How horse riding keeps you fit and burns calories

January 2017
How Riding Enables You Stay Fit and Burn Calories

We often overlook one of the key benefits of horse riding. Of course, it’s a great (if not costly) hobby proven to reduce stress.


However, it’s also an amazing way to exercise without knowing it! We’ve crunched the numbers on typical tasks we do each and every day to look after our horses to see how many calories each task burns.


So, if you’re looking to get in better shape or just want to count those calories you’ve burnt, then keep reading!


Do bear in mind that the more vigorously you perform any of these exercises, the more calorie you’ll burn! Our data is based a person who is 5′ 8″ and weights 10 stones.


Of course, if you have a smaller frame and weight, you’ll burn slightly fewer calories. With a larger frame and weigh more, you’ll burn more calories.



Horse Brushing

Spend 10 minutes brushing your horse. Try to alternate arms for maximum benefit.

Calories burnt: 46


The Walking Lunge

Lunge your horse for 20 minutes while walking in a 10-foot circle.

Calories burnt: 79


Horse Walking

Take your horse on a brisk 20 minute hand-walk. You can burn more calories by adding wrist or ankle weights.

Calories burnt: 91


Mucking Out

Mucking out and re-bed a stall takes roughly 20 minutes.

Calories burnt: 159


Riding Flat

Riding slowly around the indoor/outdoor school or on the flat near to the stables for just 20 minutes can help you burn calories!

Calories burnt: 57



Just 10 minutes of troting will burn quite a few calories. Pick up the pace to burn even more!

Calories burnt: 74



Sweeping as with riding, exercises the whole body and is a great workout. Just 20 minutes of sweeping burns nearly 100 calories.


If you’re aiming for a trimmer waist, twist your upper body with each stroke, rather than using only your arms. You can also try to slightly bend your knees, when using a push broom and push off with your legs into each stroke.

Calories burnt: 91


Stacking Bales

Who needs weights, when you have hay bales to move?! Moving 45 Kg hay bales around for 20 minutes, is not only an impressive workout, it’s a great way to burn serious calories.


Remember safety first, protect your back by bending at the knees, and using your legs to lift the load. Consider a back support brace when lifting heavy loads.

Calories burnt: 249


Carrying Feed

Moving 9KGs of feed or water provides a good 30 minutes of exercise and helps to push up our total of calories burnt.

Calories burnt: 153



The average saddle weights 9KGs and takes about 10 minutes to mount/remove.

Calories burnt: 46