Getting in Shape for Horseback Riding

The 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby is taking place this weekend!  Will you be attending the most popular horse racing event in history?  Whether you attend the race in person or just watch it on TV, there’s no denying the excitement that surrounds this legendary event.  Of course we know many of you would prefer to experience that excitement for yourself by going out horseback riding.  If you are thinking about getting back on a horse this spring, the physicians at Resurgens Orthopaedics have a few tips to help you get back in shape for your first ride of the season.

Core Strength

When you’re out on a ride, your core muscles can take a beating.  The abdominal and back muscles have to work hard supporting your upper body and absorbing shock as you ride.  It is a good idea to incorporate core strengthening exercises into your weekly workout to help decrease injuries. 

Leg Strength

The thigh and calf muscles get quite a workout during your ride.  The thigh muscles help hold you in the saddle and allow you to move up and down as the horse trots,  The calf muscles allow you to give the horse subtle signals as you ride to assist with turning and controlling the speed of the horse.   Common weight lifting exercises like squats and deadlifts can help strengthen the quads and hamstrings, and calf raises can get your calves toned up and ready for the job.


Horseback riding isn’t just about strength; it also requires a great deal of balance.  You might want to consider trying some yoga to improve your balance, strengthen your core and tone your leg muscles.

We hope you have found these tips helpful as you get back in the saddle.  Remember to consult a doctor before starting a new fitness routine.  Your doctor can assist you in selecting specific exercises that will help you achieve your goals and teach you how to do them safely.  Happy Trails to you!