Dear Equestrian Friends,
I hope life is treating you well and that your passion for equestrianism has been wetted slightly
by the test event at Greenwich Park. That looks an awesome venue don’t you think?
I just took 10 minutes out from my day of personal development and consultations to meet
with Sarah Jane who has recently been featured in the Eventing Magazine.
For anyone who hasn’t managed to catch up with this feature, we started it 8 weeks ago,
with the beginning of the plan running alongside a feature in the magazine, telling you
some background about our two chosen equestrian athletes.
Since then we ran an interim feature on nutrition for the rider. All to often the
horses seem to get more attention to their diet than the riders. As I always say, it’s a two part team; your horse will perform better if it doesn’t have dead weight to carry.
The last part of the feature will be in the next edition of The Eventing Magazine. This will summarise the impact that both riders have felt from doing the programme.
Here is a short video of myself and Sarah chatting about her initial fears and her dreams surrounding the Equestrian Athlete Plan.
What do you think?
Now by her own admission Sarah is someone who loves her chocolate and crisps and confessed to rarely drinking any water before midday!!!
So for her the nutrition was always going to be a wake up call. What is honestly wrong with eating clean whole foods, with no calorie counting or point scoring needed?!
One of the best things you can do for your performance is to aim for approximately 1 litre of water per 50lbs of bodyweight. Now this depends on the climate and how much riding you are going to do in a day.
Now you will have noticed that Sarah mentioned improved skin quality as a result of the nutrition. This is largely due to the skin being a critical part of the detoxification pathway. Now when we hydrate and remove toxins from our body, it is much more likely to release the water through the final stages (the skin) of the pathway, creating great skin quality.
Sarah also mentioned improved balance, now this is obviously critical for any equestrian athlete regardless of what level or intensity your ride at. A large part of the first phase is about core conditioning. But you will find none of this sitting around on a ball in front of the television on the Equestrian Athlete Plan. This is ‘proper’ core conditioning specific to the Equestrian athlete.
The Equestrian Athlete Plan is a tailor made plan. Now for those of you who know me well enough, you will know that one of my major bug bears is that equestrian athletes get sent into gyms and because the trainers either don’t know or don’t care, they get a ‘ yea jump on the treadmill’ response.
ALARM BELLS……where does that relate to riding specific fitness?
Sure you might get some benefit from short bursts of activity done in an interval fashion. But you need a plan not a ‘copout’ response from someone who doesn’t know or doesn’t care.
Sarah mentions that she really feels the plan focuses on improved specific riding fitness, and its not another generic plan, for Mr or Mrs Anyone! Which you are not either!
The next part that Sarah highlighted was that she found the Equestrian Athlete plan a progressive plan. Sarah noticed the difference between the first two phases. This is absolutely what I intended with the first part concentrating on core conditioning and postural strengthening, specific to the equestrian athlete population not the general public. The second phase is where we really develop the riders ‘lungs’ or cardiovascular conditioning.
For me one of my roles and core values is to empower each and every client that I am fortunate enough to help. I want everyone who I come into contact to play their game better as a result of working with me. Now sure they may not be able to follow every aspect all of the time, but they know how to win! I am so pleased that Sarah now has the tools in her armoury to pick the most effective and efficient ways to develop and maintain her riding specific fitness.
Now mindset underpins the nutrition and the exercise and this is something that Sarah Jane touched upon near the end. For her she felt mentally stronger as a result of the improved fitness she has gained. This is hardly surprising when you are faced with a cross country course and you know you have given your all and you’re not going to let your horse down at the final hurdle.
Ok so there’s a little insight into how The Equestrian Athlete Plan may help you no matter your level of discipline, competition or intensity of equestrianism.
Thank you for reading.
Matt Luxton BSc (Hons)
Health & Fitness Coach
Author of The Equestrian Athlete Plan