Is riding good exercise?

       The Horse Forum > The Horse Forum Community > Rider Wellness

Is riding good exercise?

This is a discussion on Is riding good exercise? within the Rider Wellness forums, part of the The Horse Forum Community category
  • English riding amount of exercise
  • Is riding a horse good exercise

Like Tree2Likes

LinkBack Thread Tools
    04-27-2012, 06:34 PM
Is riding good exercise?

I was just wondering how much exercise you really get from riding. I ride English, do lots of posting, two-point, jumping, etc...for usually 30 min-1 hour at a time. What are some physical benefits of riding? How good is it for you?
Sponsored Links
    04-27-2012, 06:44 PM
Exercise Calorie Calculator

I discovered through that, with the amount that I ride every week and the amount of work that I do involving the horses, I burn more calories than any of the other high school athletes at my school.

I bring that up whenever they try and tell me that my equestrian team isn't a real sport. I definitely think it is. My legs have more muscle than the baseball team captain....I do no physical activity except that. I know for a fact if I didn't do it, I would be gaining weight like the devil.....
    04-27-2012, 07:04 PM
Trained injury from riding prevented me from jogging for the last 3 years. My weight increased 10 lbs, my blood pressure is up 20 points, and getting back into running shape at 54 is hard. Riding is not aerobic exercise.

It is good for balance, and it strengthens some leg muscles. It stretches some muscles.
Skyseternalangel likes this.
    04-27-2012, 07:36 PM
Different forms of exercise use different sets of muscles. For example, riders use short muscles and so those will develop which is a disadvantage in say swimming. Swimmers use the lkong muscles. Take a swimmer in great shape and toss them up on a horse for a 1-hour baisc riding lesson, only up to trotting and no cantering, and see how they feel the next morning.

As for not being aerobic, I disagree. Due to being in the military I moved barns a lot and at each transfer I may have gone a year or more before finding a barn. It always took a good month to get back my stamina for riding. I would be out of breath within 20 minutes in a standard 1-hour lesson.

Riding IS exercise..not the moseying about trail riding or meandering at a walk but normal work type riding is aerobic and helps you build muscles and stay in shape.
    04-27-2012, 07:56 PM
If I stop riding for even a week or two and go back to everything like normal, I get bad cramps. This year was bad for that. We got a dressage horse in for training and I rode him the first time, tried to do a sitting trot, I thought my legs were going to fall off. I was off him for a small amount of time while I rode my own horses to find my rythym again, and when I got back on his back I did nothing but sitting trots with no cramps or soreness. Most of the peope at the barn who first start riding will be stiff as all get out the next day....Especially if they do lessons, which take a LOT out of you.
    04-27-2012, 08:08 PM
It depends on how long/ hard you ride, just like every other work out. Personally, I believe that to be in optimal shape, riding should be paired with running, swimming, or at least one other activity which works different muscles.
bsms, how long/ hard did you run before? If you were an avid runner, that's probably why riding isn't aerobic for you. For me, it's aerobic because I don't do other aerobics.
Whether riding is a work out for you depends on what shape you're in. Although I do think it's an exercise, it's not the best out there if you really want to be in shape. From 1-10, I would give riding around a 5 as a work out, and by this I mean riding for at least an hour for 4 or 5 days a week.
Although my legs are pretty muscular, my brother can run way longer than me because he's a rugby player. My dad is much stronger than me because he does a lot of strength training. If I put them on a horse, they'd die from the exertion because they don't really use the muscles that I do, just like if you asked me to do my dad's work out, or to play a rugby game, I couldn't do it either.
    04-27-2012, 08:32 PM
It keeps me toned, though everything ELSE related to horses is exercise. Especially moving hay bales, feeding, watering, hoof picking, grooming (I am such an anti-dirt person and since my horse is white.. he's ALWAYS groomed thoroughly--and loves it.)

But yeah riding is a good workout for me, since I'm still learning and you use different muscles for each gait of riding and as you progress you are more and more involved in delivering those subtle cues.
    04-27-2012, 08:38 PM
Ah, you reminded me- caring for horses/ working with horses is definitely a work out, lol.
    04-27-2012, 08:40 PM
Originally Posted by soenjer55    
...bsms, how long/ hard did you run before? If you were an avid runner, that's probably why riding isn't aerobic for you...
I was typically running 4-5 miles/day, 5 days/week at about a 7:30/mile pace. Right now, I can do about 1 mile at an 8:30 pace, and it has taken a couple of months to get to that!

The good news is that riding is like cross-training with jogging. It seems to loosen the parts that tighten from jogging, and vice-versa. If I ever get to where I could combine running & riding, I'll have legs of steel AND a strong heart.

I will also add that my overall balance is much better from riding, and that it uses muscles in my back and stomach that I didn't know existed...
soenjer55 likes this.
    04-27-2012, 08:40 PM
Depends on how often you fall, and how tall your horse is.....

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What is a good exercise routine? RoxanneElizabeth Horse Health 6 10-27-2011 04:53 PM
Is This a Good Exercise or Not? LoveTheSaddlebreds English Riding 7 06-24-2011 10:23 PM
Is horseback riding a good source of exercise? ErikaLynn Horse Riding 14 09-10-2010 06:37 PM
A Good Exercise? Meggy Horse Training 1 09-04-2010 06:21 AM
Loosening up your body-- a good exercise to try SeWHC Horse Training 8 04-13-2010 07:43 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:06 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0