Badass Full Body Workout

Beware:

This is an effective home workout! No pink dumbbells. No fru fru.

I am producing weekly workout videos on my YouTube channel to bring you EFFECTIVE at home workouts that produce stability, strength and power in athletes.

No BS.

And, yes, even if you are currently holding the status of “Couch Potato” you ARE an athlete. Humans are created to MOVE, you just need to get started!

My passion is helping empower women to lift heavy, run faster, swim further, and simply just achieve those long held goals that have become buried deep for way too long.

I will post the video below but please do read through the breakdown first!

A breakdown of the workout:

Exercise 1: Frog Kicks

The exercise specifically targets the gluteus medius (side of your butt), the muscle responsible for moving the leg sideways away from your body (termed abduction).

A strong glute medius is essential for power and balance. Activating this muscle prepares your body for the explosive side-to-side movements that are common to most sports. The gluteus medius also improves hip stability, which is critical for maintaining balance for my riders, and preventing knee and ankle injuries.

Tip: If you have chronic knee or back pain I highly recommend working on your glute medius! Especially if you spend a lot of time sitting, and therefore tightening the hip flexors, it is essential to spend time on activation exercises for the glutes!

Exercise 2: Kettlebell Swings

This is one of my favourite exercises for athletes and as someone with a lot of experience, and training, with kettlebells I am very partial to their total body benefits for strength and stability.

The kettlebell swing is exceptionally efficient on improving your strength, endurance, power, and coordination in an extremely short amount of time.

Another great benefit is that the kettlebell swing is extremely useful for building explosive strength and can easily substitute for plyometric movements, for those that are looking for lower impact ways to improve power.

These are also exceptional at developing the posterior chain, creating shoulder stability as well as core strength.

This is the Queen of all exercises BUT you must use a weight too heavy to simply lift to your shoulders. It must require you to push with your glutes and hips. If you can simply lift the weight:

  1. You are at an increased risk of injury in the shoulders.
  2. You are missing all of the benefits and simply doing an awkward front raise.

A form tip: Make sure you are using your back to hold your shoulders back and down. At no point should your back be rounded or your shoulders hanging from your rotator cuff. Think of gripping the kettlebell then activating your lats (behind your arm pits) by rotating your shoulders back. Visualize trying to break the kettlebell in half.

Exercise 3: Curtsy Lunge

I like to incorporate a lot of single leg exercises in training for my athletes. This helps to target imbalances and balance.

I find curtsey lunges to be incredibly effective at targeting your glute medius (outside of glute) as well as your inner and outer thigh. It is essential to target the full leg, rather than simply the glute max. This is a great exercise for that!

Make sure you maintain good form as this is an easy one to have poor form in.

Training Tip: Pause at the bottom of your lunge to remove any momentum from the push up. If you do not feel this in your glute medius I recommend incorporating glute activation exercises as a regular part of your routine. You simply can’t work a muscle your brain does not know exists! And yes, the connection can become so weak that you have to spend time going through the “boring” activation exercises to remind your brain you have an a$$!

Use it or lose it sister!

Exercise 4: Plank Row

There are so many benefit of this exercise I will summarize in 3 points:

  • Effectively teaches core stabilization by strengthening the abdominal muscles’ ability to resist spinal extension.
  • Activates the Oblique muscles more than a regular Plank by forcing you to balance yourself while rotating.
  • Incorporates upper body rotation and improves total body balance.

To make this harder you can add a pushup between reps! I left the pushup out as many people are internally rotated at the shoulders (hunched forward) and need more pulling movements than pushing.

Form Tip: Squeeze your glutes. Make sure your hips are neither too low or too high. Stabilize your spine during the rotation.

Exercise 5: Thrusters

This is another great full body exercise that is incredibly challenging on the whole body! Thrusters help improve coordination, muscular endurance, and balance. Not only do heavy thrusters help to build overall strength, it can be a useful exercise to teach strength-speed and improve overall athleticism.

Go heavy on this one. Like the kettlebell swing the power comes from the glutes and legs. Use momentum from standing to power the weight up.

Form tip: Make sure to stay in your heels and not let the weight pull you forward. As you begin to stand up squeeze the glutes to use them as power to accelerate the weight up and over your head.

Exercise 6: Dolphin

The plank requires no introduction. It is one of the best core stability exercise and is my favourite since it does not require any bending of the spine. Our spines truly only have so many bends prior to having issues with bulging disks so I limit the amount of crunches for my athletes.

For this exercise make sure you lift your hips using your lower abs. If you struggle with a mind to body connection with your lower abs start with dead bugs and work up from there.

Form tip: Make sure to push up into your shoulders. Your shoulder blades should not stick out of your back. This is called Winged Scapula and signifies no stability in the shoulders or back. To truly benefit from the plank you must activate your body from head to toe!

Exercise 6: Twisters

Similar to the plank this is creating stability through the spine, however we are adding in rotation. This is a great way to develop strong obliques and stability through the core.

Form tip: Make sure to keep the core engaged the whole time. At no point should there be “slack”. This is also a great way to engage the lower abs.

There you have it my friends!

Complete the routine for 3-4 sets. Limit rest in between exercises to 15-30 seconds. 1 minute rest between sets. If you go heavy on the weights, which you should you little badass you, you can increase the rest to 2 minutes between sets.

*Make sure to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Ensure use of proper form and never work through pain.

Grab your kettlebell, dumbbells, water and lets go!

And, friends, if you have any videos you would LOVE to see let it be heard! I am talking on form, injuries, workouts, nutrition, mindset. The choice is yours. Let’s build this YouTube to be the MECCA of sound fitness and health advice. You in?

Good!

Pity Party or Pool Party

As I sit here amongst a herd of babies, one of which being my own, I have realized something:

Everything in life is a choice brought on by our thoughts which developed our perception of reality.

Sometimes life goes sideways, and you wonder how you got to where you are or how you could ever stand back up. I have been there many times for varying reasons both in and out of the horse world.

I remember vividly the day I was told my 8 year old eventer had osteoarthritis in his spine and would be a pasture puff.

My heart hit the ground as all the dreams and visions that had played on repeat in my head, for 4 years, went up in flames before my eyes.

I also had to scrape myself up off the floor months later when I hit rock bottom thinking that not only was my horse retired. My heart horse. The one every single dream was attached to. But I hated my job. Not just the usual “would rather be on vaca than here”. It was destroying my soul. I barely pulled it together to last 7.5 hours, even on days I was medicated for the depression it caused.

Nothing seemed to be going right.

But, what we must remember, is that amongst all the crap you can still choose your attitude, intentions and focus.

When I finally looked myself in the mirror and said “sister, you need to wash the running mascara off and get your crap together” everything changed. Not the situations I was in. They still sucked. But my mindset shifted and it allowed me to focus on the gratitude, the amazing things I DID have going for me, and focus on building the life of my dreams.

I focused on the positive.

You can have the best plan. The best coaches. The best team but if you don’t have the right attitude you are dead in the water.

On days where I think about joining the circus, flying off to Australia or drinking a whole box of wine forcing myself to have a positive attitude is what saves me.

Choosing to find the positive is how I stay happy. And choosing to find the positive is how you will stay happy.

Not just ok. Not just getting by.

Truly happy.

Now, I am not happy 95% of the time because my life is unfolding in a way that makes it easy.

Heck sister, I am STILL at the job I talked about above but now I choose to see the company as funding the business I am building in coaching. So not only is it funding my dream but it is helping me ignite the dreams of others.

Pretty badass, if you ask me. And, a much more productive attitude to choose.

How do I do it?

In both my fitness and mindset coaching I am blunt and honest so here it is:

It is hard work.

I choose the positive in life. Every single day.

I choose to practice gratitude. I choose to surround myself with people that practice positivity and with things that bring me joy.

I surround myself with people that are also badass go getters that want more from life. That don’t allow me to wallow or feel sorry for myself.

And here is some important truth:

I regulate my thoughts because thoughts control feelings.

Feelings become behaviours.

Behaviours become actions.

And just like that your whole world is clouded by the fog of that one crappy thought.

Yes. It is that simple for one crappy thought of:

I am a failure.

I will never be good enough.

I am ugly.

To derail your whole darn life.

Are you actively regulating your thoughts?

Are you even aware of the thoughts that have become a soundtrack playing in your head?

Are you working to control the way you think of yourself and speak to yourself?

You have to choose to be positive. To see possibility. And no one can do it for you.

There is not one thing running through your mind that you don’t allow to be there.

That you ALLOW to be there.

Everytime you find yourself thinking something negative stop the hateful litany and replace it with something positive.

Like any muscle the positivity and gratitude muscle will become stronger with time. It is true.

Whether you are in a season of ease or hardship you need to realize YOU are still the one that controls how you see it. YOU. Which means only you can change it.

This is real life. Not a fairy tale.

Do not think for one moment it will be easy all the time no matter who you are,what you have or where you live.

Real life sucks sometimes.

And you will have whole seasons that will try to rob you of the energy you need to pursue your goal. Yes, it will happen so be prepared.

But you still have hopes and dreams and they are possible if you keep going.

Some days you will be sprinting towards them with the energy and grace of a gazelle, despite lack of sleep because of kids or a horse show.

Other days you will be crawling and inching your way, wondering if the pace you are going at is making any difference at all.

But you need to keep moving forward. You have to keep yourself in the game. As long as you don’t quit you are STILL IN THE GAME.

You can’t control the circumstances of your life but you can control your reaction TO them.

And, if tough times are going to happen anyway is it not much more productive to see the positive and keep moving forward rather than drowning in self pity, posting vague pity me Facebook updates and starting over once your motivation returns?

When put like that is it not obvious it is a choice!

If you take nothing else from this whole post please remember:

Your thoughts become behaviours. Your behaviours become actions. Your actions shape your reality.

Xo

Ashley.

Wake Up. Hug Dog. Hustle.

Start everyday with a big hug for your doggo.

“Sometimes you just have to grind it out, stake your claim on your goal and hustle, hard, for what you want MOST in life” ~ Ashley Eve

From the nervousness and doubt we feel when we take risks in our careers, to the butterflies in our bellies when we are waiting for our dressage test, the shortness of breath as we push for the final 5 minutes of our run, or the soreness in our muscles as we start a new weight training program. Our largest successes are born out of discomfort, uncertainty and risk.

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over it became a butterfly.

Anytime you’re working to achieve something big you are working against the current. Often the opinions of the people around you are trying to push and pull you away from your destination and sometimes those closest to you can be the loudest naysayers.

Often you will hear “You are making a mistake”, “it is impossible to reach that goal” or “You will fail”. The more unique and out of the box your goals the stronger the push back will be. And, I have to admit here that I have heard the LOUDEST opposition from family and it can be very hard to receive this criticism when your OWN thoughts are trying to derail your big dreams. Even the seemingly innocent “Sleeping in won’t make that big of a difference!” are self limiting beliefs trying to stop you on your way to greatness.

The most successful among us got to where they are today because they transcended obstacles, setbacks and negativity both from others and themselves.

This, of course, is easier said than done. And this is why so many businesses, diets, athletic pursuits and health goals fail. It is one to thing to say “Never give up” (and truthfully, I am tired of bumper sticker type motivational quotes), or to post a bunch of motivational one liner memes on your Facebook account, and quite another to actually become tenacious and grind it out NO. MATTER. WHAT.

Here is the truth that everyone needs to hear:

The world does not stop you from succeeding. The universe is not conspiring for you to fail.

The reality is the universe is conspiring neither for nor against you, and the only thing that stops you from succeeding IS YOU.

Once you have convinced yourself that you will fail you are then stopped dead in your tracks. Until then it is on like Donkey Kong.

One of my favourite quotes is this:

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it” ~ Aristotle

The reason I love this quote so much is that every single successful person has had setbacks, self limiting beliefs and obstacles. Every single person has thought they may fail, has wondered if they could accomplish their goals and debated between sleeping in and working on their goals. HOWEVER the successful entertain those thoughts but push forward regardless.

Don’t believe me?

Consider everything that has been considered impossible in history. Putting a man on the moon. Diseases we have cured. Or, the fact that flying would have been considered impossible before it was done. Think about this: If you went up to someone in the 1700’s and told them people would, one day, be able to fly in a metal tube across the world they would have likely sent you to the local mental health facility for some shock therapy!

The Wright brothers, however, did not accept that flight was impossible, and they did not allow their lack of funding hold them back. They failed over and over again but they did not give up. They had many naysayers as well as no physical proof that flight was even possible, yet they pushed forward. And, look where we are now.

Your goals ARE possible. However, don’t be fooled by the self-help bullshit and the universe will give you what you desire fluff. You don’t deserve it. No one does. Those statements will leave you waiting and wanting and eventually make you fall victim to your own life. You just have to grind that shit out, stake your claim on your goal and hustle HARD for what you want.

You quite literally have to MAKE IT HAPPEN.

So, when someone looks at you and says your idea will never happen or if your subconscious beliefs tell you that you will “fail anyway, so why try” you have two choices:

  1. You can succumb to the notion that you don’t know what you are doing, you don’t have what it takes and it is a waste of time/ money.
  2. You can disagree and refuse to accept it. You have the option to say “No, you’re wrong, and I’m going to prove it”.

The impossible only becomes possible when you believe it is. Your reality is what you BELIEVE to be possible or impossible. You can fail at something 1000 times and on try 1001 succeed. Had you given up on try 1000 you would have proven yourself right, that your goal was impossible. YOU, and only you, create your reality.

The truth is that no one can prove what is or is not possible. It just takes someone with enough tenacity to come along and not give up until it is done.

Further, my biggest pet peeve is when someone says “the market is saturated, I can’t come along now and do the same thing”.

The market isn’t saturated. The world has not seen your idea or take on it. Instead, re-frame your mindset and realize that if someone else has done it before it means that you can too! Instead of seeing the market as saturated see it as an opportunity to produce your results faster by learning from others.

There is a wondrous, magical life out there waiting for you in the unknown.

And while, yes, working to achieve it will NOT be all rainbows and butterflies all the time there is a reality waiting for you that is far beyond the one you are currently wasting away in.

Ask yourself: Is your dream worth working hard for? Is it worth getting up early for? Are you willing to be uncomfortable now for your dreams? Are you willing to give up what you want RIGHT NOW for what you want most?

If the answer is yes, you are willing, then stop making excuses and go out there and accomplish it. Skinned knees, bumps and bruises provide great stories to tell so don’t be afraid of falling.

A lion sleeps in the heart of every brave person.

xo

Ashley

There is no risk greater than refusing to risk at all

While in my masters of social work I took a HUGE risk: I left to travel.

I had just taken out the loan to pay for tuition. 2 weeks after I paid tuition (and it isn’t cheap!) the guy I was casually dating asked if I wanted to go to Australia with him. He was going for his masters for teaching.

Now, I feel it pertinent to add that I didn’t hop on a plane with a random guy I met at the bar the week before. We had gone to high school together and I knew him quite well.

But, it was still a risk to drop my life and move across the world!

But, that is what I did. I quite literally dropped everything and got on a plane.

I am STILL paying off my student loans 11 years later but it was worth every second. I left a piece of my heart in Australia. It was everything I could have expected and more.

Home
Dream come true.

Now, had I been afraid to take that risk I would never have had that experience. And, while one may argue that you don’t know what you don’t know, meaning I wouldn’t have known what I was missing, Australia had been on my vision board since I was 5 and my vision board was ripped out pieces of magazines and the board was my wall.

The point is this: When you are 90 in your rocking chair looking back at your life the biggest regrets will be the risks you DIDN’T TAKE. And I am not making things up. There has been actual research about this.

Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives, came forward with the top 5 regrets people had in the last 12 weeks of their life:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. Bonnie stated people realized how many dreams they left unfulfilled and how health, and “time”, had been taken for granted in their younger years.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Bronnie says: “Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.”

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.” Bronnie

Now, if that doesn’t light a fire in you I don’t know what will!

A lot of people think my mission in life is surrounding fitness. It isn’t.

My mission is to help YOU live life to the fullest. Enjoy each day. Live the healthiest you can. Be happier. Laugh more. Run the marathon you always wanted to run. Buy the horse you always wanted to buy. Move to the other side of the world on a whim because your heart is telling you to.

Fitness is just a tool I use, and a VERY powerful tool at that.

My tip to help you start taking control of your life?

Take your favourite complaint and turn that baby inside out!

For example: ” I can’t afford to buy that horse” becomes ” Money loves me so much it throws itself at me!”. Yes, corny, but powerful. I did this when I was finally tired of my old excuses on why I couldn’t afford a Blazing Colours baby. The point is NOT that you say this and then money rains down from the heavens as if some drug lords house blew up a kilometer down the road. Although, maybe that could happen!

No, the point is you start to search for the possibilities, the opportunities. You see the positive, not the lack of dollar signs in your account. You start to get into a success mindset and get ready to make shit happen. When I started this affirmation I started problem solving and applied to a ton of jobs! The one that allowed me to afford the baby hired me. And I was wildly unqualified!

Future eventer extraordinaire

Another negative to a positive? “I hate my job” becomes “I am grateful to my job for supporting me and for being my stepping stone on my way to awesome badassery and for teaching me so very much about patience and perseverance.” I think every entrepreneur can relate to this one! I use it daily as my business grows and it has completely transformed my life and how I approach each day.

The point is I want you to write down whatever crappy self limiting belief is holding you back then flip it. Post it around your house. Write it on your mirror with lipstick. Stick it to your dashboard. Make it the background of your phone. Bloody well needle point it into a pillow if you need to.

Then, say it every time you catch yourself about to launch into the same old boring complaint.

And here is the thing many people don’t tell you:

Transforming your life is uncomfortable.

Changing your mindset is hard. You must commit to being uncomfortable day after day. Befriend the unfamiliar, the risky, the “I don’t wanna” and do it anyway.

The discomfort means you are almost there.

xo

Ashley

Work the booty to improve your position

If you are unstable in the saddle, or lack balance, what is the FIRST thing someone tells you?

Strengthen your core.

Yes, the abs are important.  Most people have lost the ability to move from their “center”, therefore teaching someone how to work the core, not just do crunches, is VERY important.

However, there is one major muscle group that has proven time and time again that they are actually more important to functional movement than the abdominals: the GLUTES

The glutes consist of 3 major muscles:

  1. The gluteus maximus, which does external rotation and extension of the hip joint (moving the leg backwards).
  2. The gluteus minimus, which does abduction of the hip (moving the leg away from the body).
  3. The gluteus medius, which also does abduction of the hip (moving the leg away from the body).

As you can see these muscles are important mover and stabilizers of the hip joint.  The glutes assist us in walking, sitting, standing, climbing stairs, getting out of bed, and LITERALLY every lower body movement.

The problem these days, is that we SIT on the glutes all day long, rendering them weak and useless.  Without the proper use of the glutes, the hamstrings and lower back muscles end up taking over far more work than they should.  The abdominals are strong and can support a weak lower back, but if the lower back keeps having to compensate for sleepy glutes, then the abs will never be able to keep up. This will result in poor posture, back pain and a less than ideal position in the saddle.

Trying to ride without strong, active glutes is akin to trying to build a house without a foundation.

So how does this relate to you?

Without strong glutes your lower back and hamstrings will take over as primary movers. This provides a very unstable base of support for your upper body, which can show as bracing in the upper body and tension in the reins, as well as an unstable lower leg. You will also find riders with weak glutes clinging with their legs as they have no stability through the pelvis.

Weak glutes also leads to poor posture, as the abs are only able to compensate to a point. This is where the dreaded “shoulders back” battle begins. You will also see this manifested in riders that can’t seem to sit up straight and always tend to lean forward. The weak glutes lead to tight hip flexors and a weak upper body making it nearly impossible to sit up straight. This isn’t something that can be fixed in the saddle.

Think of the pelvis, and hips, as the foundation of a house. Without a strong foundation everything is weak and unstable. This applies to your riding as well.

Without a strong pelvis, which is stabilized by your glutes, you are going to lack the ability to maintain a proper position, which leads to unclear aids, poor posture, imbalances in your body due to compensation and a whole host of other issues, just like a bad foundation does for a house.

And here is the truth: Your imbalances become your horses imbalances which become your horses lameness.

Further, by allowing your lower back and hamstrings to take over while riding you are setting yourself up for back pain, knee pain and ankle pain as you compensate for the weakness.

Often I hear “I am just old, I get knee pain when I ride”.

And while degenerative conditions, such as arthritis, can lead to pain strengthening the proper muscles, and lengthening the tight tissue, is one of the best ways to not only combat chronic pain but prevent future pain.

But riders are soooo busy!

Now, I know riders are busy between working to pay for the horses and actually riding but it is crucial to make time for your own fitness, out of the saddle. And, no, mucking stalls doesn’t count.

Sinead Halpin said it best, in her recent article Making Time for Fitness Outside the Saddle with Sinead Halpin for useventing.com:

“If you’re competitive, if you don’t want to have chronic low-grade pain, if you want to be kind to your horse by riding well, you will find it important to find an exercise routine that works to keep you supple and strong,” Halpin concluded. “Just do it. I have 23 horses on the farm, an 8-month-old, and a mortgage to pay without a major sponsor and I find the time, so just do it.”

Riding will feed into your imbalances. If you are weak on the left, and therefore lean into the right you will lean more into the right stirrup as you get more exhausted in the saddle. Especially out on cross country it becomes dangerous to have a riders imbalances being magnified when the horse, as well, may be getting tired.

If you sit at a desk all day and therefore have weak glutes and tight shoulders, causing you to slouch into a chair seat in the saddle no amount of yelling “Shoulders back” and no amount of custom saddles will fix YOUR issues.

Further, if you continue to get on the horse with the same issues it doesn’t matter how much money you dump into their massage, Back on Track, Chiropractic, acupuncture, etc. YOU will continue to cause the same imbalances in the horse until it causes a lameness. And then, well, your horse is out of the game until the injury has healed, if it can be.

A blank slate.

We are all adults right? I can be a straight shooter?

You are an athlete. Start training like it! Not only does improving as a rider depend on it but your horse depends on you to show up as YOUR best self everyday.

To help you get started I am developing a YouTube channel with free workouts for riders looking to get fit. Here is a quick booty blast to help kick off your new fitness plan!

For more videos and tips make sure to follow me on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/the.equestrians.advantage

Or join the FREE The Equestrians Advantage community at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/426232728129685/

As a former sport horse vet tech,eventer and certified personal trainer I am passionate about starting a movement towards rider fitness OUT of the saddle to improve not only the riders, well, riding, but to also improve soundness in the horse.

I hope you found this helpful!

Ashley

Kinesiology Taping- Your horses uses it but should you?

Like the good equestrian you are your horse has experienced the wonders of kinesiology taping but you haven’t tried it for yourself yet! And, truthfully, your horse isn’t giving you the low down on exactly HOW they feel with it on! Yes, you notice improved performance and faster healing time of injuries but is it really due to the tape?

You are probably asking yourself if you should be trying it for your aches, pains and injuries!

The short answer is YES!

I will also provide you with a proper long answer!

How do the brightly coloured racing stripes actually work?

Kinesiology tape was first developed in the 1970s by Japanese chiropractor Kenzo Kase. Dr Kase was searching for a way to facilitate the body’s natural healing process and prolong the benefits of his treatment after his patients left his clinic.

In 2003 the team started “experimenting” on equine athletes and, as we all know, the rest is history as it is a common therapeutic practice in horses as well now!!

Kinesiology tape is very popular among top athletes, and for good reason! IT WORKS!

As a side note: I personally ONLY recommend the brand Theraband Xact Stretch. It easily lasts 3x longer and is more effective than other brands.

True story… This stuff is absolutely worth your money!

Kinesiology tape offers structural and/ or muscle support; it can correct postural problems and increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage.

When the tape is applied correctly ( I REPEAT…. WHEN APPLIED CORRECTLY!!!) the tape lifts the skin to create a small space between the muscle and dermis layers. That space takes the pressure off swollen or injured muscles, allows smooth muscle movement and makes space for drainage and blood flow.

I also find if you tend to have fascia that gets easily tacked down in a specific area the kinesiology tape goes a long way in helping to relieve this so you can correct the root problem.

I am currently using the tape for a back strain. I also applied the rib application because the strain is causing fascia is get tacked down around my ribs.

If you ever wonder if this tape actually works try ripping the tape off before it is ready…. It leaves a nasty burn but you will also see how the tape actually LIFTED the skin between the woven fibers. Now, this was not a challenge. Please do not actually rip it off. Allow it to fall off naturally. It will actually leave a nasty burn if you pull it. I did it by accident when I first started using it!

Proof:

What does research say?

Research is mostly inconclusive on the tape. There is some research that supports it’s effectiveness in helping with short term pain. Other research claims there is no long term benefit.

I find the claims of no long term benefit misleading.

I have, first hand, witnessed and experienced, the immediate benefits this tape has provided. I have also experienced the significantly decreased healing time. I have used it for my chronic back problems from an old injury, as well as shin splints and a herniated disk. It has also been in frequent rotation for an old tear in my shoulder which has turned into arthritis (Yes, I can predict the weather with my shoulder!).

There are immediate benefits when applied correctly. Literally IMMEDIATE relief and benefits.

Here is where the problem lies: Nothing has long term benefits if you don’t fix the root cause. If you are getting shin splints, there is a reason. Use the tape to assist you in your recovery BUT fix the root cause of why you got shin splints in the first place! This is why I think the research is flawed. The tape DOES have immediate benefits, which will turn into long term benefits if the user actually does the necessary rehab and prehab.

It is not a band aid.

Common Errors

My main concern is using it as a band aid and not fixing the root cause of issues, as addressed above. However, I do have another concern.

Kinesiology tape is not for fancy racing stripes. Yes, there are videos online about how to tape BUT if you literally have no idea about the musculoskeletal system and proper taping PLEASE, for the love of all things sacred, go to a Physio to learn how to tape your issues properly. Even with my knowledge of the body, rehab and prehab I went to a Physio, with my hubby, so we could both learn how to tape.

You are correct, you won’t HURT yourself taping improperly but you certainly won’t help anything either. I am sure there are other things you could do with $25 than draw patterns on your body for no other reason than to have stripes. Pretty sure the dollar store has some fancy temporary tattoos for $1 if you want that!

Conclusion

A taping I use often for Achilles pain if I ramp up running too fast.

I highly highly recommend using it. Recently I tore a muscle in my back and it has literally been a life saver. It has provided immediate relief and is allowing me to effectively complete my rehab and also continue my running. If you have some aches or pains definitely go out and buy THERABAND tape and learn how to apply it properly!

Also, if you are a rider AND runner you can use it for shin splints if you are just starting to run again. As I follow a PROPER running program I find taping from the get go helps with easing back into running.

The best parts about this? It is drug free, has no ill effects AND you can match your horse with the same colours or match the tape to your eventing colours! Win. Win. Win.

Now, go out and ride peeps!

xo

Ashley


Equestrian Problems

I overheard someone complaining about their cats $50 per month medication.

$50. Per month.

Now, I am not saying anything bad about cats. If my husband wasn’t so allergic I would be the crazy cat lady!

But this got me wondering how absolutely out of touch riders are with reality! So, from my beautiful unicorn, I wrote my top 5 equestrian problems!

1) I have horses scattered across Ontario. When was the last time you lived 2 hours from one of your baby cats and 45 minutes from your large retired fat cat and small mini cat.

Well, photo angle makes the mini look like a maxi.

Cuteness beats logic every time!

Prior to baby I had visited Niagara Falls about as many times as I can count on one hand, in my 33 years, and I limit visits to family due to kilometers and “wear and tear” on my car. Baby Loki is 3 weeks old and I have made the 2 hour drive 3 times.

Sorry not sorry. Cars can be replaced.

2) I basically pay a mortgage payment to two different barns to keep the horses. That doesn’t include feet, vet, chiropractic, massage, nothing! Oh ya, and because Monty (fat retired cat) has back arthritis he is currently wearing $700 worth of blankets.

$700.

MY jacket isn’t even worth that much. And my husband went 2 winters WITHOUT a winter jacket so Monty could get more Back on Track blankets for his sore back!

Oh, and the $50 meds? How about $160 in Omeprazole for 30 days for your sensitive Sally’s belly. And that isn’t even the brand name Omeprazole. I don’t want to be the cause of heart problems, from shock, in my non horse friends so let’s continue on!

Monty living his best life.

3) I quit my job as an equine vet tech and got a job in a busy call centre to afford my horses.

Will this work?

And the “greatest” part about horses is that they will just keep filling the new budgets. It is never ending.

Got a higher paying job? Awesome, because your horse put its leg through a fence and needs stitches (true story from Christmas Day at 4:30pm 2017).

Opened a savings account? Stop kidding yourself and skip the sad truth of putting the money in just to take it back out. Just send the money straight to the tack store for the new custom saddle.

Bonus? Better call the chiropractor for the horse and someone to clip your Yak of a pony.

It. Never. Ends.

Now my savings account sits at $0.02.

But my recent promotion means they have new space to expand into!

4) Not one of my horses have a job. I have 3 horses and I am not able to ride one!

Monty was my eventer but was retired at 8 after years of on and off soundness issues. Turns out my future superstar has severe osteoarthritis in his spine. My mini, Oreo, was bought as his companion for shows and now is living his best life as a feral retired pony!

And my new born dream foal is living his best life in baby heaven!

Hopefully one day baby Loki will be my eventing super star otherwise I am collecting “broken” horses!

5) Vacations? Weekends away?

Old vacationing pics will have to do!

Vacations are unknown words to the Equestrian! Equestrians are too broke for vacations and weekends are for horse shows!

My poor husband and I have a cottage we rarely use because he can’t drag me away from the horses long enough!

Why go out of town when you can go to horse shows?

Regardless….

For all the stress, money and time horses cost.

For the ascinine vet bills that build up on your secret credit card.

The heartbreak over an 8 year old with so much potential having to be retired.

The constant worry over temperature and if your horse is too hot or too cold.

Wondering if you are doing all the things right and helping your horse live their best life.

Wearing clothes with holes in them so you can put the money into board at the best facility you can find (and the sleepless nights finding it).

For the missed vacations, weekends in the barn instead of on a beach and the partners that wonder wtf they got themselves into.

For all the craziness….

I wouldn’t change a thing.

Owning a horse is expensive. More expensive than your cat or dog. Or 10 cats and dogs. And sometimes they don’t pay attention to you ( I guess sort of like a big cat)….

Eff off lady, I only love my mom.

But is it ever worth it.

Once you are horse girl you will die a horse girl.

It is like a virus that pumps through your veins.

And you will lay down your last penny, your last breath, for your horse.

I would legitimately do sketchy things to make sure my horses only had the best. Selling organs in Mexico is a viable option, right?

So while we may be a bit crazy, and insanity ensues on the reg, it is worth every second and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Xo

Ashley

Posture for the rider

Instructors, here is the truth about yelling “Shoulders back” at your riders. It doesn’t work. And it isn’t that it doesn’t work because the rider is ignoring you or isn’t trying. It doesn’t work because tightness in the riders body is CAUSING the shoulders to be internally rotated and weakness in the abs is further building on this problem.

This is not something that can be fixed in the saddle.

What causes a hunched position

Clients come from a variety of backgrounds BUT the one thing many have in common is the fact that they do either a lot of time sitting at a desk (student, office worker) OR they do a lot of time driving. Both of these positions cause tightness in the front of the shoulder and chest, also known as the internal rotators.

The more someone sits with their shoulders rounded forward the tighter the internal rotators get, however this isn’t the end of the problem! This position also causes the back muscles to weaken and lengthen. The very muscles that would maintain a tall position and shoulders back.

This position further impacts the rider with a weak core, tight hip flexors and weak glutes. For the purpose of today we are focusing on shoulders.

Here is a graphic for the problems hunched shoulders create:

What does this mean for the horse?

When you have hunched shoulders your core is weak, forcing you to sit on the back of your pelvis. Sitting in your chair right now sit up tall with a strong core then allow your shoulders to hump forward and stop any contraction in your core. Do you notice how you go from sitting evenly on your pelvis to the back of your pelvis? Your body literally folds forward from pelvis to shoulders.

Now, sit up tall again, core tight. Force your shoulders back by pushing your chest forward. If you have naturally tight internal rotators right now your chest will naturally pop forward to accommodate the shoulders being forced back. Notice how your lower back arches and you shift to the FRONT of your pelvis? THIS is what happens when you tell a client “Shoulders back” and they force them back with tight internal rotators.

Here is a graphic to illustrate what I just described:

We require a neutral seat to not only have a strong and balanced position but to also properly influence the horse with clear aids. Imagine how FRUSTRATED your horse is when you are giving unclear aids and they are trying to interpret what you want!

Riders, and coaches, if the shoulders are being forced back, causing an exaggerated arch in the lower back this is the position you are in:

Forcing the shoulders back, despite the tight chest and weak core is causing extreme rounding of the lower back. Notice how this position is also forcing the legs forward and the rider is unable to properly get the heels down, so the toes point out. Without fixing the root cause you are only causing issues downstream of the “issue” you have fixed.

Further, notice how the horse has dropped his back and lacks impulsion. This is the immediate effect of sitting on the front of your pelvis. Your horse will drop their back and be unable to push from behind. You will lack impulsion and the ability to give clear aids from this position.

By correcting the body tightness and weakness you see an immediate improvement in the rider and horse:

Where to go from here

To start you must stretch the tight tissue and strengthen the weak tissue. I highly recommend beginning with yoga, particularly Yin Yoga. The long holds of 1-2 minutes not only properly release the muscles but also the connective tissue.

Next you need to identify your weak areas are strengthen them. Make sure to do 2 back exercises for every 1 pushing (push up for example) exercise.

I offer a fantastic 80 day program to my riding clients that helps to address postural imbalances and weakness. This program is an essential base to have for a balanced and strong position.

It is no longer acceptable to say “This is just how I am!”. The horse depends on us treating ourselves as the athletes we are. Postural imbalances in us can also lead to lameness issues in our horses.

For more information on the programs I offer to riders please feel free to fill out the form below:

Happy Wednesday friends!

Ashley

I choose to be powerful beyond measure

I would like you to take a moment for reflection. What are the main thoughts that are on repeat in your mind throughout the day. What stories do you tell yourself, and how are those stories limiting your true potential.

Starting today I want you to make the conscious effort to eliminate the following low vibe phrases from your vocabulary:

I want.
I should.
I wish.
I can’t.
I’m trying.
I don’t know.

These words take the power AWAY from you, when you are actually powerful beyond measure. These thoughts, and words, will stop you from taking risks on the things you really want in life. And, the worst part is none of them are true.

Now that you have eliminated those words from your vocabulary I need you to make the conscious effort to fill your vocabulary with the following high vibe phrases today:

🗝️I choose.
🗝️I can.
🗝️I enjoy.
🗝️I create.
🗝️I love.
🗝️I am a badass.
🗝️The answers are on their way.

What you may not yet realize is that what comes out of your mouth comes into your life, so choose your words, and thoughts, wisely.

At this point I often hear “but I am so unhappy in my job, I can’t be positive” or “I can’t lose the weight no matter what I do…”.

These are all your perceptions of reality. Made up stories you tell yourself.

Even if you HATE your full time job and it brings tears to your eyes, and your soul wilts, at the thought of even going in CHOOSE power words. Take your power back.

I CHOOSE to go into work because it funds my personal business I am building.

I LOVE that (employer) is the main financial supporter of my business.

It is also your CHOICE to hate your situation and do nothing about it, whether it is your job, weight, relationship, etc. The reality is NOT that you cannot be successful. The reality is not that you cannot lose the weight.

The reality IS you are choosing not to do the behaviours that will lead to success.

You are CHOOSING to stay miserable or you are CHOOSING to be happy.

Whether you believe it or not you ALWAYS have a choice.

I want nothing more than to leave an impact on this world by creating badass women that realize they have no limits and truly go for it.

Xo

Ashley