Reform Physiotherapy and Pilates were delighted to attend the National Training Clinic with the Junior riders of Showjumping Ireland. The top riders from Ireland (aged 16-23yrs) all brought 2 horses that are jumping a minimum of 1.20m. Top showjumping and dressage coaches put them through their paces on Sunday assessing their riding, and then on Monday intense training began.
Physiotherapy assessments were carried out by myself on the young riders throughout the day, screening for any postural issues, weaknesses, tightness, or imbalances in the riders that could be affecting their riding. The results were really interesting, with riders finding out why they have been riding a certain way. For example, riders who described having a ‘bad rein’ that they ride on, found out that it was most likely due to having one hip tighter than the other. Also, riders who reported needing to improve their seat and balance tended to have weakness in their core.
On Monday night, I presented to the riders with the take home message that horse riders are athletes and need to start treating their bodies accordingly! I talked about all the different physical demands on showjumpers including strength and stability, flexibility, balance, concentration, and cardiovascular health. The importance of Physiotherapy and Sport Science within Equestrian Sports is being recognised in Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain, so its time for Ireland to take notice and allow our Equestrian athletes to perform to the best of their ability.
Looking forward to doing more work with Showjumping Ireland in the future!