When we are looking at the equestrian sports, where the athletes consist of duos, horse and human, we know that not only the horse must be trained, but the rider too.
Research has shown us that 98.3% of the riders believe their fitness influences the performance, only 56.9% of them considering themselves fit.
That's why we developed a fit test we called Rider Physique, that looks at the physical capacity of the body and accurately measure how a horse rider is performing and how can his skills be improved.
When looking at what is important for a rider, scientific literature talks about 5 key principles: balance, sitting position, posture, symmetry and harmony. So let's have a look:
When we talk about balance we talk about equilibrium which science describes as a body in a static position with the resulting force being 0. As a result, the force of gravity from the rider's center of gravity will act perpendicularly on the support surface. But human beings are always in motion, and if we add the horse motion, then balance on the support surface depends on a number of factors.
The perfect sitting position, as described by scientific literature, is when "The rider is supposed to sit candle straight on the horse". If you draw a line from the head, through the shoulders, pelvis right to the heels, that line should be straight. Or to put it simply, if the horse would magically disappear, the rider should land on its feet.
The posture refers to the position of the body parts. And to achieve a good posture, the body parts must be positioned in such a way that the body does not become unbalanced. It is important that the rider has sufficient muscle strength and control over the position of the body parts in such a way that balance is not lost, despite external disturbances.
Scientific literature refers to symmetry not only required for the horse but also for the rider. The rider has influence on the symmetry of horse through the saddle and stirrups. Therefore, when a rider moves asymmetrically it can have a negative impact on the symmetry and linearity of the horse.
We look at harmony as the result of perfecting balance, position, posture and symmetry. The power of two separate athletes, who move together as a whole, as a unity, having harmony between them can be achieved by training the necessary muscles in a way that the movements can be performed smoothly and effortlessly.
Rider Physique Test
Having all this into consideration, we developed our Rider Physique test in order to learn about the rider traits and the muscles needed to perform and achieve the perfect harmony.
The design of the test is done with the intention of being accessible for riders of all levels as it compiles various sport specific exercises that were already known for having excellent outputs. Training the right muscles can only optimize your performance, and if you are repeating the test you can monitor your improvement.
If you want to improve your riding technique and riding skills, you can follow the principles mentioned above and add them to your own training. And please, do tell us how it goes for you.
If you would like to learn more about you as a rider and how your physique can, ultimately, improve you and your horse, just contact us and we can do a Rider Physique together.