Is horseback riding a good source of exercise? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 09-07-2010, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Is horseback riding a good source of exercise?

I was just wondering if horseback riding was good exercise. I just started riding more so I quit my gym membership. But can horseback riding replace running, lifting weights, crunches and all that stuff?

I ride about 2 hours everyday. And I would only go to the gym for about an hour and a half ever three days.
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post #2 of 15 Old 09-07-2010, 03:25 PM
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Riding can give you a good cardio workout, as long as you're doing more than just walking along.

However, it won't take the place of weights, running, or core strengthening exercises.

Weight lifting is especially important, because it keeps your muscles toned and in good working order. Using free weights also helps with your balance.

I used to be a gym rat. I'd spend 2 to 3 hours every other day at the gym. Now that I have my own farm, I don't have the time or money to spend at the gym. I miss it.
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post #3 of 15 Old 09-07-2010, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
Riding can give you a good cardio workout, as long as you're doing more than just walking along.

However, it won't take the place of weights, running, or core strengthening exercises.

Weight lifting is especially important, because it keeps your muscles toned and in good working order. Using free weights also helps with your balance.

I used to be a gym rat. I'd spend 2 to 3 hours every other day at the gym. Now that I have my own farm, I don't have the time or money to spend at the gym. I miss it.
I'm definitely not a gym person, I went with my friend which made it bearable, I like being outside too much...but you don't think brushing and lifting saddles (even thought they aren't too heavy) can work out your arms? or might that be too far of a stretch?
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post #4 of 15 Old 09-07-2010, 03:45 PM
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Lifting saddles how often? On and off the horse? No, that won't take the place of weights.

I didn't like being indoors but I did love the endorphin rush a good workout gave me, not to mention the physical benefits.

Mucking stalls does help with the lifting/moving aspects of a workout, but unless you're doing it for more than one or two stalls, you're not getting as much benefit as you would with using free weights.
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post #5 of 15 Old 09-07-2010, 04:28 PM
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Saddling and unsaddling horses will work out your arms a bit if you do it like I do, lift a 40lb saddle on and off between 3 and 6 horses every day. However, with just 1 horse, you won't get enough excersize to make a difference. Short answer is no, riding cannot take the place of a gym membership.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #6 of 15 Old 09-07-2010, 07:25 PM
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I work at my trainers barn and I run all over the place, saddling lesson horses and fetching more for the next lesson, then I excersize the horses and go home to ride my own. A lesson generally has six horses, and I do four lessons a day (Beginner-beginners) and almost always saddle for two more after that. I think it keeps me in shape just fine, but not all of us work at a trainers. I consider myself very lucky to have grown up with my trainer as my second mother, she does so much for me.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #7 of 15 Old 09-08-2010, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SorrelHorse View Post
I consider myself very lucky to have grown up with my trainer as my second mother, she does so much for me.
I grew up with my trainer too. And I work for him...but I also have a full time job being a graphic designer, so I don't think I get enough exercise horseback riding.
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post #8 of 15 Old 09-08-2010, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
I used to be a gym rat. I'd spend 2 to 3 hours every other day at the gym. Now that I have my own farm, I don't have the time or money to spend at the gym. I miss it.
You don't need a gym really with the farm! Picking that poop twice/day all over the place, then dragging it to the pile down the hill, changing water, brushing both horses + riding most probably equal to all kinds of workout in gym. Also loading/unloading that hay, grain, etc. gives me workout for the whole week.

But seriously I do remember reading at FHOTD blog riding doesn't help you loose much calories. But I'm almost soaking wet every time I'm done with riding. More wet than if I do a fast walk. So I'd think the workout should be pretty good.
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post #9 of 15 Old 09-08-2010, 04:30 PM
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It won't replace going to the gym, but it is a good way to excersize if you aren't into going out to the gym. I only ride and walk my dog for any real excersize (I hate gyms and stuff). Since I've been doing more in the way of riding and walking I've seen a huge difference in my waist line, core muscles, arm muscles, and leg muscles. The thing about riding (if you are doing more then just walk/trot/canter) is that it works all of your muscles.

If you use your legs while riding you work them, if you post you work your legs. When you canter and are sitting deep into your saddle then you are doing mini crunches with each stride. So personally I think riding is a good sorce of excersize but will never replace working out in a gym (unless you are cleaning 40 stalls a day)
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-08-2010, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks...I dont think I'm going to go back to the gym. I'm not trying to lose weight or anything all I want to do is be healthy.
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