About Me

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North Lawrence, New York, United States
I can be described as lover of life, an animal lover, and lover of education. I am constantly striving for knowledge and learning opportunities. I've been around horses my entire life. I enjoy working with horses and their human partners through natural horsemanship philosophies, natural balance bare foot hoof care, reiki, red-light therapy, essential oils, aromatherapy, crystal healing, chromotherapy, flower essences, and more. I am a Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master Teacher who offers treatments for people, horses, dogs, cats, and other creatures great and small. I also teach Reiki classes for those interested in learning how to treat themselves, their loved ones, and even their animals! Natural Horse Lover Farm is located in Northern New York between the St. Lawrence River and Adirondack Mountains. Heaven on Earth. naturalhorseloverfarm.com

Friday, March 26, 2010

Weekly Task Challenge: Mounting Muscles

If you don't know what to do, have little time, or just feeling stuck, try the weekly task as a way to at least do something with your horse! (It just may motivate you to do more.)

How are your mounting muscles? Since the beginning of the riding season is around the corner, this is a good time to exercise those all important muscles. This week's task is to address your mounting muscles and if you are not already, start exercising to improve them, this week, try to do something at least three times.

I personally try to workout at minimum, 5 days a week but most often workout 7 days a week, a minimum of 30 minutes each day. I alternate between cardio, toning, pilates, and more. I use a gym as well as several different videos. I use weights, stability balls, and cool machines! However, we are all individuals so find what works best for you and do consult your physician if you feel it is necessary for your particular situation.

I did some quick Google searching and found these exercises from an article listed at GaitedHorses.net (these are direct copies from their site):

To increase leg strength and general flexibility, consider the following:

Exercise 1 - Hamstring Stretch
Stand on a step, with the ball of your foot on the step and your heel extended over the edge. Hold onto a rail or wall for stability. Push your heels down slowly, below the level of the step. SLOWLY bring them up to level and continue until you are standing on your toes. Repeat for 5 repetitions as often as possible.

Exercise 2 - Hip Flex
Lie on the floor, belly up, with hands under your hips to support your lower back. Raise your legs a few inches off the floor, pause, lower to just above the floor without letting your heels touch, until you have completed at least 5 reps. Work your way up to 50 repetitions. Beginners may prefer to raise one leg at a time as this puts less stress on your lower back.

Exercise 3 - Extension Step-Ups
As simple as “Step up, step down”. All you need is a stair, step-stool or sturdy box and you are in business. For more effect, add ankle weights for gravity resistance. Start with 5 reps per leg and move up to 100 or more.

Exercise 4 - Squats
Stand with feet pointed out at about 45 degrees at shoulder width, squat down until your thighs are about parallel to the floor. Don't let your knees project beyond your toes - to avoid excessive force on your knees, which can lead to injury - they should be over your ankles. Keep your back vertical / your weight supported by your hips, not your back. Extend your arms, or lean back against a wall, as you slide up/and/down, to help maintain balance. As you straighten up (extend), push from the heels. Don't do squats with your heels raised, as that pretty much insures an improper knee position.

Exercise 5 - "Thigh Master" Ball
This one requires a piece of equipment / a beach ball. Put it between your knees, and try to pop it. You can do this while sitting, standing or laying down. Hold for the count of 10, repeating for 5 reps in the beginning, on up to 50 reps.

Exercise 6 -Astride jumps
Stand with feet together - knees slightly bent. Bounce on your toes to move your feet out to each side, to about shoulder width apart. Then, bounce on the toes and bring the feet together again, repeat 5 times, working up to 50 reps.

*Weekly tasks are based on many different Parelli resources I have studied as well as my own ideas on how to proceed through my journey. Some of the content was copied to make it easier to put up in a timely manner. Please consult http://www.parelli.com/ for any official instructions or materials.

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