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 racing horses throughout their life – they have had many wins between them on point to point jump courses, none less than they have both taken on the Grand National Course at Aintree.  Now, they train horses and have a consistent stream of runners.  Recently they have decided in their own way and using their own approach to work on agility and fitness for their work and sport for training race horses.  One of the biggest problems 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.