Blog by Nikki Alvin-Smith
Many riders struggle to be the best athlete they can possible be, to complement their talented equine partners. Fitness for the equestrian is just as important as for an athlete in any other sport. Finding time to work out and hit the gym is difficult.
Many outdoor loving equestrians do not enjoy the stale air of the indoor gym environment and the distraction of other gym users. When the drive time to and from the gym and time away from the stable is added to the mix, the local gym is often not the favorite arena to meet equestrian fitness goals for the extremely busy horse trainer.
When you factor in the time needed for a busy equestrian to care for the two-legged family as well as the four-legged one, and the wish to be on site at the farm for vet visits, boarders comings and goings, hay deliveries and to cast your trained eye on the horses at turnout or being ridden, most equestrians find their time to exercise is limited to time spent in the saddle or the constant circle walk in the center of the arena teaching students.
Welcome to a Better Way to Keep Fit
It’s time for your own playset in the yard! Yes, truly it is. Discover the rising popularity of a playset in the yard that can be enjoyed by children and adults alongside them. The American Ninja Playsets offer an opportunity for young children to play on swings and slides alongside their elder brothers and sisters who will enjoy the agility challenges of a Ninja Set and alongside them, guess who?
Here at Horizon Structures we offer a large range of outdoor playsets for equestrian fitness to provide enjoyment for the entire family. Additionally as our swing sets can be added to as your family grows the functionality of the swing set can develop to suit family members of all ages.
As a Grand Prix rider I have trained with many notable names in the equestrian world and on arrival at some facilities my first part of the lesson schedule would be walking a treadmill, cycling on a stationery exercise bicycle or even swimming a few lengths of the pool. The fitter we are, the better help we are to the horse when riding. Not to mention we feel better about our profile in our ‘hide nothing’ breeches, fitted shirts and are proud of our increased athletic ability.
Development of our core muscles, loosening and stretching of soft tissue and improvement in body awareness and cardiovascular health all factor in to being the best athlete in the saddle.
The latest in outdoor playsets cleverly incorporate a variety of physical and mental challenges and are adaptable so that the sets can be added to as we progress or seek new exercises. The concept of having the ability to work out in the fresh air, alongside your family and friends and have fun doing it is a win/win for everyone.
Added Value For Your Business
When I began my dressage career I had three children in tow. As both my husband and I compete, the kids came with us everywhere even as babies. In the dressing room of the horse trailer we had three cute plastic chairs where the kids would sit to have their sandwich lunches when it was raining. Armed with an extra large golf umbrella to shelter from sun and rain, and pushing a twin stroller (yes, we had twins and a son three years older), our entourage was a regular fixture at shows in the North East USA. I often had to fight for a spot in the shade at a treeline, with horses much too close for comfort. Much to the amazement of other competitors I might add, who at the time I believe thought us rather eccentric Britishers.
At home, keeping the kids occupied while we schooled a myriad of horses was another issue. For many horse trainers the balance of being a good parent, spending time with the kids and getting the horse work done is a sincerely difficult task.
The addition of a playset or swing set, that is properly fenced off from horses and in view of the arena where you can supervise the kids while teaching or riding is of great value. Outdoor playsets promote healthy outdoor activities rather than time spent in front of screens, which is always a good parenting idea.
The area can also provide useful activities for your lesson students too. Adults that bring along their spouse and kids while they take a lesson, will welcome a place that the rest of their family can entertain themselves while they are cornering a small space of time for their horse passion.
If you run Summer Camps at your horse farm, think about ways you can incorporate the playset into the fun activities you provide for your guests.
As a kid I grew up doing gymkanas at the end of every horse show. I loved those sunny hours of fun at the end of a busy day of showing. Apple bobbing, sack races, the higher and higher pole jump were my favorites. A playset could be used as a part of the mounted events you offer.
For example: Timed events might include slide down the slide, pick up a water bucket, run to the hose and fill it up, deposit it in the water trough or skip. Keep going back around the route until till the trough/skip is filled. Add apples, grab the pony and mount up, bob for apples and race for the finish line. You get the idea. As long as you keep the equine wee beasties away from the swings or areas they could come to harm, the possibilities for fun are endless.
Financing Available at Horizon Structures
With Spring in the air and show season around the corner now is the perfect time to get everything in place and ready to go. At Horizon Structures we realize that you might need help funding the purchase of one our swing sets. You might want to build the complete ‘Ninja’ set now so you can start working on your fitness goals and have the set ready for Summer Camps and kids off school. Please don’t be shy to visit our website and check out the smart options we have available to help you.
If you are using the playset as an integral part of your business this purchase may be tax deductible against your business. Check with your accountant.
Let’s face it we all want to be healthier and we want the same for our families. The playset of today provides a great method for you to channel your inner ‘Ninja.’
Check out what is on offer on the market today and speak to our expert Jim MacMichael on 888-447-4337 or email Jim@HorizonStructures.com. Jim is our expert the playset field and will ensure that the playset you choose can have the features you want to develop the muscles and core strength you need as an equestrian.
Swing into Spring with a new bounce in your stride.