Essay On Horse Fitness

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Fitness has long been regarded as directly correlated to health in a person. A certain degree of fitness is also required for the completion of several tasks, such as climbing and lifting. The degree of fitness needed depends on the task with many sports often needing a high level of fitness, whereas tasks such as lifting an arm needs relatively little fitness levels. Even within sports, there are different degrees of fitness needed, as well as different types of fitness (Martens, 2004). For example, running would require a great deal of aerobic and cardiovascular fitness. However, archery requires little of these and focuses more on muscle strength and dexterity. Equestrian sport requires several aspects of fitness such as balance, muscle strength and aerobic fitness. However, unlike other sports, which aspects contribute to success is poorly researched. In general, with a few exceptions, fitness of the rider is not focused on in equestrianism as much as the horse as indicated by the lack of literature on rider fitness when compared to horse fitness.

1.2 Benefits of Physical Fitness
Fitness is not only important for completing tasks and participating in sports, it is also essential for general health. There are seven components of physical fitness. These are: balance,
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Mc Morris and Hale refer to Witvrouw et al., (2004) in explaining the reason behind the conflict in findings and like Gilbert and Mc Hugh (1997), states that it is the type of nature of the sport that determines whether flexibility will affect the risk of injury. However, they explain this further by stating that the rate of stretch shortening cycle determines the effectiveness of flexibility. A high rate means that the muscle is required to be compliant in order to react quickly. With a slow rate, this is not necessary therefore flexibility does not have much impact (Mc Morris and Hale,
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