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Non-horse folks may assume riding doesn’t require much effort, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, riding burns quite a bit of calories! You can enjoy the sport you love and get fit while doing it. Back in 2015, Dr. Dennis Sigler from Texas A&M University in College Station teamed up with other researchers to explore how much energy is exerted when horseback riding. Their findings are amazing!

A Riding Study

This study included 20 individuals completing three riding tests. One was a 45-minute walk-trot-canter ride, the second a reining pattern and the last a cutting pattern. They all wore a telemetric gas analyzer. Their heart rate, respiratory frequency and pulmonary ventilation were just a few things observed.

The Results

The amount of energy exerted and heart rate were greater in the cutting and reining patterns compared to the walk-trot-canter. The walk-trot-canter group appeared to achieve a greater total energy expenditure though.

How Many Calories?

A 45-minute ride of walk, trot and canter can burn up to 200 calories. If you participate in something more strenuous like reining or cutting, then you can burn nearly seven calories per minute for the whole length of the ride. Individuals can easily burn up to 400 calories a day by riding a horse! In comparison, basketball players burn 340 calories per hour, frisbee players 136 calories per hour and skateboarders 272 calories per hour. On top of burning calories, you can enjoy these 7 Health Benefits Of Horseback Riding!