Are you ready? Really ready? This month, dear reader, I challenge you to push yourself and find out just how far you’ll go to get those highly coveted eq legs. You know, the kind Taylor St. Jacques has.
But to build those legs, you need more than just dropping your irons. In fact, before you drop those irons, you need to be ready. Going cold turkey and putting your stirrups away in the tack room for the month can have unintended consequences for you and your horse. Dropping your irons before your legs are ready can actually cause more harm than good.
This month’s challenge helps you build the muscles you need to have a strong position in the saddle. And as you build the muscles, you should also drop your irons for longer periods of time throughout your rides so that by the end of the month, depending on your fitness level, you should be able to complete your entire ride sans stirrups.
Day one starts off fairly simple: 25 squats, 10 lunges, and 30 seconds of plank. You’ll work your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core muscles in this workout. If you find it really easy, that’s good. If you find it fairly difficult, break it down into sets with short rest periods between the sets. Aim for dropping your irons in the last 5 minutes of your ride. If you can’t post without irons just yet, stick to holding your legs in the correct position without stirrups at the walk.
If you’d like to participate, follow me on Instagram: @idteventing and use #legsofsteelchallenge to share your pictures and videos for a chance to win prizes offered by fabulous sponsors like The Braided Mane (@shopthebraidedmane), Ride Heels Down (@rideheelsdown) and Equine Snax (@equinesnax). This challenge was developed and produced in collaboration with EqStyleTheory (@eqstyletheory).
It goes without saying, but you should always consult a physician and/or trainer if you have any questions at all about your abilities to perform any of these exercises. I am not a licensed or professional fitness trainer–this challenge is meant to be fun and to build camaraderie in our sport!