It’s a beautiful day outside. You’re in the fitness center working out like crazy to keep those pounds off. Or maybe you’re working up a sweat running down the road. Have you ever seen a runner that didn’t look like they were in pain??

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE BETTER?  I know, how about saddling up a horse, finding a nice trail, enjoying the great outdoors and toning up those muscles?  Have you ever seen a cowboy that wasn’t lean? How about a Dressage rider or an Eventer?

Horsback Riding - The Whole Body Workout

If you’re looking for a non-traditional way to exercise, horseback riding may be just the ticket for you.

“Horseback riding really works the core muscles that stabilize the trunk; the abdominal, back, and pelvic muscles.” “It’s not just about the strength of the core, but the coordination and stability of it as well. The more you ride, the more the body learns to move with the horse.”

(Alison Stout, DO)

Horseback riding is a great way to exercise different parts of the body. It can be challenging and calming and a great confidence builder and at the same time a great stress reliever.

There are of course the passengers riders – riders who get on a horse just to travel. They show no effort and it is the horse who does all the work A rider rides a horse…posting trots, sitting trots along with a nice lope or hand gallop. Being just a passenger rider will not help you lose that weight or develop the core muscles you seek.

Health Benefits Of Horseback Riding

Benefits Of Horseback Riding Offers:

  • Core Strength - Riding is an isometric exercise so you use specific muscles to stay in certain positions
  • Balance and Coordination - A Rider must develop coordination skills to move the body with the horse in order to maintain balance.
  • Muscle Tone and Flexibility - The inner thighs, pelvic muscles and core muscles get the biggest workout.
  • Cardiovascular Exercise - Depending on the type of riding, horseback riding can require more effort, energy and cardiovascular capacity.
  • Mental Exercise - Confidence comes from learning how to handle and interact with a huge animal. You being in complete control of every move and every turn. Your body is working and balancing to the wonderful movement under you. You learn about yourself as you spend time on a horse.

But Wait - There's More!

An additional bonus to riding is working in the barn and taking care of a horse. Lifting bags of feed, hauling hay, shoveling, and walking horses in and out of a barn are not light tasks. These activities require a fair amount of strength and endurance.

Add getting your horse ready to ride, saddling up and lunging for a while to loosen up. Don’t forget rubbing your horse down after a ride. Putting equipment away and picking out the stall. I’m leaving out the good part…the camaraderie of spending time with your horse with all its hugs and nuzzles.

Riding Horses To Stay In Shape

Here is a study on calories burned riding a horse and that doesn’t include the before and after activity.

  • 30 Minutes - 225 Calories
  • 1 Hour - 450 Calories
  • 2 Hours - 890 Calories
  • 8 Hours - 3600 Calories

And all the while enjoying one of life’s great experiences.  How could you even think of a better way to lose weight and stay in condition?

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