As we fast approach the end of the year for a lot of you this will mean some downtime from the horses .
Well, by downtime I mean perhaps a few quiet weeks before the winter training begins ! I do like to ask the same question to new riders I meet and that is ‘ are you feeling as great at the end of the season as your horse appears to be or are you exhausted from all those early starts and long days ?’
More often than not the answer is that they feel exhausted and are looking forward to the end of the season .
A lot of people are feeling tired and run down about now and generally it’s because they are not taking care of themselves ! Your body is your vehicle , so you have to keep your engine running when you work hard .
That means by fueling up your body by eating the right foods and drinking the right fluids , in the right amounts at the right time . You don’t have to stick to a rigid schedule and there are no hard and fast rules but there are some things you should bear in mind ..
1. A good breakfast is crucial for getting you off to the best start ( how many riders skip this meal due to crazy early starts and substitute it for a coffee and a chocolate bar en route !). Healthy carbs such as whole-grain cereals ( with low fat or skimmed milk ), whole wheat toast , low fat or fat free yoghurt , FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. The key is to consume easily digested carbohydrates so you don’t feel ‘ sluggish ‘.
2. Hydrating with water , regularly throughout the day ! Small , frequent sips of WATER are ideal ( try to steer clear of the high energy drinks !)
3. Eating protein will help repair and grow your muscles . Easy things to have on the Yard or in the Lorry are boiled eggs , almonds , peanuts and if you are good at preparing, chicken , Quinoa and broccoli can make a tasty lunch !
You need to be realistic about the food you eat , ie) do what works for you that you know you can maintain and also know that what you put in your body ( Nutrition) is as important as what you do with your body .
Both are crucial to keeping your engine performing at its best ! Just think if you make a few simple changes how much better you could be feeling this time next year .
After all, you wouldn’t expect your horses to perform at their best on the equine version of fast food ( if there was such a thing !).
As always , here to help with any questions!
Rider Nutrition Project