I don’t know about you, but I am terrible at sticking to my New Years Resolutions, so this year I have decided to rebrand them as my goals for the year.
My foremost goal for this year is to get properly fit. I have suffered a few setbacks in my fitness goals over the past few years. What many people, even my clients don’t realise is that I suffer from chronic back pain. Getting fit and strong has helped me to overcome this and helps me manage it day to day. But if I have a health set back, like I did at the end of last year, then my pain comes back too. This makes it difficult for me to do everyday things like hoover, and I usually wake up in pain, and have difficulty getting down the stairs first thing, it makes me feel tired and less likely to exercise, even though daily gentle exercise will help decrease my pain! This is why I can’t just get a pair of trainers and go for a run, high impact exercise is detrimental to my fitness progression as I tend to get injured and have to start over.
Another reason for my fitness goal this year is to be able to ride my young horse. He is 5 this year and I really need to get on top of his education, but most importantly, I don’t want to affect his health by being overweight and unfit.
I am currently around 20% of my horses’ weight, it might be a bit lower, but not much. Research that is due to be published this year has shown that riders of this weight ratio will have a grave impact on the physical wellbeing of their horse. Increasing their metabolic rate and energy expenditure even at the walk. They start to find moving difficult and may stagger and trip with a rider of this weight ratio. There is extra strain on tendons, the pasterns of the horse will start to lower and touch the ground at trot or canter, where this would only happen at gallop or landing from a big jump with a rider of 10% of their weight ratio. This will obviously have a detrimental effect on their back health in the long term as well and may contribute to lordosis and kissing spines.
An unfit rider will also put the horse at risk of injury, the rider is less likely to be able to balance themselves independently and research is showing how this can cause rider induced lameness in the horse.
I want to do this to improve my health, increase my energy levels and get more done in a day. I have other business and personal goals to aim for this year, and I want to give myself the best chance of doing so. So why am I prattling on about this to you? Well, I need to be accountable to someone to keep me on track, so I thought, what better way to stay accountable than to you. It is also a way to show how chronic back pain can be managed for the better and hopefully give others some tips on how to build their fitness without setting themselves back. I will be showing how I prepare my young horse for ridden work as well, so you may get some tips on this for your own horses.
So wish me luck, I will be routing for you too, share your new year goals with me, and we can do this together.