Trot to be Trim, a new health and fitness campaign from the British Equestrian Federation, promotes the many health and well being benefits long associated with riding and being involved with horses.
Horse riding is an excellent way to exercise and lose weight. It strengthens all your core body muscles, tones the all-important tum and bum areas and provides a relaxing cardiovascular workout.
We all know that getting in shape requires commitment, but by taking up a sport that is also fun and mentally stimulating, you are benefiting from the best of both worlds.
Riding is an excellent way to exercise and lose weight. It strengthens your core body muscles, tones the all-important tum and bum areas and provides a relaxing cardiovascular workout. You really can trot to be trim!
Taking up riding again has changed 49-year-old Jo Shuker’s life. Having returned to the saddle last August after a 32-year break, the care home director from Warwickshire lost four stone in five months.
She said: “Riding has transformed me. I feel so much fitter and healthier and now I’m able to keep up with my granddaughter who rides.”
Jo has recently become the proud owner of Talkie, a seven year old cob. Every time she rides him in the school, she burns off 360 calories – the equivalent to an hour’s bike ride. A relaxing, hour-long hack uses up 240 calories, while 10 minutes’ mucking out rids her of a further 80 calories.
A 2011 study carried out by The British Horse Society (BHS) revealed that riding can expend sufficient energy to be classed as moderate-intensity exercise. This is the level of activity that, when achieved for 150 minutes a week, is said to keep you fit and healthy.
Kick starting your day with a hack or a schooling session will increase oxygen to your brain, reduce the risk of disorders that lead to memory loss, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and release chemicals from the brain which help to boost positive reactions. For example, serotonin is a natural mood enhancer and endorphins diminish the pain associated with exercise, both of which lead to a feeling of well being during and after exercise.
The BHS study also found that riders with a long-standing illness or disability benefit to exactly the same degree from horse riding and its associated activities - proof that riding really is a sport for everyone.
The positive psychological interaction that is forged by forming a relationship with a horse can be life-changing. When asked to rate different motivations for going riding, 82 per cent of respondents to the BHS survey rated the motivation of “interaction with horses” as either “very important” or “extremely important”. Successful relationships with horses require compassion, kindness, precision, patience, clarity and real knowledge – skills that will stand you in good stead in any other walk of life.
click on the link to see how HOOF has benefitted riding schools like Radway