Fit Rider: Battling Hibernation

The cold has certainly set in here in the Midwest. It’s not even Christmas, and we’re battling frozen conditions everywhere, which means not much action happening outside.

Perfect timing, considering my FitRider column for Horse Illustrated‘s November issue was about how to battle the winter doldrums and the urge to hibernate, thanks to help from Andrea Otley, a self-professed former sugar addict, horse-crazy wife with three children, who has turned her life into a healthier, happier one while combining her passion of fitness and horses.

One of the best tips from Andrea was to see winter as a time to really go after your fitness goals, since you won’t be spending as much of your free time at the barn like you do during the summer.

Be sure to pick up the November issue of Horse Illustrated to read more tips. And get ready to tackle 2017 a healthier, happier rider!




Article Series: Healthy Living at Horse Shows

After working on the print article for the Equine Chronicle on “Healthy Living at Horse Shows” I proposed an idea of doing an article series about how to be healthy while on the road for horse shows (or, rather, any event). In doing so, I contacted a favorite health blogger of mine–Lindsay Livingston, who manages The Lean Green Bean Blog. She’s a registered dietician based in Columbus, Ohio, and is also an avid CrossFitter. I love her blog and I love her message–healthy eating and healthy living, while living life.

Growing up going to horse shows I remember mornings supplemented with donuts and orange juice. Not the most balanced meal, lots of sugar, but it was a weekly occurrence. Lunches were whatever we could get at the concession stand, or maybe if someone made a quick trip to a fast food joint. It was because of this that I came up with this article series and I love working with Lindsay.

The first article in the series was on breakfast, and her ideas are much more nutritious than sugary yeast donuts and sugary fruit juices.

The old saying is “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” For some horsemen and women, it’s often the most forgotten part of the day. We’re more concerned with getting our own horses fed and chores done and maybe squeezing in a few rides before the heat of the day. Soon, it’s after noon and your stomach’s grumbling. You realized the last thing you ate was dinner the night before.

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, in my opinion,” says Lindsay Livingston, a Registered Dietitian from Columbus, Ohio, and blogger at The Lean Green Bean. “It kick-starts your metabolism, improves your concentration, gives you energy, and sets the tone for the rest of the day. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but getting some nutritious foods into your body when you wake up is one of the best things you can do for your health.”

The best breakfast is one that has a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fats to jump-start your day with energy and keep you satisfied until lunch time.

Read the yummy breakfast ideas from Lindsay on the Healthy Horse Show Living: Breakfast Basics

After breakfast comes lunch, which in the horse show world might be greasy burgers and french fries or whatever you could grab to munch real quick before warming up your horse. But Lindsay has helped come up with some nutritious, quick eats that can help give you the energy to compete in the afternoon.

Now, it’s time to focus on the lunch break, and we’re not just talking about using that hour to tack up and ride your horse. It’s also important to take a hint from the show schedule and actually break to eat lunch. This could come in the form of a sandwich you can grab and eat in the saddle or something from the slow cooker at the stalls.

You might think that eating breakfast and skipping lunch will hold you over until the horse show is done for the day and you can pig out on dinner, but that’s not the best practice. “If you skip meals, it’s more likely that you’ll overeat at some point later on,” explains Lindsay Livingston, a Registered Dietitian from Columbus, Ohio, and blogger at The Lean Green Bean. “If you let yourself get too hungry, you will likely eat too quickly when you do eat, which often leads to overeating because it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to communicate to your brain that you’re full.”

Again, you want to look for lunches packed with protein and carbohydrates to give you a boost through the mid-day slump.

Try the quick and easy recipes suggested by Lindsay in the rest of the article on Healthy Horse Show Living: Loving the Lunch Break

Photo courtesy Lindsay Livingston, The Lean Green Bean.

Photo courtesy Lindsay Livingston, The Lean Green Bean.

We have a few more to go for the series, but I’m always open to more ideas. What else would you like to see about staying healthy on the road?


Healthy Living at Horse Shows

I love horses. And I love fitness. In case you didn’t know, I’ve run in two half marathons (training for my third now) and am an avid CrossFitter. I’ve always been active, but I’ve gotten more so as I’ve gotten older, and I’m obsessed with following healthy living blogs. So when the opportunity to combine my equine passion with my fitness passion came up for the Equine Chronicle, I jump at the chance to interview two competitors on the Quarter Horse and Paint Horse circuits and see how they attempt to live a healthy lifestyle in a world where fried foods usually reign.

If you’ve ever wondered, can you be a healthy athlete on the road, Melissa Sachs and Erin Shapiro Boatwright have your answer: YES!

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Read the full article on the Equine Chronicle.