Why horse riders don’t need the gym

Gym membership or owning a horse? As horse owners, we get a full body workout without even leaving the stables. Here’s our everyday workout which you may already follow.

The warm up…

Like our horses, we need to warm up our muscles so we can be ready for the rest of the daily work out. This starts with a quick rug change, this is a simple task if your horse stands still and is a gentle way to warm up. The second stage is turning out, this can go one of three ways – it could be an easy stroll with your horse to stretch your legs, if your horse is keen you could be dragged to the field (in which case your warm up is done), or if your horse is reluctant to go out then you have skipped to the strengthening exercises already.

Strengthen and core…

Now we move onto mucking out which offers a full body workout. Who doesn’t love putting their horse into a fresh stable? Getting that fresh stable requires a lot of bending down, shovelling endless amounts of poo and several trips to the muck heap which should have worked up a sweat, however you need to pace yourself because the dreaded water buckets are next. Filling our horse’s water buckets is like an Olympic sport and if your horse has a 28-litre water bucket you may experience the following while carrying the bucket to the stable from the hose… uncontrollable leg shakes, your arms may feel like they are about to leave the rest of your body, an upper lip quiver and water will go down your boots BUT at no point can you let on to the rest of the yard how heavy that bucket is! Alternatively, drag the bucket across the yard.


At this stage of the workout you have a workout buddy, your horse! First getting on, if your horse doesn’t stand for you to get on, you are about to burn 1000 calories just getting him to the mounting block. You may have set out with an idea in mind about how this workout is going to go however, this can quickly change depending on your horse’s mood, his acceptance to being told what to do and even the weather can affect the workout. Pick your battles wisely!

The cooldown…

This is the best part of your exercise, putting your horse in the field or stable, getting a tea or coffee, a LARGE chocolate bar (this is ok, you have burned 1 million calories today) and sitting down. You deserve it!

What’s the best and worst part of your daily routine?

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