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Conditioning for Older Riders

Being fit is especially important if you're an older rider and it can make a huge difference in your enjoyment of the sport.

A fitness regimen for older riders is no different in principle from that for older horses, as Dr. Jessica Jahiel, author of Riding for the Rest of Us, explains.

"Treat yourself the way you would treat your horse. Use intelligent conditioning methods. If you had a horse that you would just get out and gallop all over creation on when he was six or seven and now he's seventeen or eighteen and he's slowed down a bit, it doesn't mean you can't go out and have a great time. But, you're going to need a longer warm-up, and you might want to spend more time walking and trotting and less time going 'Yee-Haw' around the countryside."

There's no shame in slowing your daily run to a jog, or that jog to a brisk walk. Take a little more time warming up and stretching. And don't beat yourself up if you can't do everything you used to. After all, you're only human.


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