Horseback Riding and Bodybuilding‍
Veronika Lehner

Some of you may not know this, but I’ve been an equestrian long before I ever got into bodybuilding. I know I’ve mentioned this in one of my first blogs, but I thought I would revisit this topic and discuss a few things that many may not know about riding horses, and how this can actually benefit a hobby such as bodybuilding.

I’ve heard over the years from so many people about how they don’t believe horseback riding is a sport. “The horse does all the work, all the rider does is sits there”. WRONG!

Anyone who has ever ridden would know how technical riding can be, especially depending on the discipline you are practicing. For example, I ride English and have specifically trained for three day eventing over the course of fifteen plus years. I will say that this is one of the most physically challenging disciplines you could possibly do in the horse world. It can be even more challenging when you are training a horse that may not have much experience, what equestrians call a “green” horse. It requires a lot of patience, technique and fitness to be able to actually ride, and teach the horse how to perform.

So how does riding benefit my hobby with bodybuilding?

It requires me to use my legs, specifically adductors in order to stay on and ride a horse. If you have weak adductors, you will notice that you feel very unbalanced in the saddle, especially when you’re asking for different gaits other than a walk. With the need for strong adductors also comes the need for a very strong core. Your core also helps with balance as well, especially when you are jumping a horse. Without a strong core and strong legs, you can potentially find yourself making friends with the ground more often than you would like.

Horseback riding built a foundation for my leg and core strength, which led to me having very strong legs. I’ve even noticed as of late how much my strength has come up since getting back into riding too.

Aside from the physical standpoint, mentally, riding is extremely therapeutic. Horses are very emotional animals, and do connect with people on a very deep level. They can feel every emotion you’re feeling, and are very in tune with frequencies. This is why horses are used in therapy, and even rehab programs. Even just spending time grooming a horse is extremely relaxing. There are times that I will even just hang out in the pasture with my horse and just watch her.

Mental health is so important in bodybuilding too because poor mental health can lead to poor physical health and dysfunction. This is again how riding can be so incredibly beneficial to physique goals.

Now you may be someone that is not into horses at all, and that’s totally okay! This is personally a hobby and passion of mine that helps me in more ways than one. The biggest thing you can take away from this blog post, is find a passion that you can let loose in. One that benefits you, and gives you purpose and meaning. One that can recharge your soul.

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