Race Horse Trainers – Jenny and Chris Gordon working on their core strength along side their fitness for their sport.

Chris and Jenny have both competed in racing horses throughout their life – they have had many wins between them on point to point jump courses, and have the accolade of being the only couple to race against each other on the Grand National Course at Aintree.

Now, they train horses and have a consistent stream of runners.  They have realised the need for actively looking after themselves and rehabilitating old injuries.  The problem with sports like horse riding is the “tool for the sport” is alive and so cannot be put in a shed and left if one has an injury, and so rehabilitation is often difficult to allow the required amount of rest for full and proper recovery.

Chris and Jenny know what it takes to train a horse and push it with the correct amount of urgency and are now learning how to do the same for themselves.  Another problem with professional sports people is the time commitment and the regularity required to regain consistency when travelling.

Possibly to the surprise of many – “fitness training” is not always thought of to be necessary when one is on ones feet all the time, however, as we get older the niggles catch up with us and the aches and pains start to make our day to day work difficult.

Both Chris and Jenny have had:

  • An assessment to create a picture image of what is going on skeletally,
  • This shows how much certain previous injuries and postural habits are actually affecting their overall movement and performance.
  • This is followed by stretching and mobilising exercises
  • Which in turn has been followed by stabilising exercises
  • Then strengthening will follow.

The problem for jockeys is the race position – which is hunched over and bending forwards.  The shock absorbing and weight loads end up through the knee due to the leg position and there is a lot of pressure on the back from the hip position with short stirrups, and what is thought of as an aerodynamic back posture, also created in order to keep the weight off the horses back and allow freedom of movement and speed.  This race position becomes a way of life in walking, standing and sitting and due to the excessive curve in the thoracic spine potentially puts a huge load on the vertebrae, and hip joint and may even switch certain stabilising muscles off.

The aim is to keep and regain the full range of motion around their joints which in turn will lessen discomfort as the loads required to ride will be spread more evenly around the body, all the while fitness will be increased through doing more diverse exercises to embed the postural corrections.