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Rider Fitness

In our Rider Fitness section, we look at the effects of alcohol, chest problems, infections, fractures and weight and how you can improve your level of fitness...

Stop mucking out affecting your posture

Feeling tense, stiff or lop-sided in the saddle? If so, the way you muck out could be to blame. Here we talk to therapeutic bodywork practitioner Jo Greenfield how to wield a fork and broom correctly and ensure you’re sitting pretty.

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Test and build core strength

Your limbs can only be as strong, effective and independent as your core tone allows. Your core is not just your tummy – it’s your whole trunk –and controls the position of your hips, seat bones, shoulders and posture. So you can see why it’s essential to balanced riding.

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10 steps to a fitter, healthier you

We talk to fitness consultants Matt Hart and Anth Roland of Torq Fitness, who give their top advice on improving your own fitness and diet in a bid to improve your stamina and ability.

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Rider back pain

For many of us, back twinges are part and parcel of life with horses. But could our actions now play havoc for us in the future, and what can we do to avoid problems? Joanne Slater – in the midst of her own back troubles – investigates.

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Exercise while watching TV

Follow this plan to improve your flexibility and muscle strength in the saddle. Try to do each exercise at least once a day – twice if there’s something good on TV!

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Alcohol

Alcohol forms a large part of many people's social lives. But a couple of glasses of wine in the pub can easily run into the early hourse and, for those of use who have to get up early to ride the next day, this is where the problems start.

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Infections

Many riders spend hours working outside in cold and wet conditions. This can lead to cracks in the skin, which allow bacteria to get in, resulting in infections. We find out how infections can affect your riding.

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Chest Problems

Most riders will have suffered a chest problem at some point in their lives. If the problem is due to an infection, our bodies often put so much energy into fighting the infection that we feel far too tired and unwell to get on our horse. However, some chest problems are long lasting and continually affect our ability to ride.

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How injuries affect your riding

Most falls don't result in broken bones at all - just bruised egos - and, although horse riding is seen as a dangerous sport, most riders never suffer a serious injury. The problem is that when injuries do occur they can be seen as serious. We have a look at what to do to prevent this and what to do when you have a fall.

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Weight

About two in every five people in the UK are carrying more weight then is good for them and riders aren't immune to carrying a few extra pounds! When it comes to how this affects the horse's back, anyone who has carried a rucksack will realise that it's easier to walk for longer with a light rucksack than a heavy one. We look at what other factors can be affected by rider weight.

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