Midlife Fitness Challenge: A Few Resources to Get You Moving

In the back of The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses I’ve listed a smattering of resources I found during the research and writing of this book. On page 313, there’s a section of my favorite resources devoted to just this topic of health and fitness, and I KNOW it’s only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Nevertheless, I’ll list the entries again here for those of us on this Midlife Horses fitness quest to prime the pump, as it were. I invite and encourage you all to chime in with your favorites on our Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses Facebook page.

Fitness, Performance and the Female Equestrian, by Mary Midkiff (Howell Book House, 1996)From the book’s flap: Fitness, Performance and the Female Equestrian is an all-discipline, all-breed approach to improving the “team performance” of the female rider and her horse. It’s all about AWAREness (A Woman’s Approach to Riding Effectively), a series of tips signaling key points on health, fitness, nutrition, safety, and comfort. Designed for experienced riders as well as newcomers.

Flexibility and Fitness for Riders, by Richenda vanLaun and Sylvia Loch (J.A. Allen, 2000)Product Description: Brief, concise, and filled with helpful photos, this introductory guide provides essential information about flexibility and fitness.

Learning to Ride as an Adult, by Erika Prockl (Cadmos Books, 2003) Product Description: A guide for adults who are serious about learning to ride for the first time, emphasizing loosening up and “swinging” with the horse’s movement.

Riding for Life: A Horsewoman’s Guide to Lifetime Health and Fitness, by Rallie McAlister (Eclipse Press, 2007) Product Description: Syndicated columnist and physician Rallie McAllister offers women riders the tools they need to get enjoyment through healthy lifestyle choices. An equestrian herself, McAllister includes real-life examples of women who have overcome challenges, including physical and financial, to pursue their riding dreams. McAllister also includes the “Riding for Life Diet” and “Riding for Life Fitness Program” to help start women riders on their way to a happier and healthier way of life – both in and out of the saddle.

Yoga for Equestrians, by  Linda Benedik and Veronica Wirth (Trafalgar Square Books, 2000) Product Description: A unique program of yoga for riders that cultivates both mental and physical flexibility and balance–vital keys to achieving harmony between horse and human. This manual is profusely illustrated with color photos and drawings.

Thoughts, reviews, comments, suggestions, anyone? I’d love to keep adding to this list with anything you’ve found helpful or especially effective in your Midlife Horses conditioning quest.  I DO happen to know a group of women who ventured into the world of horse yoga just last week and we’ll get to them (with pictures!) in a later post.

So c’mon everyone, post your thoughts, photos, progress reports, complaints, challenges, whines and celebrations as we enter those first few miles of the midlife horses fitness journey. We’re here to help each other and cheer each other on — and with focus and dedication to making baseline fitness a way of life, we can make our midlife horse trail longer and more exhilarating than we ever imagined!


Happy Trails!




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