Originally Posted by ThoroughbredJumper View Post
Rough measurements, but it seems to hold true. Im 17yo, 5'10", and 145lbs. (muscle not fat)
You need to do a little comparison. Here's a link to a more extensive list of calories burned in various activities. For the 190 lb person, riding burns anywhere from 204 (walk) to 654 (gallop) calories per hour. Just sitting burns 123, a moderate walk 270, so just walking your horse isn't much like exercise at all.
At the upper end, running at 8 minutes/mile burns 1022 calories/hr, biking at a vigorous pace burns 981 c/hr, much more than even galloping a horse. Not to mention that few of us are going to be galloping for a full hour, while we might run or bike much longer. So from the aerobics POV, riding is just not that much exercise - though of course better than sitting on your butt in front of the TV all day.
Now to the muscle-building involved in various horse-related activities. Someone mentioned tacking up: you lift a saddle (mine's 17 lbs) on to the horse's back once a day. That's about equivalent to a bench press, and an untrained 145 lb woman should be able to press about 75 lbs. A basic weight training program will have you doing several sets of 10 or more reps, then move on to exercises working other muscles.
Likewise with cleaning stable, etc. If you're just caring for one or two horses, there just isn't all that much effort involved.
So I'd suggest you stop thinking of riding as an exercise, and start exercising in order to become a stronger rider.