How many calories do you burn riding?

Credit : Scoopdyga

Monday 18 March - 17h36 | Maxence Magnin

How many calories do you burn riding?

"I can indulge myself – after all, I rode all afternoon!" That kind of sentiment is common for riders enjoying a big, calorie-rich meal after some time in the saddle. Indeed, riding is a good justification to dig in with a clear conscience. But how many calories do we really burn riding? Horse and Hound did a test; below, some of the (average) results.

As the original article’s author points out, "Of course these [numbers] will vary owing to factors such as your weight, age and level of fitness, not to mention the distances involved in different yards, whether your horse is forthcoming or not and just how energetic your muckheap-forking is."
Cleaning out a stall with two straw beds: 175 kcal. Between the cleaning, re-stocking, sweeping and wheelbarrow emptying, an average of around 175 kcal is burned. Imagine then what the number would be for a whole stable. An incentive, therefore, for those lacking motivation when it is time to clean up once or twice a week.
Walking a show jumping course: 42 kcal. Who would have thought that? Scouting out a show jumping course burns 42 kcal. Maybe that is one of the reasons why so many riders do several laps during a competition. However, this number only applies for the first round with 12 obstacles. For a cross-country course, the course walk is much longer (approximately 45 minutes of walking) –– and the number of calories lost as well: 195.
Riding half an hour on the flat: 205 kcal. A number that will please all riders. With 205 calories burned in 30 minutes and a session lasting about 45 minutes and a class one hour, there's no need to feel guilty at meal time. It remains to be seen if the same number of calories is burned during other equestrian activities, whether that's a trotting walk, vaulting or horse-ball.
Warming up in the paddock and jumping an obstacle course: 148 kcal. In the end, this particular activity works out to 30 minutes of riding (more or less). What is not clear is at which point the most calories are burned: in the paddock or out on the course? One can also imagine that as something like a cross-country course is longer, the time of the activity is longer and the number should be adjusted accordingly. In any case, for all those who say that riding isn't a sport, these numbers speak for themselves!

Further reading...