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Women & Horses by Mary D. Midkiff - horseback riding fitness techniques for women

Women & Horses, knowledge for the female equestrian; female equestrian fitness training and riding tips

A short introduction to Fitness, Performance and the Female Equestrian
by Mary D. Midkiff

New Methods & Techniques Reflect
Growing Influence of Women Riders

Women are taking over today's horse world. From weekend schooling shows to the boardrooms of the sport's major organizations, the female element is growing in numbers and power.

Mary D. Midkiff on the cover of her new bookMary D. Midkiff, a rider and horse business professional, believes this female perspective is bringing with it a revolution in the way horses are understood, equipped and ridden. In FITNESS, PERFORMANCE AND THE FEMALE EQUESTRIAN (Howell Book House/Macmillan USA/Oct 1996), Midkiff takes us through the changing dynamics of women on horseback to arrive at a new approach to riding effectiveness. Combining insight into the relationship between women and their horses with practical advice on exercise, equipment and nutrition, she provides a blueprint for better performance with less stress, greater comfort and maximum enjoyment.

Midkiff, who is president of Equestrian Resources (EQR), a Boulder Colorado-based marketing firm, says female equestrians now represent over 80% of today's horse enthusiasts and participants. But, she adds, since the techniques, equipment and teaching methods used with horses have not moved in step with the growing involvement and influence of adult and young women, "it's time to catch up."

FITNESS, PERFORMANCE AND THE FEMALE EQUESTRIAN is an all-discipline, all-breed approach for the female rider to improve her team performance with her horse. The book addresses the evolution of women and riding; techniques which emphasize finesse over strength; exercises which are done both on and off the horse, and nutritional recommendations for female riders' specific needs.

Designed for experienced riders or newcomers, the book is an indispensable resource that highlights such issues as:

  • Biomechanical and anatomical considerations for women;
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises to enhance performance;
  • Steps to balanced riding;
  • Saddle balancing, fitting tips, and equipment designed for the female rider;
  • Riding and its relationship to aging, pregnancy and lifestyles;
  • Nutrition and dietary considerations in daily and competitive riding.

The book features AWAREness (A Woman's Approach to Riding Effectively). A series of tips throughout signaling key summary points on health, fitness, nutrition, safety and comfort. It also gives female riders some ammunition in the fight to have riding fully recognized as an intensive athletic endeavor "An average woman will expend up to 550 calories preparing and vigorously riding for an hour," Midkiff explains. "These numbers compare favorably to sports like tennis, snow skiing, swimming and running."

Expert contributors in the book include Peggy Cummings, a recognized and certified instructor, clinician and trainer, Mary Beth Walsh, a physical therapist on the faculty at Marymount University and a certified British Horse Society Assistant Instructor; and Margaret McGovern, a licensed and registered dietitian.

In the forward, Chrystine Jones Tauber, a former Olympian in Grand Prix Jumping for the United States Equestrian Team, praises this book "as an important guide for women who want to feel well, ride well, and extend their active years. Once you have make exercise, body maintenance and nutrition a part of your dietary routine, it becomes very easy to stay on a lifetime program of well-being which will provide you with the enjoyment of riding to the best of your ability."

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female equestrian fitness training and riding tips

Midkiff Horse Training, PO box 24395, Lexington KY 40524
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