Are horseback riders athletes?
 
 

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Are horseback riders athletes?

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    08-15-2012, 12:36 PM
  #1
Foal
Are horseback riders athletes?

Yes, yes, we are. I describe myself as athletic, I consider myself to be an athlete, because I am a horseback rider. It is a whole different level of athleticism, of the body, heart, and mind.

I just am curious to see what you guys think?
Thanks.
     
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    08-15-2012, 12:49 PM
  #2
Trained
I'm not. Yes, I exert myself physically when riding, and it requires some element of balance, but I don't do horse sports & don't compete, so I'm not an athlete: "a person trained to compete in sports or exercises involving physical strength, speed, or endurance".
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    08-15-2012, 01:31 PM
  #3
Showing
Depends. Some riders are athletes, and some are simply pleasure riders. It doesn't take a lot of strength or skill to meander down easy trails on a broke horse. However, it takes a lot of skill, strength, and athleticism to cover difficult terrain, ride an intricate showjumping round, or do heavy ranchwork, to name a few. Just saying you (collective you) ride horses does not qualify you as an athete.
     
    08-15-2012, 01:32 PM
  #4
Showing
Yes, I consider myself as one (to the point of course). I tried to ride my 2 horses 4-5 times/week, and that's plenty of exercise. I could tell the difference in my core muscles, legs, etc. when I started working seriously.

However I don't consider those taking lessons once/week or going for pleasure trail ride 1-2 times/week as athletes really.
     
    08-15-2012, 01:38 PM
  #5
Weanling
Some are, but I think in general people vastly overestimate the amount of exercise they are getting from riding (and most calorie estimators online contribute to that by offering grossly inflated calorie expenditure totals). The riding that most non-professional riders are doing should be viewed as complimentary to, not a replacement for, a workout regimen.
attackships, boots and GoAppendix like this.
     
    08-15-2012, 01:40 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Nah....







     
    08-15-2012, 01:57 PM
  #7
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftXDressage    
Some are, but I think in general people vastly overestimate the amount of exercise they are getting from riding (and most calorie estimators online contribute to that by offering grossly inflated calorie expenditure totals). The riding that most non-professional riders are doing should be viewed as complimentary to, not a replacement for, a workout regimen.
DD, I have to disagree. I'm in no way professional, but I don't do and don't really need any workout. Frankly, I'm not big about workouts anyway: I believe into healthy diet and lots of moving (such as walking, cleaning the house, working in horse field or around the property, etc.). BTW I'm usually wet after I'm done with riding, and I'm soaking wet after the lesson. :)
     
    08-15-2012, 02:04 PM
  #8
Weanling
Sweating does not necessarily mean you are getting a good workout. I wear a heart rate monitor to track my workout intensity, and I can promise you that riding (even putting in serious work during a lesson) does not come anywhere close to the intensity of running, interval training, CrossFit, or strength training. Perhaps my standards of what constitutes an appropriate level of working out are stricter than those held by others, but I have seen far too many recreational riders who give themselves a free pass on working out because they ride for a few hours a week.

Note that I did not say "all non-professionals," so if you're the exception to the general rule, great for you.
     
    08-15-2012, 02:08 PM
  #9
Trained
I would consider myself an athlete. But on top of riding 1-2 horses every day I also train in the gym, do cardio and hit the hot yoga studio at least once a week. I can lift over 100lbs, curl 35lbs, run 5 miles and ride an FEI dressage test in a wool jacket, a pelt hat and in 80 degree temps. Yes I sweat when I ride, but rarely am I sore and rarely do I get taxed after a hard ride. In the gym I get so sweaty I have sweat in my eyes and sometimes can't see and at hot yoga I soak my towel every time. I would say I exert myself into an anaerobic heart rate a few times a week and regularly exercise in the aerobic region (5 times a week for 40 mins+) as well as train my heart rate decrease time (intervals) about 3-4 times a week.
I train my horses the same way. Focus on intervals, heart rate conditioning and strength training.

It takes a lot to stay fit for riding. Riding doesn't make or keep me fit, but I have to be fit to do it well.
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    08-15-2012, 02:15 PM
  #10
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftXDressage    
Sweating does not necessarily mean you are getting a good workout. I wear a heart rate monitor to track my workout intensity, and I can promise you that riding (even putting in serious work during a lesson) does not come anywhere close to the intensity of running, interval training, CrossFit, or strength training. Perhaps my standards of what constitutes an appropriate level of working out are stricter than those held by others, but I have seen far too many recreational riders who give themselves a free pass on working out because they ride for a few hours a week.
I have to work really hard to break into sweat (not talking when it's very humid, of course - that can kill anyone). And I agree completely that running or even biking is more intense than horseback riding and burns more calories. But when you have to brush, saddle, and ride for 2 hours several times a week it all adds up to the good workout. So while it's not professional (in my definition of professional), but it's not just recreational or pleasure riding - it's a real work and sometime I need a rest after.

But I see what you are saying that some people say "riding is all I need" and give self a break.
     

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