Have you ever been told by someone, that horseback riding is not a sport? Then you can easily tell that this person has never actually tried horseback riding. We all know how hard it is, right?

And you have probably  been wondering, what exactly makes you breathe faster and makes your muscle sore.

1) Strong Core

First of all, horseback riding really works out your core. Abdominal muscles, inner thighs and glutes. It happens because of the two reasons: you are trying to sit tight on a horse & your body is learning how to balance with the horse’s movements. Coordination and stability really make your core muscles work.

2) Good Cardio

A light trot metabolizes enough calories to qualify as moderate intensity exercise. An hour of active horseback riding burns 564 calories.

3) Thigh muscles

To keep a good stable posture and to control the horse, your body uses a lot of inner thigh muscles as well as your glutes. Imagine, you are trying to control 500 kg animal with the power of your thighs. Often, especially in show-jumping, the rider takes a sit-up position, which is involving a lot of glute work.

4) Strong back and toned arms

Even though you don't need that much strength in your arms, holding the rains and controlling the horse still involves a lot of work from your upper body. Sitting in a right position also improves your posture a lot if done regularly.

5) Mental State

Both exercise and spending time with animals are believed to raise levels of the mood-enhancing hormone serotonin, so it’s good for your body, brain and mood. You are probably familiar with this feeling of pleasant tiredness after a riding lesson?

6) Stable Activities

If you saddle the horse yourself, you do a lot of extra physical activity. Grooming the horse especially involves a lot of effort. And those back legs… They are pretty heavy to hold while cleaning, huh?


Riding a horse can become an excellent change in your fitness routine. If done 4-5 times a week actively it can, in fact, fully replace the gym.

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