Farm Livin’: Horse Chores Workout

By Lydia Anderson |

As the creative director of Experience Life, I direct all our fitness photo shoots and meet incredible athletes, from yoga gurus to power lifters. There are times I feel a bit intimidated by their strength and presence. Sometimes they ask me about working out, and my answer is always this: I live on a small horse farm, and my gym is my barn and riding arena. “Oh, that’s great!” is usually the happy reply.

Horses do make people happy: They are beautiful, powerful, and incredible athletes themselves. Horses make me happy every day. They are also a TON of work and luckily for me, the means to my fitness end.

So for my first official blog, I thought it would be fun to put together a “horse chores workout,” complete with my own personal trainer, our Australian Shepherd, Maybelle. She is always encouraging, always at my side. These are the chores I do every day, morning and night. They are the brackets to my days. I’m lucky when I can squeeze in a ride as well, training my two thoroughbred x-racers for dressage and jumping, but these chores are the bulk of my physical activity on the farm.

Temperatures in Minnesota this time of year hover around 20 degrees F. I don’t go outside without aboutincluding coveralls, a jacket, boots, hat and gloves.

I throw in a quick hamstring stretch while tying winter boots, and walk briskly to the barn.

 Maybelle, our five-year-old Australian Shepherd.

Whenever possible, run instead of walk, especially uphill.Too many times to count each day, I crawl through the fence instead of opening and closing gates. Squats or Warrior 3 pose are both great ways to get through. Watch the top wire, though: It’s electric.Think biceps curls and medicine-ball slams.

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