Ignore those people who say ‘riding isn’t a sport’; we all know that riding is a serious workout. Whether you’re riding in the low AA hunters or the 1.20 jumpers, having strength and flexibility seriously ups your game in the saddle. Core strength, hip flexibility, back and should strength, and strong lower legs all contribute to riding correctly, winning ribbons in the eq, and staying on if your horse decides to embarrass you by bucking like a rodeo horse after the single oxer.
Yoga is one of the absolute best ways for riders to get fit out of the saddle in a way that will directly translate to actual riding. Yoga builds strength, endurance, and flexibility – plus, it reduces stress, which we probably all need. We’ve teamed up with amateur rider and certified yoga instructor, Emilie Gaffney, for a monthly installment of yoga moves that will help you look and feel better in the saddle. She will be bringing together her experience with yoga and riding to offer some simple things you can do to help stretch, strengthen and even manage stress specifically geared toward the amateur rider.
Emilie Gaffney lives in Southern California with her husband, two dogs and of course her magnificent hunter horse Responsible and rides with Jasmin Stair Stables. Emilie has been riding in some form or another since she was five. However, this is Emilie’s first year back in the saddle and the show ring after a 16 year hiatus after college. With an amazing horse and trainer combo, she has gotten right back at it, even bringing home some nice ribbons in the Green Rider and Amateur Hunter rings. When she’s not at the barn, she is an active real estate agent, specializing in north county San Diego and has also been a registered yoga instructor since 2012.