Posted by: forgingahead | October 5, 2009

Running and Riding

I just need to share this thought before it goes the way of the Dodo bird.

Oh dear, I feel a Wikipedia search coming on! Where exactly did the Dodo bird go, anyway?


Wikipedia says:

The dodo (Raphus cucullatus) was a flightless bird endemic to the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. Related to pigeons and doves, it stood about a meter tall, weighing about 20 kilograms (44 lb), living on fruit and nesting on the ground.

The dodo has been extinct since the mid-to-late 17th century.[1] It is commonly used as the archetype of an extinct species because its extinction occurred during recorded human history, and was directly attributable to human activity, hence the phrase “going the way of the Dodos.”

Now that we’ve learned a little something new I have another observation to share.

There are a lot of similarities in how to hold and use my body when running and when riding a horse.

I’ve been reading ChiRunning, a “revolutionary approach to effortless, injury-free running.” There are a lot of good ideas in this book but the thing that really struck me is this idea of holding your core straight and strong but loose and then letting your arms and legs do their work somewhat independently.

I received very similar instruction from Susanne von Dietz at the dressage clinic I attended a few weeks ago. Have a strong but flexible core balanced on the saddle and let your legs be soft like a glove wrapped around the barrel of the horse.

So it turns out the running training I’m doing is helping with my riding – and vice versa! How cool is that?

Perhaps one day I shall be reasonably good at both. A girl can dream.



  1. I suspect that you are already more than reasonably good at both. I find that my dance training (many moons ago) helps me be a better rider. Perhaps riding will make me a better dancer. A girl can dream.

  2. That is cool. I guess that is the very definition of cross training. Or maybe not. You know I’m clueless!

  3. Everything is connected isn’t it? 🙂

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