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Riding Equivalence to Exercise?

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  • Riding Equivalence to Exercise?

    This is a bit of an odd question, but I am curious. How closely related is riding (serious riding, not just sitting on the horse, etc) to aerobic exercise, if at all? I am asking because I'm trying to gain weight, and I'm concerned that riding too much will be counter-productive (like aerobic exercise is). I'm hoping riding isn't so much of a cardio-type activity.

  • #2
    In my experience, riding is not an intensive cardio activity. Certainly it will raise your heart rate SOME, but unless you are galloping around on XC or something of that nature, it'll probably be about as much as a brisk power walk around the neighborhood.

    I know that in terms of cardio, I work WAY harder when I use My Fitness Coach on the Wii or go for a jog around the neighborhood.

    In terms of muscle building, though, the riding is outstanding for your lower body. I have glutes and hamstrings of steel.
    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


    • Original Poster

      That makes me happy. Thanks!


      • #4
        What the other poster said. As for gaining weight--I suggest lots and lots of PB, whole milk and ice cream! YUM!


        • #5
          riding isn't going to make you looooose weight... you might get some tone (I doubt it) but you *might*

          you should be fit to ride not ride to be fit.

          as far as gaining weight? I'm assuming you want healthy weight rather than unhealthy weight.

          Carbs are going to really bulk you up... but I suggest you make sure your diet is balenced.

          Exersice properly. Don't focus on high cardio activities. I.E. if you can go run for an hour or take a kick boxing/kettle ball/ step class: take the class.

          You want to build muscle, not fat: and the best way to do that is break the muscle and make it grow bigger, if you lift at all, you want to lift heavier weights with less reps. That will help you bulk a little better. =)

          But ice cream works too!


          • #6
            somewhere out there is an equivalence chart; x minutes of posting trot = y calories, etc. it's ballpark, of course, but i remember seeing it someplace.... -pondering-



            Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry.


            • #7
              Unfortunately for some of us, fortunately for you...riding isn't much in the way of cardio-exercise. It doesn't raise your heart rate enough, nor is the elevated heart rate sustained for a long enough period (at least 20 minutes).

              It will help strengthen specific muscles but it still isn't going to be enough on its own to build muscle.
              Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
              Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


              • Original Poster

                Thank you so much! You all have really helped! I'm glad riding isn't going to be counter-productive to weight gain.

                Oh and I am definitely eating peanut butter!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Icecapade View Post
                  riding isn't going to make you looooose weight... you might get some tone (I doubt it) but you *might*
                  I have to disagree, I have a young WB who is on the lazy side. I've lost 15 lbs. since I started riding him and I do get a good cardio workout.
                  I think it all depends on what type of riding you do.


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by Queen Latisha View Post
                    I have to disagree, I have a young WB who is on the lazy side. I've lost 15 lbs. since I started riding him and I do get a good cardio workout.
                    I think it all depends on what type of riding you do.
                    I do hunter/jumper...but I only jump once a week or so. I do tons of flatwork and no stirrups.

                    My horses I ride definitely don't need a lot of leg, though.


                    • #11
                      I have to chime in....sitting trot, medium trot, medium canter, not to mention the extended gaits, and not be sweating and breathing deeply.....maybe my trainer is a taskmaster, but she works me HARD and there are days I sure am sore.

                      There is a reason that the windshield is larger than the rear view mirror!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DarcyW View Post
                        I have to chime in....sitting trot, medium trot, medium canter, not to mention the extended gaits, and not be sweating and breathing deeply.....maybe my trainer is a taskmaster, but she works me HARD and there are days I sure am sore.

                        Breathing deeply and soreness do not a cardio workout make.

                        Unless you are not in very good shape to start with, you won't be able to get your heart rate into the target zone. If you did manage to get it there, you wouldn't be able to keep in there for the recommended 20 minutes to receive any benefits.

                        Sure, some horses are easier to ride than others (mine's a bit of a workout for those who are used to riding the more forward sort) but even the lazy ones usually don't provide enough exercise to be of cardio value. I wish is were different, but it's just not.

                        Now, someone could lose weight "due" to riding for many reasons...more time spent at the barn = less snacking at home. And who just sits around at the barn? I know I'm constantly moving from this task to that task, some of them VERY physical, etc. It's just a more active lifestyle in general, so there could easily be weight loss that is based on a multitude of variables other than saddle time alone.
                        Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                        Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


                        • #13
                          I absolutely disagree with all of you who say you don't lose weight when riding. Maybe it's because of the type of riding I do, but I have lost copious amounts of weight by riding.

                          I'm not a passive passenger however; I often find myself breathing quite hard and working working working. My horse is an extremely difficult ride though - getting on the 3 year old just broke horse with 2 rides on him? That's a picnic by comparison!

                          Fwiw I always seem to find myself working harder when I ride Saddle Seat as opposed to hunt seat - breathing harder, sweating more, etc.