It is a common misconception that horseback riding is easier than walking. Horseback riding uses a tremendous number of muscles, many of which you may not be accustomed to using on a regular basis, so in some ways it can actually be more strenuous than walking. While you may not feel the “cardio” and shortness of breath as in walking or hiking, your core muscles and leg muscles will need to maintain a tone throughout the ride to keep yourself balanced. Soreness in the knees, seat, and back are not uncommon on longer rides. Fortunately soreness dissipates quickly after dismounting.