On Tuesday night, I met face to face with Heather for the first time over Skype.
In preparation, I had sent videos to her of me riding Bentley through the various paces, and she had gone through all of the info I have about the Derby so she knows what I have gotten myself in to.
We started by reviewing my long term plan, which has different activity levels and focuses each week to help me peak at the optimal time related to my race. The specific exercises I will be doing will change from phase to phase, aligning with the fitness goals we have set for me. The first phase is to correct my bad habits and prepare the base. I have to do things right before I do things harder.
Next she gave me feedback from my riding videos. The problems she picked out were not exactly new to me – my legs are too far forward and my shoulders get locked forward and hunched being the 2 most worst problems. I hear this and feel this a lot. What made the difference, is to hear the why and what happens. She explained how certain muscles being tight led to these problems – tightness caused by things like working at a desk, driving, walking on my toes. She also explained how riding like this would affect myself and the horse from an athletic point of view. So things like how I would see myself tiring, how the horse would tire, what injuries I could experience as a result.
So that led me into showing her my stretches, which showed again the same tightness that was apparent in my riding – no surprises there! So she gave me specific stretches to target my problem areas that I am to do every day, and some lighter versions of the stretches to do prior to riding.
Strength training will be pretty easy for the start – just 2 exercises to do. Again, at this point we are correcting the tight parts before I do too much so I can get the best result from my training. She does a much better job at explaining it than I do!
I also have a lot of core work to do. You can do it with me if you like! Download her E-book “Complete Core Workout for Riders” I will be doing the baby green level core workout to start.
Lastly, I have a few mounted exercises to do to help strengthen my core and centre my balance better. Here goes!