Friday 18th of June 2021
Personal Training

Personal Training for Riders

katy stokes


We are delighted to welcome Katy Stokes to The Gaitpost blogging team. Katy will be getting us in shape with her Personal Training Fitness for Riders blog.  So if you’ve been inspired to do a bit more lately whether from watching the London Marathon, Badminton Horse Trials or just want to get fitter and trimmer ahead of the summer, read on.



“I am a personal trainer and biomechanics trainer and also a mother to a toddler. I train a number of people who are time poor due to their work and lifestyle commitments so I know that fitness has to fit in where it can.

I understand that for a great many of you who read this blog that the thought of finding time to get to the gym is something that is low on the list of priorities, even if you know you should!

Whether you spend 8+hrs a day at your desk and ride your horse when you can, or you are a parent and spend all day running around after your children or spend your whole day riding multiple horses and carrying out yard duties you may find that your fitness is somewhat lacking!

I have designed a short workout that can be done in 10-15 minutes!! So there is no “I don’t have time!” excuse here. This could be done before breakfast in the morning, during a lunch break, after work, after evening stables or after children are put to bed.

Before you start the workout I have also listed a muscle release exercise. Due to the number of hours people tend to spend sat down, and also the position you are sat in on a horse, there is a high chance that your pelvis is in some form of disfunction. As a result your ‘seat’ may be asymmetrical which will affect your horse’s ability to move straight. By doing this sub-maximal muscle release it will help encourage improved pelvic function.”

4 sign4 Sign release. (Biomechanics Education Ltd)

Sit on a chair & cross one leg over the other as in the picture.

Place a hand on the knee.

Press your ankle down into the knee of the opposite leg.

You will notice that the knee wants to lift if you are doing it correctly. The hand is positioned to stop this from happening.

Press down with your hand using 20% of maximum effort, just enough to engage the muscles in your hip.

This is a static contraction so make sure your leg does not move.

*Hold for 20 seconds, do 4 times on each leg.


This could be a few times up the stairs, a 5 min jog, or a few laps of the yard.

Then have a go at each of the below exercises so you are clear on what you are doing, this will also help mobilise all the joints which will be involved.

Below are 4 exercises for you to do & the only equipment you will need are two water buckets!



Start in a standing position

burpee start

Bend down and put hands on the floor

burpee 1

Jump both legs backwards

burpee 2

Jump legs forwards

burpee 3

Stand up and Jump! Repeat 10 times.

burpee jump



Lie on your back. Lift legs to a vertical position. Engage core muscles

leg raise start

Slowly lower one leg down to the floor stopping just before touching the floor, then raise back up

leg raise1

Do the same with other leg. Keep pelvis as still as possible. Repeat 20 times

leg raise2



Lie on your back. Bend knees and place feet flat on the floor

hip bridge1

Using your glute muscles (bum) push your hips up towards the sky. Squeeze and hold then slowly lower back down. Repeat 20 times

hip bridge2



Mark out a 20m distance or smaller and do laps.  Get 2 buckets of water.

Carry buckets forwards and backwards for 1 minute.




Next time: Katy show’s us how to target our legs

Katy is an experienced Personal Trainer and Biomechanics Trainer based in the North Cotswolds. Specialising in fitting training into clients’ busy schedules she offers personalised one to one training in a location of your choice. Katy has a strong background in equestrianism, having ridden from the age of 3 with eventing being her discipline of choice and enjoyed success at FEI Ponies and JRN level. She now rides her sister’s event horses and friends race horses when time allows! For more information please visit or email 


Katy Stokes sig


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