GB Championship enables RiderCise® to do that/ Many endurance riders use my programmes and experience the positive influence rider fitness and balance can contribute to the performance and well being of themselves and their horses.

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, the ride calendar may change but I am committed to this sponsorship and will roll over prize money at any ride not taking place this year to the 2021 season. I am looking forward to working with Endurance GB Championship and its members again and will be doing all I can to help riders address their fitness during this enforced ‘closed season’.”

Shaun Walsh, who has been recently appointed to the Board of Directors of Endurance GB as Sponsorship Director said:

“We are delighted to welcome Clare Gangadeen and RiderCise® back for their second season in support of our Regional Championship series. These competitions were a great success last year and we are pleased that they have been extended to cover all levels of our membership. The addition of prize money enhances the prestige of each class and we are grateful that as part of the sponsorship RiderCise® will also provide rosettes and funding to cover the costs of veterinary support at each venue. We all understand the importance that the health and fitness of our horses in this sport but sometimes rider fitness and training and the difference it can make, is underestimated.”

Endurance GB Championship‘s Communications Director Kerry Dawson said: “Last season we shared some brilliant content from RiderCise® as part of our #FitnessFridays via Endurance GB’s social media channels and we will be working closely with Clare especially through the enforced break to provide all sorts of inspiration to members around their personal fitness.”

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By Ridercise
Horse Rider Fitness Guide Dressage

Horse Rider Fitness Guide

The aim of the RiderCise® Horse Rider Fitness Guide is to provide you information on common rider challenges within specific disciplines along with a workout specifically designed to help improve those common issues. 

There is a huge misconception that Rider Fitness means lifting big weights or hours in the gym but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Whilst lifting weights, running, cycling etc are hugely beneficial for general fitness, there are situations where it can actually hinder your ability to move with your horse, something that Clare, Founder of RiderCise, knows first hand.

  1. Introduction
  2. Horse Rider Fitness Guide Part 1 – Dressage / Flatwork
    1. Exercise 1 – Single Leg Swing – Flexion / Extension
    2. Exercise 2 – Stationary Lateral Lunge & Leg Lift
    3. Stretch 1 – RiderCise® Seated Piriformis
    4. Exercise Adaptations Option 2

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By Ridercise
Sport Specific Training – Does it matter?

What is Sport Specific Training?

Sport Specific Training simply means fitness and performance training (exercise/workouts / Sessions) designed specifically to help develop and improve athletic performance in their chosen sport.

For a rider, this would mean exercising / training off the horse to improve the skills required when on the horse. Such skills would be

  • Stability
  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Endurance
  • Reaction speed (agility)
  • Mobility (different to flexibility)
  • Strength

 

Why is a specific training program important for sport?

Undertaking a training programme which has been designed with your sport in mind helps your ability to perform that sport. It is also known as Sports Conditioning, Functional Training and Building Condition Programmes.

Typically the training programme will consist of corrective and restorative exercises, strength training, conditioning and cardiovascular training, sports specific techniques which have been chosen specifically to mimic the movements and demands that your sport needs.

 

Many believe that being fit and active is enough to be ‘fit to ride’ but not all exercise is equal.

Imagine you are a rugby player, an equally dangerous sport, but you don’t work off the pitch on your strength, power, cardiovascular or agility skills but you walk the dog every day, work on a construction site -lifting heavy and difficult objects and do Pilates once a week.

  • Do you think that the Rugby player would be effective on the pitch?
  • Do you think they would be at a higher risk of injury from impact?
  • Do you think they would be a player the team could depend on?

 

If a Rugby player does not ensure that they can deal with the cardiovascular demands of running on a pitch (c.5miles per match) without fatigue and still have the ability to skilfully play, or have prepared their muscles, ligaments and tendons to be hit head-on by another player of 14+ stone at full speed, and probably moved in ways they are not designed to go, then they are not able to be part of the team, they become a hindrance, slowing the possibility of success for the team and putting themselves at serious risk of injury.

Horse riding is no different. Horse riding is actually one of the most dangerous sports in the world where we are required to sit balanced, stable and provide clear effective aids on an independent thinking animal that weight more than 5 times our body weight.

 


What are 5 Sport Specific Training principles? 

Overload

Going above and beyond. Training your body in either agility, strength, power, endurance etc beyond what is required in the sport allows the body to deal with the demand of the sport easier. Imagine you only had to ride a test or jump a course which took 2 mins but you trained to ride it for 6mins, riding the 2 mins would be easier for your body to deal with meaning that you would perform optimally.

Progression

The human body is amazing. If you practise a given programme, movement or regime without changing the demand in some way then your body will adapt, and you will no longer make progress. To continue to progress you must gradually increase the stimulus or overload so that the body doesn’t adapt and become stagnant – or your performance will to.

Specificity

As a rider this is really important – Running is not going to help your stability, mobility or balance but it will help improve your cardiovascular ability. The training should be relevant to the demand of the sport.

Variation

Don’t become stuck in a routine. The body thrives on being exposed to different stimulus and enables the body to utilise different muscles and body systems to perform which in turn allows greater performance, lower risk of over-use injuries and helps to maintain the need intensity (overload).

Reversibility

Don’t give up or be prepared to lose what you gained. If you have a prolonged period of time off training then yes, you will lose all of the good gains you have made. Your fitness level, strength, mobility, stability and balance will all start to decrease back to zero.

It is easy to keep going than to start again….it should become a way of life, not a ‘quick fix’.

Summary

If you want to ride without the aches and pains after, feeling exhausted during a lesson, lacking in confidence when onboard, struggling to step up to the next level, collapsing in transitions, not able to give clear effective aids, struggle to sit a spook or take forever to recover from a general injury then you would benefit from a Sport Specific Training Programme.

There are just too many benefits not to. Learn more about RiderCise programmes by watching a short video:

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By Ridercise
GETTING YOUR LEG OVER

 

GETTING YOUR LEG OVER

by Tracy Thompson, Endurance Rider since 1990. Tracy suffered a spinal injury in 1998, but with the continued support of her fellow riders and husband, Tracy has been able to compete alongside her son, Jamie and complete yet another 160km.

Many years ago I worked in a trekking centre and was stunned by how much difficulty people could have trying to get on the horses, with the more mature amongst them saying things like” I have lost my spring”. At the time I couldn’t comprehend what on earth they meant and suspect I was far from sympathetic but their words have now come back to haunt me and I realise I owe them an apology!

I have mobility problems as a result of a spinal injury in my thirties but have been fortunate enough to be able to continue to ride. The horses have been my sanity and provide me with the freedom to go places that I could never reach on foot.  

Through my love of Endurance Riding, I have been able to explore lots of the British countryside and I am very fortunate that my fellow Endurance Riders are a great group of people and are all too willing to open any gates that I can’t manage from the horse.

Over the last few years, I have noticed a marked decrease in my range of movements and mobility. One of the biggest issues is getting on the horse. (When I say horse I actually mean 14hh pony but let’s not split hairs). I use a mounting block and provided the pony stands still I can just about launch myself into the saddle. This is a far from an elegant procedure and often involves a little swearing and cursing. If for any reason I have to get off I am completely stuck and have to hover about hoping some well-meaning hiker will take pity and hoik me into the saddle. 

At the start of 2019, I was feeling pretty despondent about the whole situation and was beginning to wonder what I could do to remedy things. A friend mentioned RiderCise® and suggested it might help. 

RiderCise® is the brainchild of Clare Gangadeen who is a rider, Soft Tissue Therapist and a Personal Trainer with much experience in the Fitness Industry. Using all her skills, knowledge and real-life experience with riding and training people Clare developed a series of programmes that are specifically designed to improve fitness, strength, mobility, stability and balance in the saddle. RiderCise® provides Online Programmes to riders at any level, in any discipline across the world, making Rider Fitness Easy and Affordable.

It sounded too good to be true but I contacted Clare to learn more and she explained how you can access her training programmes via an App on your phone and given my individual needs she was able to adapt the programme and was always available to help.  

January 7th found me starting on the RiderCise® 9 Week Rider Challenge, which is something that Clare offers riders to allow them to see how easy it can be to improve their Rider Fitness, totally Risk Free! Not only do you get direct access to Clare for help and guidance when needed but you can cancel anytime. 

Despite being useless with technology I found it very straightforward. The ‘Challenge’ starts at Foundation level and begins with ten minute sessions that are easy to fit into your day. There are a set of exercises with written instructions and a step-by-step video of how to do them properly; there are also a range of stretches.  As the programme needed to be adapted due to my mobility issues, Clare took a very detailed medical history so she could customise the programme. She plays a very active role in the ‘Challenge’ and regularly messages to see how you are getting on. I have been amazed that despite messaging her at some random hours she still responds very quickly.

At first I found some of the exercises nigh on impossible but was surprised to find that each week they became a little easier. They focus on quality rather than quantity and gradually you increase the repetitions. They are something you can do almost anywhere, which makes it easy to fit into a busy schedule.

I did encounter a slightly embarrassing moment when I was doing the” Bear Walk”. This involves walking along on all fours and I was doing my best Grizzly impression around the kitchen floor. I had not put in my hearing aid and so did not hear the arrival of the delivery man. I had my back to him as I wandered around the kitchen on all fours and it was only when I turned round I spotted him standing at the door looking somewhat bemused. I inelegantly hauled myself to my feet and thought I owed the poor guy an explanation.

I told him I was doing an exercise programme and that it involved Bear Walking. There was a look of horror on his face as he practically chucked the parcel at me and shot off muttering” bloody hell, naked exercising whatever next?”

I was bent double laughing at the thought of him going back to the depot with tales of crazy women.  

On a more serious note I can’t believe what a difference a few minutes a day can make. I feel suppler and my posture has improved, as my core muscles have got stronger. I love the way that the workouts can be moved around to fit in with your life and that the exercises are very varied so you don’t get bored. Clare manages to find something to challenge you and is so supportive. It’s like having a personal trainer at your beck and call.

Horse riders spend a great deal of time and money getting horses fit but we are inclined to be a bit lax when it comes to our own fitness. Recent studies have shown what a dramatic impact the rider can have on the horse’s way of going. Injuries and weakness in riders often cause them to sit unlevel and this can have a very negative impact on the horse.  Perhaps we owe it to our horses to try and sort out our own niggles as well as looking at their problems.

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By Ridercise
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