People often find riding so enjoyable because it is a way to just switch off and chill out, going for a hack on a beautiful Saturday morning can be the best way to start your day. That being said it would be totally unrealistic to think that is the entire picture.
Having horses, especially throughout the winter is an experience to say the least, anyone working on a yard will tell you that! Skiing through muddy fields with fresh horses, lugging around hay nets bigger than yourself, carrying buckets to and from the stable, sweeping entire yards, lugging around bedding, feed,hay bales and the monotonous mucking out that never seems to stop.
People tend to forget that this is actually a form of exercise, yes even though they are just the ‘chores’ that come with owning horses. For example, the repetitive stress your dominant arm and shoulder experiences every single day through mucking out, sweeping and even filling haynets, is probably a lot more than you think!
For those happy hackers who spend the majority of their day at work at a desk, going to the yard is often the only activity they manage to do. Because of this they often experience more imbalances through just completing their daily to-do list at the yard, than those who work on yards mucking out 20+ stables being active all day.
Generally those happy hackers have the assumption that their pain cannot have originated from mucking out, or throwing the 20kg feed bags over their shoulders, lifting up 40L trugs of water.
Not necessarily but pair that with sitting at a desk all day until you do it all again? Perfect equation for some discomfort.
With all this being said what I am trying to get at is, don’t underestimate the toll doing these ‘daily chores’ can have on your body especially if you don’t tend to do much else! The daily cycle of heavy lifting at the yard and sitting down the rest of the day will most likely amplify the imbalances you have.
Understanding that just owning a horse no matter what level requires a fair amount of strength, if you are lacking this your body starts to compensate and you will feel it. This does not mean you need to go get a gym membership. Often really simple exercises you can complete at home will do the job!
If you have a previous injury or a niggle that just won’t go away just get it checked out, before it causes some more damage.