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Calories burned while horseback riding?


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Hi all,

I'm new to the site and was curious if anyone has ever had any luck figuring out calories burned while riding?

When I finish a lesson with my coach, I've usually spent the better part of an hour cantering over jumps with small breaks in between. I'm usually out of breath, and have worked up a decent sweat during the lesson.

I've looked at the exercises listed for horseback riding, and feel that I work out far more than the calories listed. Is it just my imagination that I'm working so hard, or could their counts be geared towards a casual lope in a western saddle?

Thanks for any help!

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Original Post by glowgirl2009:

Hi all,

I'm new to the site and was curious if anyone has ever had any luck figuring out calories burned while riding?

When I finish a lesson with my coach, I've usually spent the better part of an hour cantering over jumps with small breaks in between. I'm usually out of breath, and have worked up a decent sweat during the lesson.

I've looked at the exercises listed for horseback riding, and feel that I work out far more than the calories listed. Is it just my imagination that I'm working so hard, or could their counts be geared towards a casual lope in a western saddle?

Thanks for any help!


I hate to break this to you, but the horse is doing the hard work - not you ;-) Much as you'd like to think that (and I say this as a horse rider).

You're sitting on the horse and staying on top. At most, I'd say 300 calories (but probably closer to 250).

Edit: I found this you may like http://www.ultimatehorsesite.com/info/calorie sburned.html - I still think it's an exaggeration.

But I guess at the end of the day if you lose around 1lbs a week, you're on the right track with your calculations (working on a 500kcal deficit)

I'll still take 250 considering I eat about 1200 calories a day! That's better than the 80 calories some websites list! :)

Nah, it's really not only 80calories. Not with trotting & jumping.

But I do think that link I posed over estimates. There aren't that many really skinny horse riders out there! The vast majority are quite normal to "ample" to say the least.

On our circuit, I would say it's the opposite. There are a few heavy riders, but the regular competitors who are out most of the season and ride 6 times a week to prep are all toned and athletic. I'm on the heavier side wearing a size 30 breech, compared to those who all wear size 24.

why not lend a heart monitor from someone a few times? Maybe you know some runners or something. Enter your data like age and weight and you're off.

Since I rode myself I know how tired you can get from jumping (also dressage can be really hard work).

Jo

I think it's really hard to assign a generic caloric amount to horseback riding because the amount of work you do depends on so many things (discipline, level within discipline, horse's abilities/personality). I know I work harder with the fussy older mare who struggles to find a correct contact than I do with the young gelding who is new to lateral movements but is extremely willing and accepting of the bit. Dressage can be really hard work, and I've worked up a crazy sweat in just above freezing temperatures while wearing a t-shirt while riding.

I think of riding as "fun" though and tend to ignore any calories that may be burnt because of it. The heart rate monitor is a great idea if you really want to know though!

How much do you weigh and how long was your activity?

Original Post by glowgirl2009:

Hi all,

I'm new to the site and was curious if anyone has ever had any luck figuring out calories burned while riding?

When I finish a lesson with my coach, I've usually spent the better part of an hour cantering over jumps with small breaks in between. I'm usually out of breath, and have worked up a decent sweat during the lesson.

I've looked at the exercises listed for horseback riding, and feel that I work out far more than the calories listed. Is it just my imagination that I'm working so hard, or could their counts be geared towards a casual lope in a western saddle?

Thanks for any help!

I've lived with and around jockeys all my life. Unfortunately (for them and you) its pretty insignificant.

 

But the actual physical activity of galloping race horses and cantering a jumper course are completely different. Not saying one would burn significantly more calories than the other. Just stating that although it is all considered "horseback riding" the actual activities done on the horse's back are quite different and depend on so many factors.

The calories listed on this site are somewhere between a very brisk walk and a very slow run, which seems about right in my mind. I do think there is a lot more muscle work being done during riding than running though (just judging by how sore I tend to feel after each activity), so in my opinion it's slightly more strength oriented than cardio oriented.

You don't think racehorses do long slow work - cantering, trotting, jogging etc - and that jockeys don't ride them? 

I mentioned jockeys as they watch EVERY kilo, half kilo, pound, gram that they use and lose.

I'm not at all saying that jockeys don't ride them. I'm just saying that the type of work that horses at the track need to do to be successful is quite different than the type of work that horses in a jumper barn need to do to be successful. For that reason, the type of training/schooling those horses need is vastly different, and as such the people riding the two different types of horses will be doing different types of exercise. Different types of exercise burn different amounts of calories. I'm not sure which one would burn more, but I'm pretty sure there would be some difference.

Here, I have a useful tool for you to use ... go to this website (not endorsing anyone else's website on this one but this is the one I use cuz it takes your own weight into accountablility for your calorie loss:

http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc

 

It has for horseback riding of ALL gaits (except race riding, I'm a Tracker too:) - hi other horsemen BTW:), but I am pretty sure you didn't mean that as you are in a riding school (but if it's horseracing, dressage, or western you still have to watch you weight - for your sake AND the horses, as it's the saddest thing I ever do declare I see when I see a very large person riding on a horse with thier flack jacket on and fat wings pouring out the sides:P ... poor kidneys of that horse - I think it's cruel and I am a bigger gal right now so I just stay under the horses taking care of them) lessons aren't as taxing to the horse but it's just better for the both of you:)

Good luck and have GREAT fun (it is one of the finer things in life) ... and give the horsies a rub on the nose from me:)

 

I ride and my lessons are about the same as yours, and I have it from multiple credible sources that through trotting, cantering, or jumping, you burn anywhere from 400 to 600 calories.

I know that this topic is old, but I too have this problem figuring out the calories burned. I usually go for an hour long lesson once a week (but will be riding more often when school begins - I ride for my college team) and during the lesson I trot, canter, and jump. Minimal walking/haulting breaks in between, and I am usually drenched in sweat.

I wore my HRM a few times - it told me approx. 320-350 depending on the day/horse/you know. I weigh 5'8 and am 135, 17 years old.

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