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Regardless of discipline, level of expertise, training philosophy, body shape, or fitness level, all riders do better—in horse-related activities both on the ground and in the saddle—when they take care of their bodies and maintain their fitness in ways other than just riding. While riding is a great way to enjoy an active lifestyle, on its own it is not enough to condition and tone the body to the degree we need, and then the horse must make up the fitness gap in our physical partnership. If our reflexes are slow, if our bodies fatigue, if our position collapses, if tension patterns appear, then the horse suffers repetitive asymmetrical strain or develops compensatory movement habits.

It is for his good, as well as ours, that certified personal trainer and riding coach Heather Sansom has developed an utterly achievable 9-week plan to give every rider the straightness, suppleness, strength, and stamina she needs to ride her best. With hundreds of one-of-a-kind illustrations depicting accurate musculature on the rider’s body, and dozens of proven exercises organized in a progressive fitness program with easy-to-use schedule charts, Sansom’s book is the key to enjoying the ride, being fair to your horse, and getting into fabulous shape—in just a couple of months.

Author Notes: Heather Sansom is a certified personal trainer and equestrian coach working in Canada. In the mid-2000s she developed expertise in fitness and biomechanics for riders, leading this field in N. America. In 2007 she launched her coaching business equifit.com and has since published over 200 articles on rider fitness in national and international equestrian magazines. Her six e-books on fitness and conditioning sell worldwide. She is based in Kemptville, Ontario.

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