How does riding horses keep you fit? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 11-17-2009, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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How does riding horses keep you fit?

So I'm writing a term paper, it's due in what, 10 days, and I've known about it for 3 months (lol, procrastination).
I am looking for credible articles and other sources that are going to say "this is how riding keeps the rider fit". I know I've seen something posted on here, or another forum, but a search pulled up nothing :(
So, please help! If you have something, saved, bookmarked, or you uncle is a sports therapist or something and can be a source for me then let me know, thanks!
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post #2 of 35 Old 11-17-2009, 01:07 PM
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I had a class when I was in college, and one class period my teacher began to talk about the rider staying fit while riding, as well as various activities around the barn. You actually burned calories while your horse was walking, etc. I thought it was pretty neat. I can't remember most of the information though lol.

Try this link:
Get Fit Horse Riding - Horse Riding is a Fun Exercise To Tone The Whole Body
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post #3 of 35 Old 11-18-2009, 11:40 AM
Green Broke
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can you look up how many calories it burns? i read somewhere it's more then jogging and just under rock climbing. credible source? no idea! :)
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post #4 of 35 Old 11-25-2009, 11:59 AM
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I don't know if you still need help with this, or if what I have will be any help at all, but counts 1 hour of horseback riding as 781 calories burned. I can't link the page directly, but if you sign up and then go to 'fitness tracker' you can enter the name of an exercise and it will tell you how many calories burned. Hope that helps!
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post #5 of 35 Old 11-25-2009, 01:23 PM
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Usually, those calories burned though are total calories, not extra calories. In other words - if you would normally burn 300 calories per hour just living (basal rate), then you're only burning an extra 481. Even with that in mind, 781 seems awfully high.

I was normal...then I got a horse.
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post #6 of 35 Old 11-25-2009, 01:29 PM
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I'm sure it keeps you more flexible as well as burning calories. I know my thighs were sore from straddling my horse all day when I started, but now it doesn't bother me a bit. Plus, there's some muscle building (gotta pull some of your own weight up onto that horse).

Its also a stress reliever which would improve your health (more general health, not fitness specifically - if that's what you need for the paper).

I was normal...then I got a horse.
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post #7 of 35 Old 11-25-2009, 07:14 PM
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I remember when a friend of mine was asked what kind of exercise she does and she said horse back riding. The teacher said it wasnt excersise and they got in a big fight...
Any how it deff. strengthens you and uses different muscles

Live to ride. Ride to live.
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post #8 of 35 Old 11-25-2009, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Tasia View Post
The teacher said it wasnt excersise...
I'm afraid I have to agree with the teacher For years, I would go out on trail rides with my horsey friends - they'd be on horses, I'd hike/run, sometimes bike, along with them. And I noticed that on a good hilly trail, the horses would sometimes work up a sweat, but the riders would never sweat or seem to be breathing hard.

That's not to say that some kinds of riding couldn't be good exercise as well, but just basic riding?
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post #9 of 35 Old 11-25-2009, 10:39 PM
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Wow, I have to say riding Nelson 5 days a week has really helped me with my conditioning, and weight loss.

I have lost 4 pant sizes since I moved Nelson to the new barn, but I have to admit that cutting down my eating habits and cutting pop out of my diet *drinking water* has helped as well, of course.

I do 4 days of Dressage, and one day Jumping - and I have been slowly getting back into shape. I do nothing else "activity" wise, so I know that by me riding Nelson as often as I do, is the contributing factor to my body conditioning.

I ride about an hour a day, not including warm up and cooling off, our routine is:

WALK & Trot Work

- 20 meter circles
- Shoulder In's
- Shoulder Out's
- Haunches In
- Haunches Out
- Half Passes
- Square Turns
- Turns On The Haunches
- Turns On The Forehand

I am keeping him between my legs, activating my core, working on keeping my legs under me instead of at the girth, using my seat, keeping impulsion.

I am toning up my calves, my thighs, my tummy muscles, my shoulders

During my Jumping Lesson on Saturday's - we do alot of Stirrupless Work, we do alot of Sitting Trot *remember, we do 1/2 hour flat work before we move to jumps* and alot of 2 point work with and without stirrups.

So my calves and core burn. I am huffing and I am puffing *without blowing a house down* within that 1/2 hour work out.

To boot, Nelsons trot is very hard to sit being so lofty and powerful, I have to use alot of focus just to sit a few strides let along the whole diagonal across the arena.

Do I get a work out when I ride? Absolutely. Have I lost weight, most definately, am I getting into better condition? Without a doubt.

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post #10 of 35 Old 11-25-2009, 10:54 PM
Green Broke
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^Yeah for you! I have lost a good amount of fat because I'm riding regularly again, but have gained weight because of the muscle building.

-James- Riding is a HUGE workout for the rider if done properly. You have to hold yourself up with your core, keep your leg at the girth, and hold it there, and stabalize yourself over the center of the horse.

Jumping a horse = Getting wings!
Why live on the edge when you can jump off?- Greenwood Horse Trials Tee-Shirt
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