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Benefits of Horse Riding While Pregnant

Benefits of Horse Riding While Pregnant

It's normal to feel protective and risk-averse during pregnancy, but it's also difficult to give up on your horseback riding activities. On the surface, riding a horse while pregnant seems like a risky activity for your pregnancy and your own safety. Can you go horse riding while pregnant? The fact is, the benefits of horse riding while pregnant are many, although you should balance the benefits with your comfort level and the changes in your body. Ultimately, you should consult with your gynecologist about the possibility of riding while pregnant before you put your foot in the stirrup.

It's a known fact that women who exercise during pregnancy are less likely to suffer from pregnancy-related issues with their bodies. There are benefits of horse riding while pregnant, especially in the first and some of the second trimester, but you'll want to stay off the horse as your pregnancy advances. Many women ride during the early portion of their first trimester because they're unaware they're pregnant, and benefit from the activity. 

Horseback riding strengthens all major muscle groups of the body. In turn, strong muscles support the skeleton and make movement easier. The core muscles on a rider are more developed, as are the muscles and ligaments in the hip and pelvis. These muscles are key when giving birth, and riding during pregnancy keeps them strong. Riding at the walk or a slow trot work works out these areas, and the speed won't push you out of your comfort zone as you ride while pregnant. You don't lose your conditioning immediately once you stop riding, but you can maintain your strength by taking pre-natal exercise classes. 

There are emotional benefits of horse riding while pregnant as well. You're more relaxed and in a better frame of mind after engaging in an activity you love. Lowering your stress levels helps you tolerate the changes to your body and makes it easier to handle daily life during your pregnancy. 

What Risks are There?

Outside of the potential for losing the pregnancy after a fall or kick to the abdomen from a horse, the risks of riding a horse while pregnant are mostly the same as riding when not pregnant. However, the advice of "it's different for everyone who rides while pregnant" is applicable when it comes to the risks. Many top riders have competed in equestrian events during the early stages of their pregnancy, but most of them stopped once they didn't feel it was safe to keep riding. 

During the first trimester, the fetus is still within the pelvic girdle and protected. As the pregnancy progresses into the second semester, the baby starts moving upwards and out of the protection of the pelvic girdle. Your center of balance also starts to change, and you may not feel as stable in the saddle as you once did. The baby is more exposed than it was during the first trimester, and a fall or other type of collision with a horse can result in an emergency situation for the mother and her unborn child. 

At Equoware, we want to help you be the safest you can be as you ride your horse while pregnant. We carry a full range of quality safety equipment that protects you from serious injury in the event of a fall. 

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