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Equestrian Fitness: Transforming Riders with Jamie of Haybales and Barbells

Last updated January 12, 2024 by Brook Norris

Jamie is a certified personal trainer, youth exercise specialist, recreation therapist, and an equestrian athlete. She's here to discuss the unique intersection of fitness and horse riding.

Jamie's Journey: Jamie started her company, Haybales and Barbells, about five years ago during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a background in equine-assisted recreation therapy, Jamie had to pivot when her job was affected by the pandemic. She realized the significant impact that intentional fitness training had on her riding skills, which sparked the idea for her business. Haybales and Barbells aims to educate equestrians about the importance of cross-training outside the saddle.

Addressing Equestrian Challenges: Jamie has noticed a trend of postural issues among riders of all ages, exacerbated by the modern lifestyle of being hunched over phones and computers. To combat this, she focuses on corrective exercises to improve upper body posture and midline control. Her training emphasizes the importance of a strong core, which is vital for maintaining posture and power while riding.

Training Different Age Groups: When it comes to training different age groups, Jamie tailors her programs to meet their unique needs. For older riders, she incorporates low-impact exercises, while for youth, she plans to introduce a program with playful, game-oriented fitness activities. For adult amateurs, Jamie has noticed a lack of cardiovascular endurance, so her programs for this group include more cardio and high-intensity interval training.

Mental Health and Fitness: Jamie strongly believes in the holistic benefits of exercise, extending beyond physical to mental wellness. She shares her personal experience with mental health and how fitness transformed her life. In her training approach, both physical health and mental well-being are given equal importance. She stresses that mental resilience is crucial for equestrian athletes to perform at their best.

Programs and Resources: Jamie offers a variety of programs targeting riders at different levels - from beginners focusing on cardiovascular endurance to professionals emphasizing recovery and mobility work. Her popular two-week boot camp is designed to jumpstart fitness routines or spice up existing ones. The boot camp, along with all her programs, is available virtually, making them accessible worldwide. She also highlights her core program, based on scientific research, which has shown to improve performance in riders.

Faith and Business: Jamie shares how the Bible verse Matthew 17:20 inspires her in her business journey. Despite initial doubts and challenges, her faith gave her the strength to persevere and grow her business. She credits her success to her faith, feeling blessed and grateful for the community she has built.

Jamie's unique blend of fitness expertise and equestrian knowledge has created a niche that is transforming the way riders train and care for their bodies. Her holistic approach, catering to both physical and mental health, is not only enhancing riders' performance but also enriching their lives beyond the saddle.

Listen & watch Jamie's episode below! 

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