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If you are new to riding or riding at a high level physical preparation will make horse riding an easier and more successful experience.

Riding uses muscles we did not know we had and it is best to strengthen those muscles before getting in the saddle. Sore muscles for days after is not much fun, or a chafed behind!

The best way to get fit and strong is to spend some hours in the saddle but if that is not always possible, luckily there are some exercises that can help.

Good overall fitness and core strength are helpful because riding works many parts of the body. Your muscles are working to hold your position on a moving horse, your legs, your back, your core and your arms all get a workout.

Exercises like walking, running and biking can certainly help your general fitness, but they do not use all the same muscles as riding properly does. After a long ride most people are pretty tired, but there is no reason at all why you have to be sore.

Click here for some specific exercises to improve your strength for horse riding.

The better shape you are in, the more effectively you will ride and the more you can enjoy horse riding!