Regardless of discipline, level of expertise, training philosophy, body shape, or fitness level, all riders do betterin horse-related activities on the ground and in the saddlewhen they take care of their bodies and maintain their fitness. While riding is a great way to enjoy an active lifestyle, on its own it is not enough to condition and tone the body to the degree we need, and then the horse must make up the fitness gap in our physical partnership. If our reflexes are slow, if our bodies fatigue, if our position collapses, if tension patterns appear, then the horse suffers repetitive asymmetrical strain or develops compensatory movement habits. It is for his good, as well as ours, that certified personal trainer and riding coach Heather Sansom has developed an utterly achievable 9-week plan to give every rider the straightness, suppleness, strength, and stamina she needs to rider her best. With hundreds of one-of-a-kind illustrations depicting accurate musculature on the rider’s body, and dozens of proven exercises organized in a progressive fitness program with easy-to-use schedule charts, Sansom’s book is the key to enjoying the ride, being fair to your horse, and getting into fabulous shape—in nine weeks!
Heather Sansom is a certified Personal Fitness Trainer and equestrian Coach through the Canadian national equestrian federation, Equine Canada, as well as a Level 1 Centered Riding Instructor. In the mid 2000’s she developed expertise in fitness and biomechanics for riders, leading this field in North America. In 2007 she launched her coaching business Equifitt.com and has since published over 200 articles on rider fitness in national and international equestrian magazines including Dressage Today. Her six ebooks on fitness and conditioning sell worldwide. Her writing has influenced this field, which has seen a growth in rider fitness practitioners and published articles since.
She has spoken and conducted workshops at regional, national and international equine symposia on rider fitness and athlete development, including Equine Canada convention and CHA International Conference. She taught and coached fitness for riders at the University of Guelph (Kemptville). She has coached Olympic and elite riders in multiple disciplines in their fitness and conditioning. Through Equifitt.com, she offers riding and biomechanics clinics, riding instruction and personal training, and online personal training for equestrians, worldwide.
From a broader perspective, Heather also does wellness coaching and is completing her PhD in youth resilience through equine based physical activity. She does organizational consulting, project management and research in sport and public health, recreation, and equine based activity for psycho-social learning and development.
Passionate about horses for over 40 years, Heather’s main personal focus is classical dressage. She counts polo, mounted games, foxhunting, horse trials, competitive trail, skijoring, barrel-racing, trick and liberty training, and driving among her other equestrian experiences.
Table of Contents
About Heather Sansom
PART I: INTRODUCTION TO RIDER FITNESS Chapter 1: Why Get Fit?
PART II: TRAINING THE RIDER'S BODY Chapter 2: Good Training Is About Building Balance Chapter 3: The Important Core Muscles Chapter 4: The Difference Between Riding Disciplines
PART III: FIT TO RIDE HOW-TO Chapter 5: Nine Weeks to Supple and Straight
PART IV: THE 9-WEEK FIT TO RIDE PROGRAM Chapter 6: Standard Warm-Up Stretches Chapter 7: Week One Chapter 8: Week Two Chapter 9: Week Three Chapter 10: Week Four Chapter 11: Week Five Chapter 12: Week Six Chapter 13: Week Seven Chapter 14: Week Eight Chapter 15: Week Nine