NJQH Youth Association

Youth Board Update - April 2020


In April, the outlook for the rest of the 2020 show season does not seem very promising, especially with barns and shows being shut down and canceled across the country. However, there are still ways that riders and competitors can prepare to get back in the saddle! 


In an AQHA article published on April 10, 2018, it discusses at home workouts that we can use to strengthen and better ourselves before the season! 


Upper Body Workouts: Push-Ups and Planks

In the article, these seem to be the most effective workouts to strengthen the muscles you need to ride. 


How to do the most effective push up

“For a push-up, imagine you are sitting on your horse, elbows at your side, fists holding imaginary reins in front of you. Then tip yourself forward into a push-up position. Doing push-ups from this position, pushing off your fists rather than a flat hand, elbows low and by your side, mimics the force of transfer from the bit through the hand, arm and shoulder. The plank can be performed from a similar position, focusing on the abdominals, the protectors of your back, which is a rider’s most common source of pain. Get down like you’re going to do a push-up, put your elbows down, straighten your back and hold it.” (Micheal Meyers) 


Lower Body Workouts: Lunges 

The article mentions how when lunging, quality is over quantity, and you want to ensure that strengthening both legs simultaneously as well as strengthening your core. They recommend that instead doing moving lunges, you should lunge and then push back, for the reverse lunge movement. These lunges are also useful for quad and hamstring stretches! 


An article by Go Horseshow also mentions how balance and core strength is very important to work on when preparing yourself to get back to riding. 


Beyond these exercises, there are a plentiful amount of youtube videos that cater to horseback riders, as well as yoga, pilates, stretches, and full 30 minute workouts most beneficial to equestrians.  


Virtual Horse Shows: 

For those fortunate enough to still have access to your horse, there are still ways to partake in a horseshow! Found mainly on facebook, riders of various skills and abilities can enter showmanship, horsemanship, equations, ranch and various other patterns for very low cost entry fees. (usually around $10 to $20 per class) Not only this, entries have been sent in from people in various parts of the world! They also have a lot of different prizes to offer the top five or top ten places! For example, the Virtual Horse Show on facebook hosted by Charlie Cole, usually gives out monetary prizes! I highly suggest partaking in these virtual shows if you are able too! The Cinch Virtual Show is also another cool and unique alternative to horse shows! You can see entries and classes on the online Horse Show Tracker App, and all competitors live-stream their go, similar to a real show, where one take is all you get! You can also find all of the information for that particular show on their facebook page. 


It is incredibly important for everyone in the horse industry to support and uplift one another in a time of uncertainty. We are still hopeful for June and for the rest of the season! Everyone please stay healthy, safe, and wash your hands! Hope everyone had an amazing April! (even with our current circumstances!) 


Adriana Totten



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