In her first article for EWW personal trainer Katy Stokes discusses the impact of fatigue for the rider.
Fatigue decreases both mental and physical performance.
There is no escaping the fact that eventing is a dangerous and high risk sport. A study found that 74.05% of participants stated the main risk factor for a horse fall is rider error (Cameron, Whytock.H.A & Brigden 2008). Now I am not saying that all we have to do is get all riders super fit to prevent the fatalities that occur but riders must take responsibility for their fitness and recognise that just riding is not enough.
As soon as you start fatiguing your physical performance will drop and your ability to maintain focus and the ability to make quick decisions will decrease. In a sport where you are riding an animal that weighs around ½ a tonne, jumping down drops, over skinnies or into a water jump you must be able to make split second decisions and physically convey those messages to your horse. We have all seen the top professionals jumping into the lake at Badminton where their horse leaves a leg and they have to adjust to the long route before they risk a run out at the next jump and incur penalties. It is precisely these kind of split second decisions that require total mental focus from the rider to be made correctly.
I train professional riders who spend all day in the saddle (& all night teaching!) but were lacking in fitness. I use a mixture of intrinsic Biomechanics (Biomechanics Education) to improve muscle, joint & nerve function and combine this with sport specific training to hugely improve all aspects of their fitness.
In a sport where the top riders are constantly striving for more recognition, prize money and sponsorship, I believe that to be seen and treated like an athlete you must first train like one. In my next article I will look at 3 ways in which working riders can increase their fitness, despite having hectic schedules and busy lives.
Katy Stokes Personal Trainer & Intrinsic Biomechanics Trainer.
A sought after trainer based in the north Cotswolds, Katy combines intrinsic biomechanics with years’ of personal training and fitness experience and her eventing background to improve riders’ fitness and athletic performance.
You can find her at katystokespersonaltraining.com;
on facebook – Katy Stokes Personal Training
and on twitter @katystokesPT