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Calories burned riding?

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  • Calories burned riding?

    OK, so I'm not overweight, but I've put on some fat around the waist, and I want to get rid of it!

    So I'm trying to figure out my caloric needs day to day, and am wondering how many calories riding burns? Obviously it will vary-- but I ride mostly a TB that is a T/P level horse. He can get strong, but mostly requires a lot of proper balance as he can get hallow and crooked otherwise. So we do a lot of lateral work. He's not a kick along by any means.

    What do you think? Has anyone figured it out before on here? Even a range would be helpful to know. Most exercise/ diet info I can find doesn't include riding, so I didn't know where else to turn!

  • #2
    There is this book call bottoms up my mom had. In it it had the calorie needs for 20 minutes of riding. I believe is was something like 60 calories per 20 mins.

    This is just a place to start but Idk how accurate it is.


    • #3
      Id be interested to know as well...60 cal/20 min seems low to me. But I don't know? Hmm
      proud momma of an evil grey QH/Arab who can jump the moon... and he stole my heart


      • #4
        My Lose It app says:

        General Riding: 244 calories per hour
        Trotting: 448 calories per hour
        Walking: 122 calories per hour

        I'm not quite sure how accurate it is since it doesn't entail posting vs. sitting trot or Dressage vs. hacking, etc.
        Last edited by tres grey; Mar. 27, 2011, 08:13 PM. Reason: darn typo :)


        • #5
          Calories burned depends on several things, like your height, weight, BMR, etc. But I've always estimated my calorie burn for riding ~300 cal/hour, based on calculations I've seen in various activity calculators. So really not a ton, but I prefer the trade-off of a lower calorie burn for a more enjoyable activity!
          "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


          • #6
            join Myfitnesspal.com it helps track food, calorie intake, it has lots of horse riding possibilities in the exercise database. It has helped me stay on track of my intake since I am laid up with a broken ankle.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks guys. Is myfitnesspal or some other available as an iphone app? I've thought of getting a fitness app, but there are so many! I'd be open to suggestions so I don't have to wade through a bunch.

              300/ hour seems reasonable to me. Probably less for a group lesson when you watch others go, but about right for an hour of steady dressage work?


              • #8
                I thought this was a neat article



                • #9
                  Get one of those body bug things. If I had the spare couple hundred I would. I've always wondered how many calories I burn riding.
                  - paintmare

                  Horse Eden Eventing - A Virtual Eventing Escape


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SashaBast View Post
                    I found something online that had very similar numbers to this article - the website noted that calorie burn was per hour. So, cantering for an entire hour would burn 500 calories.

                    I usually assume I am burning 350 calories per 1 hour of riding. It kind of evened out the amount of walking, posting trot, sitting trot and cantering I did per hour, depending on the type of riding I was doing (cross country schooling, dressage, jumping, etc.).


                    • #11
                      Fitday is a free calorie/exercising tracking site (not sure on app though).

                      Remember that most of those calorie calculators look at gross calorie burn, instead of net (in other words, you burn some calories, about 1500/day, just eating/sleeping/breathing etc., so in that hour you rode, you would have burned 60+ calories if you hadn't ridden, just living) so your net gain would be a little lower.


                      • #12
                        Another way of looking at the project

                        As an ULR, these are some of the things that I learned along the way.

                        The calories burned depends on the effort that a particular horse takes to be ridden. For example, a made, soft, balanced foxhunter will allow you to be out for 5 hours of galloping and jumping on difficult terrain. You still have to be quite fit to do that.

                        Muscle weighs more than fat. It is worth measuring one's body to have a sense of the re-distribution. The metabolism changes as well. I weighed the same very fit as before I got hooked on serious constant riding.

                        Since I had a low body fat index, I had to gain weight to have enough body fat to get pregnant. I had to eat on a grazing schedule to pack on enough calories, LOL!

                        Doing lots of barn work and horse care burns calories and can count for weight lifting and other exercises.

                        Whenever I wanted to look better in my clothes, I did correct sitting trot without stirrups. Bareback riding will tighten the abs and improve balance. Of course, bareback is fun on the right horse, so maybe I shouldn't make it sound like work...

                        Diet has to adjust to the work load with smart food choices. The increased energy demands mean more food fuel.
                        Intermediate Riding Skills