I didn’t do what you said

Last week, I asked for your suggestions for topics for these weekly videos. I received some great ideas.

There are a couple of ironies in me talking about what I’m going to talk about today.

The first is, no one suggested this topic. But I was moved by an article my husband Tom shared with me. I felt compelled to discuss it with you.

It’s about health, confidence, core strength… and what all of those things have to do with riding.

That’s what this video is all about.


Last week, I asked for your suggestions for topics for these weekly videos. I received some great ideas. THANK YOU. I also appreciate your kind words and thanks. It really is my honor to do them.

There are a couple of ironies in me talking about what I’m going to talk about today.

The first is, no one suggested this. But I was moved by an article my husband Tom shared with me. I felt compelled to discuss it with you.

The second thing is that I am a lifelong work in progress about this because I’m not a natural athlete, nor do I crave physical exertion. I’m not a gym rat.

And the third thing is that when I was originally trained at HPI, what I’m going to share with you today was at least a quarter to a third of the entire program.

With all of that being said, let me go back to the story of Tom and the article.

The article was by a doctor on the front lines of Covid and treating very ill and dying people. He supported all social distancing and guidelines. All that was good.

But what he said was he hoped as a people that we take this opportunity to get healthier. What he saw was Covid impacting people with underlying conditions that perhaps… big emphasis on the word perhaps… could have been different if their health habits were different.

What does that have to do with your riding?

Here’s the next part of the story. When I was first trained at HPI, we were told, that if we wanted to improve our overall confidence in anything we did, to get into the best shape of our lives.

Because of the mind/body/emotion connection, physical vitality, and strength begets emotional and mental confidence and strength.

For riding, core strength is important for balance and the use of our seat in a strategic way. It’s also, according to HPI, the most important physical conditioning factor of four total. The other 3 are flexibility, strength training, and aerobic capacity.

Just so you know, I work on these things on and off. I’m pretty good in that I do long walks with interval training for my lungs and I do some yoga for core, flexibility and strengthening, but I surely could do more. I eat pretty well, but again, there’s room for improvement.

When I heard the doctor’s article and his plea for there to be a movement in this country for more health consciousness because of how Covid strikes, I wanted to share it with you. It inspired me to revisit with you what I learned at HPI about the connection between confidence and physical conditioning, and also the positive impact of core strengthening on your riding… not to mention flexibility, aerobic and overall strength training.

I’m not a physical trainer. I’m just like you… getting up each day and telling myself to put in the effort. And somedays it’s really fun.

Here’s to you. Here’s to your health. May you stay well. Here’s to your riding and the power of physical training and your confidence.

Let me know what you think. Have a great week.

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13 Comments on I didn’t do what you said

  1. Janice Miller on Mon, 4th May 2020 8:49 am
  2. Hi Barb, you and the dr. are absolutely right. How our bodies age determines how we eat and exercise. It also helps us to become more aware of our bodies and helps us to utilize them more efficiently, especially in riding our horses. Thank you for bringing this to our attention and as a suggestion for an article showing what you do for core strengthening. Might help inspire and give us something different to do. 🙂

  3. Kelly on Mon, 4th May 2020 9:13 am
  4. Hi Barb
    I find the core training 3 or 4 times a week plus obliques are imperative. Our horses are athletes and are fit. My question to all riders shouldn’t we be in as good a shape or better than our horses?
    If we want to become better in our horsemanship our physical fitness would be a kindness to the animals we love.

  5. Carol MacGregor on Mon, 4th May 2020 11:23 am
  6. Hi Barb, Yes, what an accurate analysis of the Physician regarding what he is seeing in many of those that are dying from the Covid-19. With busy lives that people have in trying to balance their work, kids, property/house etc (especially those that have horses too)there seems to be so little time to ALSO exercise even though it is of vital importance. I still can’t believe how my body has changed as I’ve aged, and how difficult it has become to do the healthy techniques you’ve outlined in your video. Your statements regarding the importance of a strong “core” makes soooo much sense and I’ve heard this info from you before. Throughout the day, I do try to engage my stomach muscles as I sit at my computer or when I’m doing my outside Horse chores, etc. And the aerobic exercise for even 12 to 15 minutes per day is helpful also. Thank you so much for making this observation of staying as healthy as possible soooo very important in our personal lives and our horse/riding lives!!!

  7. Donna Fowler on Mon, 4th May 2020 12:51 pm
  8. Thank you Barb- I really need to put this together a lot better as my routine is 1-2 week only. I ride my recumbent bike, do 5lb weights/25 reps for my arms and do about 15 min yoga mostly for my back. Can you please illustrate what your weekly routine looks like? I am awaiting my hip replacement, but would like to start making a better plan esp. post op. Would be interesting to see what others are doing too..I believe this is a very important area and yes, so prevalent now pandemic challenges.

  9. Carol MacGregor on Mon, 4th May 2020 1:15 pm
  10. Hi Barb–Again 🙂 I wanted to add to my comments above that you are really a very good example of someone who stays in very good shape. You always look very nice and balanced when you are riding Nic. And I imagine that most cutting horse riders truly need to be balanced on the cutting horse who is making those quick 180 turns when “cutting a cow”. Anyway, thank you for “leading the way by example”—:)

  11. Suzanne Lamon on Mon, 4th May 2020 2:47 pm
  12. Twin, I did take pause when you said 3-4 times a DAY @ 45 a pop! I thought, gees she is just constantly on the hump!! Then my mind wandered and I thought of Abilene when you, Broussard, and myself walked/jogged through a park, tons of laughter and it reminded me of the joy aspect of all of this fitness. In terms of the virus and our fitness let’s be kind to ourselves and others because we can’t always “choose” get sick not get sick. Like cancer the virus is not picky about how and who it attacks! So back to those 4 areas of fitness you refer to all good reminders for everyone to do what they can. CI am going to take your challenge and walk for 30-45 minutes 3-4 times a WEEK. Although I am working my horse and doing Pilates this was a great reminder of the importance to care for myself, how it does really matter and make a difference. Thank you my lovely friend, I was grinning through it all – love the pink cap! 💕❤️💕Hi Tom

  13. tracy adams on Mon, 4th May 2020 2:50 pm
  14. I agree with this completely Barb-I really appreciate that you have addressed it! During this time off from riding my horse I’ve been running and doing Pilates and yoga so will be in the best shape I’ve been in several years when I can get back to riding. The time off has given me the opportunity to develop a better habit!! Thanks!

  15. Jan Dunham on Mon, 4th May 2020 5:58 pm
  16. I’ll take that challenge! This has been on my mind for a few months. I’ve been in and out of great shape over my life. I’m fortunate I did some travel the last 5 years trekking up Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu. That’s not important what was important is that I made myself get highly fit to survive and enjoy the experience. My last hike was 18 months ago. My riding then was killer. I mean I was feeling really confident. Then I moved three times, remodeled a house and barn etc etc. My core is NOT what it used to be and I am sure insecurity has crept in because of it. And also some disruptive emotions. So yay I’m glad for your inspiration and it’s now my inspiration. 🏋️‍♂️

  17. Cindy Togstad on Mon, 4th May 2020 5:59 pm
  18. Thanks for the great info and you are so right. I started excersing when this covid started and add more to my routine every couple weeks. I have the best nutitionists which has helped me tremendously to get rid of the pain I was living with in my gut over the last few years. I am stronger, feel so much better and I do have a glass of Cabernet just about every night. I am stronger getting into the saddle, placing my saddle on my horses back and has also helped my riding. We are what we put in our mouths and if its healthy our body will be kinder to us! I try to eat as much organic as I can! All of this has changed my life! I am happier as well! I do cheat once in awhile! LOL Thank You Barb!

  19. Robbin Sinclair on Tue, 5th May 2020 5:41 am
  20. Great thoughts! I’ve let myself go. Go where you might ask? That should be “l’ve let myself sit!” On the couch, on my horse, on my truck seat, on my kitchen chair, on my seat bones! Moving seems awkward. What?! Working from home for me is staring at a laptop screen. Can you dance, urb, multitask while holding a small laptop? Possibly, maybe I could make a sling for it around my neck. Like hotdog vendors walking up and down at ballparks! Spring has finally come to Minnesota and moving is no longer just an option it’s a get up and get going! My horse will love me for it! Thanks for kick in the ….. 😃

  21. Karen Vlietstra on Mon, 11th May 2020 7:01 am
  22. Barb: would love to go for walks but, both of my knees are without cartilage. I do however use a stationary bike. Doc says this will build muscle to help support my knees. He doesn’t want me to get dependent on cortisone shots. Only had one and didn’t really like it. I don’t want to go through surgery yet as I have no one to look after my horses. I like you just get up each morning and say cmon Karen let’s get going!

  23. Jean Jacobson on Tue, 12th May 2020 6:56 am
  24. Barb,Thank you for this challenge to keep working at getting fit. And, THANK YOU for all of the inspirational messages during this time – they have really been a blessing.

  25. Adriana Mazzagardi on Sun, 14th Jun 2020 10:37 pm
  26. Hi Dear Barbra. You inspire me very much. I am a cancer survival. I had cancer while I was pregnant of my twins girls. They passed away… I got the chance to still be here on earth. Since that time horses have helped me a great deal to find meaning to my life.
    Thank you for reminding me of the importance of little things.
    If you ever come to Brazil, please stay over.

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