Can You Ride a Horse While Pregnant?

Riding a horse is a joyous activity many people love. Not just for the fun though, it’s also a form of exercise that keeps you fit and healthy. But what if you’re pregnant? Is it still safe to ride a horse?

Can You Ride a Horse While Pregnant?

No, we don’t recommend it. While pregnant, you’re managing an additional life, and ensuring your safety at all times becomes your main priority.Your balance is certainly not the same as it used to. Your center of gravity shifts as the baby grows, and this could make it more difficult.

Additionally, as the pregnancy advances, your ligaments looses to prepare for the BIG DAY(labor), which might affect your stability on the horse. There’s also the chance of falls, or be thrown from the horse. Even if you trust your horse, or are an experienced rider, accidents can happen.

The impact of horse’s movement on your body is another thing to consider. For instance the trot and canter can be quite jarring and might not be comfortable, especially as you move into the later stages of pregnancy.

If you’re a hourseback riding enthusiast and you find out you got heavy with a child, the best thing to do is to discuss with your doctor. Some medical professionals might allow you to go ahead and ride in the early stages, especially if you’re experienced. However, others, like myself, would advise against it anytime, any day!

So can you ride a horse while pregnant? It’s a simple No for me. But it could also depend on some factors including your health condition, pregnancy stage, level of experience and the major one, your doctor’s recommendation. That’s why you should talk with them first.

How About If I’m In My First Trimester. Can I Ride? 

During the first trimester, many women continue with their usual activities because the baby is still very small and well-protected by the pelvis.

For experienced riders who do not have pre-existing health conditions, some doctors may give you the green light. In the early pregnancy stages, your stability and body shape haven’t changed too much, making it easier to maintain your riding routine.

However, this doesn’t take away the possibility of falling. A fall during any stage of pregnancy can be dangerous, and during the first trimester, it could lead to complications.

Furthermore, horseback riding is basically unpredictable. We know the nature of animals; calm and well-trained horses can be spooked or behave unexpectedly, leading to a risky situation.

Thus, the decision to ride or not during the first trimester should be one thoroughly negotiated on with your doctor who can advise based on your pregnancy progress,  and the vets who can track the temperament of your horse and other conditions related to the animal.

Can Riding A Horse Cause Miscarriage?

can you ride on a horse while pregnant?

It can be risky. There are chances that you can fall off the horse. A fall can be dangerous. It can lead to injuries that might go a long way to affect your baby. 

Horseback riding is a physical activity that involves movement and jolts, particularly at faster speeds or when navigating uneven terrain. These movements can be jarring to the body.

During pregnancy, your baby keeps developing. And it’s generally advised to stay off activities that have a higher risk of causing injury. While horseback riding isn’t directly linked to miscarriage, the potential risks of falling, shocks or vibrations are worth considering.

The best thing is to talk to your OB. He/She can offer guidance based on your specific situation, including your pregnancy’s health, your riding experience, and the level of risk associated with continuing to ride.

For those who love horseback riding, taking a break or reducing the frequency of rides might be a bit safer. There are many ways to exercise at this time, and your obstetrician can help you find the safest one.

Alternatives to Horseback Riding During Pregnancy

There are plenty alternatives to keep you fit. Here’s my list of some activities you could try:

  • Walking: This has always been the first on my list of pregnancy-safe exercises. It’s one of the easy ways to staying active during these delicate times; very gentle on your body and can be done anywhere. You can simply increase the speed or perhaps add weights to make it a little bit tougher.
  • Swimming and Water Aerobics:  Water activities are also a great way to exercise during pregnancy. Water supports your weight which gets you the relief you need on your joints and back while also providing a good workout.
  • Prenatal Yoga: Yoga reduces stress, enhances flexibility and maintains balance/stamina. It also helps to strengthen your muscles. Look for a class that is designed for pregnant women.
  • Stationary Cycling: Doing this is safer than biking on the road. It reduces your risk of falls while giving you a good aerobic workout.
  • Strength Training: Pregnant women can use light weights or resistance bands to maintain their muscle tone. Be sure to focus on correct form, or better yet get an instructor who has experience training pregnant women. This is to prevent risks of injury.

Can I Ride A Horse While Pregnant? – The Final Say

We recommend that pregnant women avoid riding horses. If you decide to ride anyway, make sure to talk it over with your doctor first. It’s important to take into account the possible risks – the falls, jarring motions, etc.

Every woman has a different pregnancy, and talking to your doctor prior to embarking on this decision is very crucial. Your OB knows your health history and can advice accordingly. If you decide that this isn’t for you now, there are several safer options to keep you in shape until you get back in the saddle again.

Remember, your foremost priority is your safety and that of your little cherub. If you need to take a break from horseback riding while expecting your trusty steed will be waiting for you after your baby arrives.

Georgina Austin, CNM

Georgina Austin, CNM

Hello! I'm Gina, a certified midwife, a writer, an experienced one of course, and a proud mother of twins, Noel and Noelle. With eleven years of maternity support experience and my own journey through motherhood, I offer reliable information on women's health here on this blog.

In addition to writing about pregnancy and breastfeeding, I cover topics like sexual health, birth control, egg donation, sibling relationships, and managing life with multiple children. So, whatever issue you're facing as a woman, I've got you covered!