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You might have seen earlier this week that I shared an article written by Seonaidh from Cherry Tree Training on Facebook. For those of you who didn’t see it, you can find it here. The article was all about how having and working with horses is hard on your body, but it doesn’t have to be damaging to your body.
The Aches of the Horse Owner
Okay, so how many of you who have and/or work with horses have aches and pains? I don’t have them all the time. But it’s not unusual for me to have a sore lower back or shoulders after a hay delivery, a big much out or even a poo picking session. I also know I am guilty of having the approach of “well it’s hard work, of course I am going to ache afterwards.”
This article highlights the fact that it isn’t unusual for you to ache the next day after doing something a little bit out of the ordinary. But you shouldn’t be in constant pain or be regularly suffering with the same injury. So yes, it’s okay for me to be a bit achy after doing a big hay delivery once a month. But sometimes I put my lower back out and the pain and discomfort can last several days if not a week. That is not okay!
What I thought was great about the article is that it highlighted the fact that if you are regularly in pain it’s probably not the work, but how you are doing it. Our bodies are lazy, so they will find the easiest way to do the work. But sometimes this means they are putting more strain on your body long term.
For example, I imagine we all know that when you are lifting something heavy, you should bend your knees, not your back. But before we get ourselves into this habit, we naturally want to lift through the back. So essentially, it is our bodies bad habits what cause our aches and pains, not the work itself.
I know I am guilty of a lot of this. Unless it’s something really heavy I don’t lift with my knees and I hang my shoulders when carrying hay or pushing heavy wheel barrows. I am especially guilty of massively overloading wheelbarrows before pushing them wrong, to save on trips to the muck heap!
Engage Your Core!
The take home message of this post is basically make your core do the work. As horse riders we should all know how important our core is. But engaging our core for yard jobs can help protect the rest of our body from aches and pains.
In the article Seonaidh talks in detail about 3 things what can help support and protect your body while going about your yard jobs. I recommend you go and read them in detail, but the take home points are:
- Set your shoulders
- Engage your core
- Lift with your knees
Want more tips on how to strengthen your core?
I am currently working my way through Cherry Tree Training’s month long Core Essentials course. As you can imagine from the title, this course is aimed at helping you understand how to use, protect and strengthen your core. I am only a week in so far but really enjoying it and I’m already starting to find the exercises easier and more natural. Check out my workout stories on Instagram to see my progress!
The course is closed nor until some time in June. But if you do fancy giving it a go, or any of their other fantastic courses, I have a cheeky 10% off code for you!