Riding while pregnant is a personal decision that must be discussed with her physician. Some pregnant women claim it provides excellent exercise, while falling off a horse could pose significant dangers both to mother and fetus.
Horses pose the potential risk of trauma in many forms, from kicks and bites to being trampled underfoot.
Consult Your Doctor
As is always recommended, it is wise to consult your physician before riding horses during pregnancy. Your provider can offer guidance tailored specifically to your pregnancy journey.
Riding can be an exhilarating yet strenuous activity that puts pregnant women’s pregnancies at risk. Riding requires frequent movement and bouncing which could put internal injuries to your fetus as well as increased preterm labor risk for women who ride.
Women generally can continue riding as long as they take some precautions. To be on the safe side, riders should avoid jumping or racing their horse and engaging in any type of bouncy activity like dancing. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to drink plenty of water prior to, during, and after their ride; their balance may shift during gestation making it more challenging to remain on top of their horse.
Listen to Your Body
Riding horses can be fun and an excellent way to bond with a horse, but it comes with risks. Women can be thrown off, kicked or have the placenta detach from their uterus during riding sessions which poses serious health concerns for both mother and baby. If you are experienced at riding and not yet in your first trimester it may be okay but only on very well-behaved and balanced horses without flighty or spooky tendencies.
As pregnancy advances, expectant moms typically find it increasingly challenging to keep up with their horse riding skills – eventually it becomes unsafe to continue. By the third trimester pregnant women often struggle with maintaining balance during horseback riding as their bouncing can become uncomfortable or even painful. Relaxin hormone released by their bodies as preparation for labor and delivery further affects muscles and joints and makes keeping a firm seat challenging.
Stop if You Feel Uncomfortable
As women progress through each trimester, their center of gravity shifts and their balance becomes compromised, which makes riding more difficult even for experienced riders.
Riding during the first and second trimesters may be safe, but it would be prudent to refrain from riding as soon as the third trimester begins due to increased risks associated with growing uteri and possibly detaching placenta.
Women who ride professionally and engage in vigorous exercises such as barrel racing or calf roping may want to put off participating until after giving birth, however those used to less rigorous workouts that don’t have a history of miscarriage should usually continue riding without experiencing too many issues; just remember to listen to what your body needs, take it easy, use an adequate riding body protector and follow any advice given by their physician regarding when it is safe for you to ride again.
Don’t Overdo It
Pregnancy-safe riding should not exceed 25 rides during each trimester due to weight gain during gestation; this could affect your equilibrium and make staying in the saddle harder; in addition, your uterus will move further forward than normal and this could cause discomfort.
Horseback riding during pregnancy carries several potential dangers, with falls off or being kicked by horses being the biggest. While these risks are potentially hazardous to non-pregnant riders, they can become especially deadly for pregnant riders as miscarriage risks could potentially increase exponentially.
Continuing horseback riding while pregnant requires selecting well-trained, calm horses. Furthermore, any strenuous activities or jumping should be avoided since additional pressure on the abdominal region increases the chances of falling off.
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.