|Sivla's trainer Linda Brown running a race|
I'd like to give a shout-out to Linda Brown, my personal trainer, who keeps me fit and strong so that I can give my horses my best. I obviously ride a lot of horses, which keeps you fit to ride but isn’t necessarily good for your body – I have a bad back and make an effort to work on core strength to support my back and other muscles.
I go twice a week to Linda and she’s a great help because she used to be a racehorse trainer herself and understands riders well. She’s also worked with a lot of well-known riders over the years. I think it’s important to balance your fitness with exercise other than riding, especially if you don’t ride enough horses to stay fit, or even if you ride a lot of horses like I do, which only develops your riding muscles and not the other ones required to balance your strength.
For me, because I have a weak back, especially my lower back, I have to make sure my stomach/core is strong. We do a lot of different exercises for strength,: sit-ups, crunches, planking, all that stuff, and at the end we do a lot of stretching, which is also important for riders. The two times a week that I go in is hard enough to make the time for, but I go religiously every Monday and Wednesday, in the afternoon after the horses have been ridden.
The girls that work with me also work out with Linda because I really believe you can become a much better rider if you take care of yourself. I think it’s important to be as strong as your horse, and riding alone doesn’t make you fit enough.
Linda also makes a whole plan for me to keep going during the winter when we go to Aiken. I miss her when I'm away - I like working with Linda because she’s fun and entertaining, and it makes it easier to do all this hard work!
Linda works out of her home in Coatesville, PA. Anyone interested in training with her can contact her at 484-368-7739.