is in the morning, before the day gets
going and you become too busy.
“I lay my workout clothes out the
night before, then cue up the DVD
player so all I have to do is push play
when I’m getting started,” she says.
Perhaps there are some workout classes
at the local gym you’ve been interested
in, but they’re when you normally are
at the barn. Winter is the perfect time
to experiment with these, or even to
hire a personal trainer, because you
know you’d rather be warm inside than
shivering at the barn outside.
If a gym isn’t your style, or you want
to build up to it, there are some great
fitness video series that give you a set
schedule to follow.
Otley already knows her goals for
this winter: alternating between weight
lifting, flexibility/toning workouts and
cardio. Her favorite exercise video series
is the Beachbody fitness program.
“[The Beachbody program] gets me
the best results, especially for riding,”
Stay motivated to move this winter so
you’ll be fit to ride when spring arrives.
It’s the nemesis of most horse owners: winter is coming. Less time in the barn and more time indoors can lead to less activity and maybe a little weight gain. Fear not, Fit Riders! We haven’t come through this whole year to just sit back and relax. Andrea Otley is a self-professed horse-crazy ranch wife and mother, as well as an online nutrition and fit- ness coach in Oregon. When it comes to handling horses
and fitness in the elements, she’s got it covered.
“Knowing that winter is only temporary keeps me motivated
because I want to be in the best shape possible when spring
comes back around,” she says.
Otley points out that keeping active can be the key to over-
coming the extended darkness that causes seasonal affective
disorder, or SAD.
“I rely on fitness and daily exercise to increase my mood and energy,” says Otley.
Experts say that getting at least 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity each day will
help keep the doldrums away and improve heart health as well.
Plan it Out
Otley sees winter as a time to really go for her fitness goals, since she doesn’t spend
as much time at the barn as she does during the summer. She takes advantage of that
extra time to focus on a more intense program that includes more weight lifting. “I
plan out my entire winter workout schedule around my horse goals,” she says.
Winter is a time for you to recall the previous year and what you’d like to work
on with your horse. Perhaps you have some new goals you want to accomplish in the
show ring, or maybe you’ve just purchased a new horse and you’re getting into a new
Whatever your goals for your horse are in 2017, you need to be ready to play your
part. If you’re tackling cross-country for the first time next year, you need to build
your endurance and leg strength. Want to win an equitation class? Core work should
be at the top of your list.
Be serious about your workout plan. Otley recommends scheduling your workout
as you would a doctor’s appointment or business meeting. Sometimes the best time
Keeping fit over
the winter will
elevate your mood
and readiness for
BY MEGAN ARSZMAN