Can You Ride a Horse During Pregnancy?

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By Dr. Lisa Smiley | Updated on Dec 8, 2023
Image for article Can You Ride a Horse During Pregnancy?

Horseback riding should be avoided 1 during pregnancy due to the risk of falling. 

Some healthcare providers may be okay with you continuing to ride if you’re already an experienced rider, so it’s best to have a discussion with your provider to talk through your individual risks. Even for experienced riders, though, there’s still the risk of being kicked or thrown off the horse. After around week 12 of pregnancy, the uterus grows beyond the bony protection of your pelvis 2 , so there’s nothing protecting your baby from injury except the skin and muscle of your abdomen. 

If you get the okay from your healthcare provider to ride, keep in mind that your center of gravity changes during pregnancy and can influence your balance. Nausea, lightheadedness, and fatigue can affect your riding, and your growing belly can make it more difficult to actually get on and off the horse. 

Stop riding if you experience vaginal bleeding or leaking of fluid, dizziness, chest pain, headache, calf pain or swelling, muscle weakness, or regular contractions 1 and call your healthcare provider.

Pregnant woman holding her stomach on a bed with a plant in the background

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Expectful uses only high-quality sources, including academic research institutions, medical associations, and subject matter experts.

  1. "Exercise During Pregnancy"https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/exercise-during-pregnancy.

  2. "Changes During Pregnancy"https://www.acog.org/womens-health/infographics/changes-during-pregnancy.


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Updated on Dec 8, 2023

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Can You Ride a Horse During Pregnancy?

 Lisa Smiley Profile Photo
By Dr. Lisa Smiley | Updated on Dec 8, 2023
Image for article Can You Ride a Horse During Pregnancy?

Horseback riding should be avoided 1 during pregnancy due to the risk of falling. 

Some healthcare providers may be okay with you continuing to ride if you’re already an experienced rider, so it’s best to have a discussion with your provider to talk through your individual risks. Even for experienced riders, though, there’s still the risk of being kicked or thrown off the horse. After around week 12 of pregnancy, the uterus grows beyond the bony protection of your pelvis 2 , so there’s nothing protecting your baby from injury except the skin and muscle of your abdomen. 

If you get the okay from your healthcare provider to ride, keep in mind that your center of gravity changes during pregnancy and can influence your balance. Nausea, lightheadedness, and fatigue can affect your riding, and your growing belly can make it more difficult to actually get on and off the horse. 

Stop riding if you experience vaginal bleeding or leaking of fluid, dizziness, chest pain, headache, calf pain or swelling, muscle weakness, or regular contractions 1 and call your healthcare provider.

Pregnant woman holding her stomach on a bed with a plant in the background

Want evidence-based health & wellness advice for fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum delivered to your inbox?

Your privacy is important to us. By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.

Expectful uses only high-quality sources, including academic research institutions, medical associations, and subject matter experts.

  1. "Exercise During Pregnancy"https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/exercise-during-pregnancy.

  2. "Changes During Pregnancy"https://www.acog.org/womens-health/infographics/changes-during-pregnancy.


Share via