Audette, Jennifer [faculty advisor, Clinical Physical Therapy]
equestrian; physical therapy; muscles; exercise
Equestrian sports use muscles uncommon to most normal daily activities. In beginning or returning riders this can lead to muscle strain and pain, and if not addressed, even to serious injury. This program is designed to stretch and strengthen the main muscle groups used in horseback riding: quadriceps, hamstrings, abdominals and obliques, and the lower back. The program is designed to be carried out during fifteen minutes of an hour-long riding lesson to prevent undue discomfort or injury. The counsel of a professional horseback riding instructor and a physical therapist was integrated with exercises from physical therapy resources. Proven stretching and strengthening techniques typically done in standing, sitting, or supine positions were adapted to exercises that can be done while mounted on a horse. Videos were filmed of the traditional and adapted exercised, to show the similarities and differences between the two.