How many calories do you burn?

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How many calories do you burn?

This is a discussion on How many calories do you burn? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • How many calories do i burn off doing horse riding
  • How much calories does horse riding burn?

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    03-25-2010, 01:20 AM
How many calories do you burn?

Ok, so last week we were doing a boot camp sort of thing during gym and I was having problems breathing while I was running. So I asked my teacher why I could ride for an hour no problem but I can't run for half an hour (by the way, I'm in vigorous training, and I'm doing first level excersises, and my horse is extremely lasy when he wants to be, ). And she just said that when I'm riding, the horse is doing all of the work. I told her that a lot of the time my heart rate is way up. So, she basically called me fat. I'm a bit overweight, but I'm 130lbs 5'4" and am "big boned" (I'm also female by the way).

So I was wondering if anyone knew how many calories that someone would burn doing first level excersises so I can show her that you do burn allot of calories and that the horse isn't doing all of the work.
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    03-25-2010, 02:01 AM
Here's a table I found that might help:
    03-25-2010, 06:24 AM
130lbs at 5'4" is nowhere NEAR fat. Your teacher is a jerk.
    03-25-2010, 08:30 AM
Originally Posted by Gillian    
130lbs at 5'4" is nowhere NEAR fat. Your teacher is a jerk.
^AMEN to this!!

The difference is in the different muscle groups that are worked between riding and running. I can ride for an hour easily (not including all the time I spend shoveling, lifting, etc. in the barn), and my roommate (who ran track and XC for years in high school) can easily out-jog me. Riding tends more to build core strength, not running ability. Different exercises, but both certainly exercises. If you want to be able to run for an hour straight, you need to take up jogging and work your times up -- it doesn't automatically follow from being a strong rider, but that doesn't mean that riding/horse care isn't good exercise.

Your teacher is a jerk, 130 @ 5'4'' is NOT overweight, big boned or not. Reminds me why I always hated gym...
    03-25-2010, 12:36 PM
The person above me is correct about the different muscle groups. Running is also very hard on the lungs and cardio if you're not used to it. According to the calorie burning chart someone posted, I'd also point out....the highest amount they have on here for riding is around 400 cal/hr for someone of your weight...that's if you galloped the whole hour...which wouldn't happen but that's okay. That's the equivalent of running about 4 miles. Which you could probably do in much less than an hour. You'd probably burn more like 600 calories in an hour of running (6 miles). And more like 200/300 in an hour of riding? I'm just guessing but running will burn it'll be harder...especially while you're still building those new muscles.
    03-25-2010, 12:39 PM
Oh...and and about the weight, I was on the cross country team for my college. Ran 5-8 miles a day. I'm 5'2" and weighed 125. It's called muscle. I was by no means FAT and neither are you.
    03-25-2010, 02:32 PM
That chart was really interesting!

And you are not fat at 5'4 and 130 lbs!
    03-25-2010, 07:59 PM
Actually there's a lot of evidence coming out right now that restricting your calorie in-take is much more effective in weight loss than in-taking the calories and then burning them. Just a side note for those of us like me who are psycho about stuff like that lol.
130lbs and 5'4 is a very healthy weight, those little stick girls can't ride as long or hard and honestly if your thighs are the size of your ankles, you need to eat a sandwich or 40. Also keep in mind that muscle is way more dense than fat. Focus on how your clothes fit (ie measurements/dress size) vs. the number on the scale.
In dressage, a lot of the work we do is repetitive muscle labour and when working on sitting trot on a hard to sit horse or trying to half halt my horse through a flying change it becomes more of a cardio exercise. Although dressage, done properly, can leave you a sweaty mess (I will often sweat through my leather full seats), it doesn't actually burn a ton of calories, imo.
I am in school and busy as heck all the time, but when I get a f/t job and have a bit of time on my hands I'm going to start some circuit/weight training. A well designed circuit is going to provide some cardio too. But basically if you're trying to get fit for riding, cardio is a small bit of it. I can ride like three horses, clean a 26 stall barn and turn out/bring in horses in an 8 hour day but I'm willing to bet I couldn't run a kilometer the whole way through in less than like, 20 minutes lol.

I get the "riding isn't hard" and "English is sissy and easy" a lot. Luckily I have a horse that I can pile anyone on and they sure as hell don't find it easy once they start going. Invite your gym teacher to the barn is what I'd do.
    03-25-2010, 08:19 PM
Agree with all of the above! Since I've started taking dressage lessons and working on riding with my seat, activating my core, etc, I have certainly gained muscle and been plenty sore the next day. My horse isn't cake and takes a lot to convince to carry himself properly, not fall into your hands, giraffe it around the ring, run out from under you, and some days, even get going. But I probably could not run a mile very well. Riding isn't really cardio, so the exercise and muscles you use in riding aren't going to translate at all into running.

I am trying to lose some weight, just to be more fit and feel more comfortable with myself, and I don't really count riding as a real calorie burning exercise. No doubt is takes training, muscle, stamina, a strong core, but like Anebel said, it doesn't burn much calories. I'm WAY too busy right now to go to the gym, however much I'd love to, so I've started walking as much as I can. I'll hop off my horse to cool him out and walk around the neighborhood, I'll walk my dogs instead of letting them out int he backyard, and park farther away from wherever I'm going. As well as watching my calorie intake. Apparently you need to eat 500 less calories than normal each day for a week to lose one pound (which is the healthy amount per week).

So basically, doing more cardio wouldn't hurt, but your weight is fine.
Sorry I got to rambling! Just things I'm working on myself and have taken an interest in so I tend to go on and on.
    03-25-2010, 09:02 PM

So I was wondering if anyone knew how many calories that someone would burn doing first level excersises so I can show her that you do burn allot of calories and that the horse isn't doing all of the work.
She does sound a bit ignorant. Too bad you can't put her on a horse and tell her to sit the trot or drop her stirrups for 20 minutes or so. Her opinion would quickly change.

As a 125 pound 5'7" stick, I can say for certainty that weight does not always equal cardio capacity. I ride a good 60 minutes 5 days a week. After a good canter or jumping session, I'm still always breathing harder than my horse. We did a 10 mile hunter pace last year, mostly at the canter. He came back ready to 5 more miles. I came home needing a nap.

Please don't let anyone make you feel badly about yourself. If you're riding horses, I'm sure you're getting more exercise than most of your classmates. 5'4" 125 is NOT fat.

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