In which saddle do you think you get a more calorie-burning workout: the pleather one on the exercise bike at the gym or the one you place atop your horse’s back? I’m assuming since you are reading a blog with the words “saddle” and “horse” in the name that you are like me and prefer horseback riding over spin class and hope it’s riding. Well, equestrians, rejoice! The results based on data from my Fitbit Blaze are in and riding seems to be more rigorous than spin class. (For me at least–each of us is an individual so your workout might yield different results.)
If you glance at the image of my Fitbit workout log, you’ll see that on March 6th I burned 473 calories riding less than an hour! That lesson was a private one and we worked on trotting most of the lesson. Serpentines and trotting poles and spirals in and out with a few canters thrown in all amounted to almost 500 calories burned. Burn, baby burn.
If you noticed the Friday lesson (also a private) burned fewer calories. During this lesson the instructor broke down my position and built it back up all shiny and new. She was merciful enough to let me do more walking than usual so I could get used to my improved seat. She required me to squat to sit into the saddle. Bye, bye chair seat!
I believe this was the first riding lesson I’ve ever had that gave me the same pain in the butt (literally) and quads like a squat workout at the gym. The phrase “Baby Got Back!” ricocheted in my brain while I cantered. I’m sure I wore an about-to-crack up grin the whole time.
Spin Class Riding
Moving on to the pleather saddle. . . If you look at the Saturday spin stats I burned fewer calories but had a higher heart rate. I sweat way more in a spin class than I do riding, which I don’t get. (Anyone who can explain that in the comments section will get a gold star). By the way, this particular spin class was taught by someone who could easily have been Richard Simmons’ brother (he high-fived us individually during the class and served up slightly raunchy comments here and there), and he made us post constantly. He didn’t call it posting, mind you, but “up and down.” It was on the more intense side of the spin spectrum.
Our bodies are all unique and perhaps for some people spinning is a more intense calorie-burning session, but I was happy to have further evidence that riding is exercise and when I choose saddle time at the barn, I’m making a healthy lifestyle choice as well as connecting with and enjoying my horse.
Your Turn: Have you found workouts that are on par with or more intense than riding? Share your story in the comments section!
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