Caitlyn Connors is a rising star and a regular in the big ring under the lights at WEF. She rides incredibly well, and it’s clear to anyone that follows her that she takes the sport, her horse’s condition and her program very seriously. We caught up with the young rider to learn more about how she stays in top shape for the show ring and how she’s managing her routine during the global pandemic.
Q: You’ve got to be like 5’4, yet you navigate these massive horses over huge tracks! How do you do it?
"I WISH I was 5’4! I am only 5’1 and that’s pushing it! I grew up riding a lot of different types of horses. Good, bad, stopper, puller, kicker, hunters, jumpers, eventers… everything. Riding and taking care of these horses taught me so much about myself as a horsewoman. All of my experiences dealing with these different types of rides gave me a very good idea of how to handle the certain horse I was riding. It’s so important that horses like to work with you, and they know you are both on the same team, fighting for the same thing. I try to make my horses as comfortable and happy as possible so they want to help me get over these tracks!"
Caitlyn wearing the Elite Equestrian Bodysuit in Navy
Q: In a normal week how do you cross train for riding? Which activities benefit you the most and why?
"Being a college student while balancing riding is not easy and basically takes up all of your time. I go to the gym when I am home and work with a personal trainer where we focus on my weaknesses. A lot of the exercises are working on strengthening my stamina. Growing up in a very athletic family, I worked with a trainer often so my basics when it comes to training, such as squats and push-ups, are very good. But that being said, it’s difficult for me to do 10 push-ups and jump right into 20 squats with no break. This has been so beneficial to me. Every person has their weaknesses and it’s important to embrace and work on them so you can get the most out of yourself."
Q: COVID-19 has put most of us in isolation mode, are you still riding or are you on lock-down?
"I am doing a little bit of both. My horses are currently in Wellington and I am in Pennsylvania, where I am supposed to be quarantining. I reached out to a good friend that lives in the area to see if I could help around the farm either riding or grooming, so I have been riding for them sometimes, and when I am not, I am on lockdown!"
Q: What are you doing with your horses during CV? How are you picking and managing your goals for the rest of 2020?
"My horses are staying in Florida as of right now during this time. Roberto Teran, my trainer, has been riding and taking great care of them while I am gone. A few weeks ago, I set a bunch of goals and wrote down potential shows for the rest of the year. Now, with everything being cancelled and no one knowing when shows will be held again, I think it's best that I just sit tight right now. There is nothing we can do about this pandemic except be smart and follow the rules given to us so we can clear everything up quicker. Right now, I am trying not to set expectations too high since we don’t know what’s going to happen a few weeks from now."
Q: What kind of exercises do you do at home?
Here are some exercises that really help me in the ring!
2. Toe-Tap Leg Lifts
3. Push Ups
4. Bicycle Abs
5. Bodyweight Squats