How We Work Out: Hacking and yacking to good health

These women meet four to six times a week in Greenspring Vallley to  exercise on horseback and have some bonding time. Left to right:  Lisa Clark, riding Ben, Mary McGill, riding Muggins, Kelly Baxter, riding Bravo, Susan Arnot, riding Bella, and Amy Perlow, riding Kitty.

Meet Amy Perlow and the band of women equestrians who exercise while engaging in a little "girl talk."

Type of workout: Cross country and on-trail horseback riding in the Greenspring Valley.

Who's in the group: Three to eight women, all over the age of 50

How often they ride: They meet at least four to six times a week. After the horses are groomed and saddled, the women ride for about two hours.

How they got started: About 15 years ago, several of the women were boarding their horses at the same farm and became friends. Since then, they have moved their horses to a new farm but continue to ride together, extending an offer to other friends who have horses in the area.

Why it's a workout: Horseback riding can be a full cardiovascular workout, burning between 315-480 calories in a hour. Hacking, riding a horse for exercise, uses your large muscle groups as you squeeze and hang on with your legs. Posting, faster riding, uses your upper body.

Why they do it: Perlow, who has been riding since she was 8, says horseback riding is good exercise and very therapeutic. "There's nothing better than being out in nature, no matter what the weather, because we ride year round." She says she loves the bonds she develops with her horse and the other women in the group. "It never gets old."

If you have a group that meets regularly to exercise, tell us about it so we can feature you in our Health & Style pages. We'll want basic information about your group (how often you meet, number of people in the group, what you do and why you do it) as well as a photo if you have one. Send to or Catherine Mallette, Features, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St. 21201.