Horseback riding while pregnant may not be suitable for everyone; each woman needs to consider her individual medical history and risks before making this decision.
Many doctors advise pregnant women to refrain from engaging in activities that could endanger the safety of their pregnancy, including horseback riding. If your physician deems this form of exercise safe for you however, riding can still remain part of your routine riding schedule.
Horseback riding can be an enjoyable form of exercise that is suitable for pregnant women provided they abide by certain precautions outlined below. As always, however, pregnant women should consult with their physician prior to engaging in any strenuous physical activities so as to reduce risks to their pregnancy and ensure no complications arise during gestation.
Obstetricians generally agree that for experienced riders with quiet horses and healthy pregnancies, riding should not present any particular risk during pregnancy. If, however, there has been any history of miscarriage prior to giving birth or any history of miscarriage within your reproductive history, strenuous riding activities should be avoided until after giving birth.
Riding while pregnant is an ideal way to remain physically active while enjoying activities you love – which are both good for both physical health and mental wellbeing.
Your first step should be consulting with your doctor on whether horseback riding is safe for both you and your baby. If he gives his approval, then feel free to get riding.
However, when riding responsibly and keeping an eye on your balance. Falling from your horse without wearing a helmet could prove disastrous both to yourself and to your baby.
During the First Trimester
Horseback riding can be an engaging and fulfilling form of exercise that helps keep you active while improving balance and fitness.
But be wary of horse riding during your first trimester as this increases your risk of miscarriage. If you have had previous miscarriages, it would be prudent to stay off horses during pregnancy altogether.
At this stage of gestation, the fetus will move further up the abdomen away from its natural protective surface of pelvis – making riding horseback much more hazardous and increasing your chances of serious injuries if it falls off.
During the Second Trimester
The second trimester marks an exciting time of transition for pregnant women. At this stage, your uterus will start rising above your stomach, while hormonal shifts make you more susceptible to falls or injuries associated with horseback riding.
However, you can still ride safely if you listen to both yourself and the horse, keeping an eye out for signs that indicate it may be unsafe, such as dizziness.
Avoid trotting and galloping as these activities could wreak havoc with your balance and put additional stress on the uterus, cervix, and placenta.
During the Third Trimester
As soon as they reach the third trimester, many pregnant women decide to discontinue horseback riding for various reasons, including increased back pain and an increasingly exposed/less protected baby. Without medical clearance from your physician, it would likely be wiser not to continue horseback riding during this stage of gestation.
However, if horseback riding remains enjoyable at this stage for you, take it slow. When choosing a suitable mount to ride on, choose one with smooth gaits that is comfortable to sit upon and can support a stable gait pattern.
As your body changes during gestation, so does its center of gravity, making riding less comfortable than before and more likely to cause falls or injuries should a horse strike out at you. This poses a considerable risk during third trimester horseback riding sessions.
Chris is a passionate learner and writer. When he’s not working on his blog or learning something new, he’s a full-time systems administrator and father of two beautiful girls. Chris loves spending time with his family, reading, writing, and playing hockey.