So in line with the other thread that's going I thought I'd ask the question... What is rider fitness? Rider fitness is a special type of fitness, a combination of suppleness, stamina, muscle strength and flexibility. Being fit to ride allows the rider to move in balance with the horse; with free and flexible movements. A balanced rider needs to be flexible on both sides, to be supple and strong, to be soft in the hands and firm in the shoulders, to roll through the hips and be steady in the legs. Being properly fit to ride requires attention to your whole body, not just a strong right arm. Although riding itself is a form of exercise, most individuals will simply not be doing it enough to increase fitness from riding alone. Casual riders often only ride once or twice a week, and can notice that they get very tired during schooling itself and can?t achieve the results they want. This can be disheartening. The higher the level the rider would like to perform at, the more essential is their fitness. No matter how much care, time and training you spend on your horse, if you neglect yourself then your neglecting half of your team. Feeding your body the appropriate fuel is important as well, we have our horses on strict feeding programs and so we ourselves should follow similar guidelines in that we eat quality foods that will fuel our bodies so that we can perform to the best of our abilities also. While some riding disciplines may demand a higher fitness level than others, any rider who is fit to ride is likely to have more fun riding no matter what discipline they prefer. Using specially created riding exercise programs will help you achieve your goals, because the creators already know the direction you are aiming for. What's everyone's views on this?