Riding is a sport, no mater what anyone says. It takes a ton of effort both physically and mentally. When you take a break, no matter the length, getting back into riding can be hard. Trust me, I took my first lesson in 2 months, 6 weeks ago. Here are some things I wish I knew or have helped me get back into the grind.
Think About Recovery Before Hand
You will be sore, no matter what. Take some precautions to help recovery go smother. Take some pain meds before you head out to the barn. This way, they will kick in when you start to feel the burn and you don’t have to wait until you get home to take them.
Ice and a cold shower will help your muscles recover. I like to start with the shower warm to loosen up any cramps and then turn the water temperature down as I go. Recently I found m favorite ice pack. It’s made out of clay instead of ice so it can form to your body easier. It’s a Thermi Paq that I found at Walmart.
Don’t Just Sit Around Between Rides
Trust me, the fitter you stay during your time off the better. Riding does work muscles that seem to be impossible, at least in my opinion, to use when out of the saddle and the combination of strength and endurance can be hard to copy. Try to work on things like endurance by walking or running and overall strength and flexibility.
Ease Into It
Before I took time off, I was riding 5-6 days a week, sometimes multiple horses in one day, as well as doing barn chores. After my first 30 minute lesson back, I wondered if I could make it to my car. (Make sure you have someone to drive you home. Trust me, you’ll need them.) No matter what you did before your time off, you probably wont be able to be at that intensity again right away. Take your time and ease back into what used to be your normal schedule.