As any rider will know, post horse riding stretches are essential to help stop you feeling like you’ve been stood on by your horse! Horse riding is an extremely physical activity and you’ll use muscles you didn’t even know you had. If you do go for a ride and forget to do your post ride stretches then you may well find yourself extremely stiff and sore in the following days after.
Post Horse Riding Stretches
Here are 8 stretches that will help your muscles recover and leave you feeling fresh and ready to ride again. Spend around 15 minutes stretching out at the end of your ride and you’ll feel the difference in your mobility and muscle fatigue recovery.
This is a gentle exercise to help stretch through the hips, thighs and ankles. It’s worth noting that it’s not an exercise to practice if you do have a knee injury.
This is a relaxing and resting pose that you can hold for as long as you like but we’d say a minimum of 1 minute.
A great exercise for opening up the hips after being in the seated position and will reduce tension in your back.
Depending on how tight you feel, you should hold for 1-2 minutes on either side.
Seated neck release
When you’ve been sat facing forward and your body hasn’t been as relaxed as it usually would be, this will certainly help. Loosening your neck will also help relieve pressure built in the upper back.
Hold for 30 seconds on either side.
The downward dog is good for stretching out the lower back, hamstrings, lower leg and feet. It will release the tightness along the back of your body.
Hold for up to 30 seconds – this may be a stretch you build on so don’t worry if you can’t hold it for 30 seconds.
This is a really popular stretch for the inner thigh, hips and groin area and should improve flexibility. You shouldn’t bounce in this pose at all but lean further forward for a deeper stretch.
Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds and repeat 2-4 times depending on stiffness.
Helps maintain hip flexibility but using your bodyweight to sit in a deep squat. Stretch out the inner thigh, lower back, ankles and hips.
Hold for around 30 seconds.
Thread the Needle
This one is slightly more technical but will help stretch out the shoulders, back and neck. A great exercise for the upper body that will help relieve tension in the upper back and between the shoulder blades.
Hold the pose for around 60 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Half Monkey Pose with Twist
This exercise will open the hamstring of the front leg but by adding the twist will also stretch out the IT band. Stretch the arm up and back and hold where it feels comfortable.
Hold this for 30 seconds on either side and repeat.
If you have any injuries then always check if the exercise is suitable because you could be making it worse with certain moves. If any exercise feels too uncomfortable or painful then there’s a chance you have an injury or you just need to take it easy and build up the stretch over time. Always listen to your body!
Do you exercise post horse riding – which exercises do you find work best for you to feel revived and ready for the next ride?
It’s not just yourself that needs looking after to ride safely and maintain good health but also your horse. Take a look at the Mayo Horse Comfort range of mattresses for supreme comfort for your horse while in the stable.