Free rider fitness workshops offered at Equine Affaire

In three free “Equestrians in Motion” workshops, Ifa Simmonds will show riders how to improve their mobility, balance and stability.

Equine fitness has long been a key focus in horse sport. Now the importance of getting riders in shape is finally getting the attention it deserves. Indeed, equestrians who are serious about their craft know the value of keeping fit and flexible with regular, targeted exercise both in and out of the saddle.

Ifa Simmonds is an equestrian fitness trainer and clinician.

Expanding upon that theme, Equine Affaire-Massachusetts is hosting three free “Equestrians in Motion” workshops designed to improve a rider’s mobility, balance and stability. (Think of it as essential fine-tuning for your core foundation.)

Meet Ifa Simmonds

Ifa Simmonds is the equestrian fitness trainer and clinician who is leading these workshops Nov. 9, 10 and 12 in the Young Building Conference Room.

A certified fitness professional with over a decade of working, coaching and instructing under his belt, he has been helping equestrians with fitness challenges in certain key areas since 2014. As he explains on his website, many of these issues stem from prior injuries and improper rehabilitation of these injuries, which can affect not only one’s riding but one’s “competitive confidence” in general.

Systemized approach

To this end, Simmonds has developed a systemized approach intended to strengthen rider weaknesses for a riding experience that is not only more effective, but more enjoyable.

The way he sees it, any equestrian who struggles with body control, carries tension in the shoulders, experiences low back pain after riding or tends to hold his or her breath in the saddle could benefit from his training. The same is true, he says on his IFAFIT website, of those riders who are anxious or who struggle with posture and core strength, flexibility or range of motion. (Sound familiar?)

Sponsored by Blue Seal-Sentinel, Simmonds’ three workshops at Equine Affaire are as follows:

Workshop schedule and topics

Thursday, November 9   

9:30 am–10:15 am
The Perfect 5-Minute Mobility Routine

This live demo will focus on improving mobility in four common problem areas: the hips, ankles, back and shoulders. “By the end of this demo,” Simmonds says on his website, “you’ll have a special mobility routine guaranteed to boost your position in the saddle.”

Friday, November 10    

9:30 am–10:15 am
Best Mental and Physical Exercises to Get More Balanced

Simmons will teach attendees a “quick, simple and actionable protocol” to prepare mind and body for each horseback venture. “These important exercises will help you and your horse become more balanced,” he says.

Sunday, November 12   

9:30 am–10:15 am
How to Overcome Balance and Stability Issues

Ever heard of “dynamic stability”? Learn exercises out of the saddle can help you achieve independence of seat and a balanced position in the saddle.

Slots in Simmonds’ Equine Affaire workshops are limited, so sign up soon and learn more at the Equestrian Fitness Academy. Who knows? By the time you’re done, you might be ready to enter the Great Equestrian Fitness Challenge, a brand-new competition in honor of Equine Affaire’s 25th anniversary. The fun is scheduled for Saturday, November 11, with prizes awarded to the top 10 participants in each event.




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