Health and Fitness


Angie Best

“Trot to be Trim is an excellent initiative for fitness. There is so much to do with the horse before and after you ride, it’s three times the benefit of other exercise plans! Hundreds of calories are used during each session and so much fun with a great sense of achievement”


Trot To Be Trim

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 get fit. It strengthens all your core body muscles, tones the all-important tum and bum areas and provides a relaxing cardiovascular workout.


  • Horse riding benefits everyone – men and women, old and young, able-bodied and disabled.
  • Riding will help you improve your fitness, build muscle tone, promote muscle strength and burn calories.
  • Riding is highly social, fun and mentally stimulating.

#trot2Btrim #givesportago


Did you know ...

that horse riding improves your sense of well being? It has the same antidepressant effects, similar to a "runner's high", associated with a drop in stress hormones!

Did you know ...

that some people with long standing illnesses or disabilities indicated an improved physical/mental condition, after going horse riding?

Did you know....

horse riding is a natural stimulator of the hormone serotonin? Serotonin is a natural mood enhancer which leads to a feeling of well being during and after exercise!

Did you know...

that you can burn as many calories trotting on horseback as you can by heading down to the gym for a lunchtime 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.

To find your nearest riding centre, click here.

To find out more about Take Back the Reins, click here.

To sign up to Hoof, click here.

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