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Riding while pregnant

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  • Riding while pregnant

    I know there are many different views of riding while pregnant. My friend is currently 3 months pregnant and is still riding, and plans to until she doesn't feel comfortable anymore. What are your opinions? Is it safe?

  • #2
    Originally posted by area1eventer View Post
    I know there are many different views of riding while pregnant. My friend is currently 3 months pregnant and is still riding, and plans to until she doesn't feel comfortable anymore. What are your opinions? Is it safe?

    It's a very personal decision. To me, each woman should make their own choice depending on their health etc. I know many many MANY woman that rode well into their 6-7 months. Typically careful of what horses they got on.

    I think they were probably at a higher risk getting in a car....give the driving we have around here!
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


    • #3
      From ACOG (American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology)

      Paraphrase: "In general, activities in which there is a high risk of falling, such as gymnastics, water skiing, and horse back riding, should be avoided."


      "Similarly, recreational activities with an increased risk of falling, such as gymnastics, horseback riding, downhill skiing, and vigorous racquet sports, have an inherently high risk for trauma in pregnant and nonpregnant women. Those activities with a high risk of falling or for abdominal trauma should be avoided during pregnancy (9)."

      As a pediatrician specializing in the care of children with chronic illness including a multitude of ex-premature infants, I would not personally ride past the first trimester (and riding during the first trimester I would realize I had a high risk of miscarriage if I fell) which is one (of many) reasons, my husband and I decided not to have children. I figured if I was not ready to make the sacrifice of not riding (and of making sure I got home from work at a reasonable hour), I was not ready to make the many, many, many sacrifices parents make daily for their children. Parenting is the most rewarding AND hardest job humans ever do. Giving up riding for a period of time is only the tip of the iceburg.

      As to riding a safe horse, I have a friend who broke her pelvis riding a safe trail horse who stumbled and fell on her. Riding is FABULOUS but it is always dangerous. Driving a car is dangerous also, but you have to do it to get places in the modern world. You do not have to get on your horse.

      I realize this is going to make many people angry, and a bunch of people will have stories of how they rode until delivery and were fine, but you should know you are putting your pregnancy at risk when you ride. What you decide to do with that knowledge is your own choice.


      • #4
        Agree w/ BFNE....say Hi to Tara @ Plantation today


        • #5
          Originally posted by Wits End Eventing View Post
          I realize this is going to make many people angry, and a bunch of people will have stories of how they rode until delivery and were fine, but you should know you are putting your pregnancy at risk when you ride. What you decide to do with that knowledge is your own choice.

          I don't think you should make people angry. This is why I said it is a very personal decision. It is a high risk. But life has a lot of risks. Some people will not ever ride a horse ever....or let their kids ride a horse because of the risks. My point about the car is at least with horses....people generally are thinking about the risks...but you have significant increased risks just getting in that car that we often do without thinking.

          To me, it is a decision to be made between the parents, with knowledge of the risk....and discussions with their doctors.

          I know people who continued to ride....many. And also know others who chose not to ride. I don't judge either.
          Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Apr. 14, 2012, 03:54 PM.
          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


          • #6
            It is up to each individual to decide for themselves, along with their family and doctor. I rode until almost 7 months. My horse is fairly predictable and safe. It's also not like I was jumping round Badminton or anything.

            The number one cause of miscarriage and death to pregnant women is car accidents. Number two is domestic violence. (FWIW.)


            • #7
              I rode and jumped till the end of my first trimester. Then I cut back to flat only, and stuck to hacking/trail riding the "retired" old guys. When we discussed the risks with DH and my OB we came to the general conclusion that for us the risks of riding were lower than the risks of my increased stress and the meds needed for removing my 'natural antidepressant'

              However, I also had other friends that were more high risk and quit riding immediately, and some who just chose not to or were not comfortable on a horse anymore.
              You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!


              • #8
                It is none of anyone's business but yours, the daddy's, and your doctor's. Everyone has a different tolerance for risk. Eating fast food is risky. Lying out in the sun is risky. Walking down stairs in high heels is risky. Driving in a car is bloody PERILOUS. Alcohol is poison. And so on and so forth. "Safe" is relative.

                Get used to people inflicting their opinions on you--it comes with the belly. If you want opinions, you will certainly get them, but nobody's is really that important other than the 3 people I mentioned.

                Personally I rode early in my pregnancy, but then stopped. Just didn't seem like something I wanted to keep doing. My reasons are, and were, my own and have no relevance whatsoever to anyone else.

                Congratulations and good luck! I loved being pregnant but the apparent dissolution of normal barriers of good manners, personal space, and inappropriate questions that occur when people see a pregnant woman drove me batsh*t crazy.
                Click here before you buy.


                • #9
                  every time I read these "should I ride while pregnant" posts, and the following proud posts of "well I rode until....", I just cringe. And while I dislike discussing it in a public forum, I've seen enough of these pregnancy posts to finally decide to add my personal opinion, as the "worse case scenario" is seldom brought up. Yes, it is a personal decision. No doubt about it, but make it an EDUCATED personal decision, please. I've been riding for 30 years. I can ride, I can handle a hot horse, an easy horse, etc. Yes, horses are unpredictable, etc. Yes, a car is dangerous, life is dangerous, etc. Riding-related, or not, acknowledge what you are putting on the line for the short-term period of riding while pregnant. (And whether you planned the pregnancy, or not, the reality of it is that it puts you in a position that you are no longer thinking about just yourself.)

                  Unless you have actually experienced a pregnancy loss, you may have absolutely no idea what it is REALLY like to go through the experience. I would not wish it on anyone. We lost our daughter at 7 1/2 months (never found out the "why," most stillbirths [6 out of 10, based on the research I did] go unexplained). And it happens more often than people openly talk about. It is a "taboo" topic, people don't like to think about it. I'm talking about the late term loss, not just the early loss. That is the plain and simple truth.

                  Ride, don't ride. It is your choice, but be fully educated about the risk, and be willing to take them head-on, should a riding-related accident put your pregnancy and unborn child at-risk. Putting the foot in the stirrup is your choice alone, make it wisely. If you think taking off at-most 9 months is a "sacrifice," what until you see what other "sacrifices" parenthood requires of you. I will add, we were able to have another child after our unexplained loss, and I am at peace with the sad loss we experienced, but after losing our first daughter, I take nothing for granted, and realize all too well that nothing is guaranteed in life, and things can change in an instant. Don't take it lightly, don't take it for granted, and be responsible for whatever choice you make, own it.
                  “Always saddle your own horse. Always know what you’re doing. And go in the direction you are heading.” Connie Reeves
                  Jump Start Solutions LLC


                  • #10
                    PS - I realize the OP is not the one pregnant...the use of the 2nd person pronoun "you" in my previous post should more appropriately be the third person use of "one."
                    “Always saddle your own horse. Always know what you’re doing. And go in the direction you are heading.” Connie Reeves
                    Jump Start Solutions LLC


                    • #11
                      I've actually don't A LOT of thinking about this subject because at some point, we (mostly DH ) want children. Before I get flamed for that statement, we have discussed children. Ideally we will wait at least 3-4 years, and are taking any and all precautions.

                      My instincts tell me I will ride when I'm pregnant, at least to a point. However, I know DH will probably have a heart attack at the mere thought. I also know that I will never truly KNOW until I am in that position, plain and simple. But, it is a personal decision. Risky? Yes. But considering where we live I would feel safer getting on the back of my horse than driving down the 15.

                      Like I said, I won't know until we cross that bridge, hopefully in the far future. But, it will be a hard decision either way. I do feel better knowing there are others who have gone through it, both riding during pregnant and not, that I can ask advice from when I do get there.
                      runnjump86 Instagram

                      Horse Junkies United guest blogger


                      • #12
                        I needed a good laugh...and thanks barnworkbeatshousework

                        "If you think taking off at-most 9 months is a "sacrifice," what until you see what other "sacrifices" parenthood requires of you."

                        No truer words were spoken.

                        Riding while pregnant, I agree with other posters, a decision that should be made with knowledge of the consequences, but a personal one.

                        I intended to ride until the end of my pregnancy and was sure I would be back in the saddle immediately post partum. Hormones do strange things...during the first trimester, it suddenly seemed like the better choice not to ride and I didn't get back in the saddle until after baby was 4 months old. For me, it changed me plain and simple.

                        So, even if you know what you plan on doing, allow yourself wiggle room to change your mind.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by flbay View Post
                          So, even if you know what you plan on doing, allow yourself wiggle room to change your mind.
                          Yep. I rode for a while, with my doctor's blessing (he felt that it was better for me to keep doing stuff I was used to doing, exercise wise, for as long as I could). I changed my habits a bit, stopped jumping, and stuck to horses I felt were safer (which, interestingly, meant riding the 4 YO off-track filly instead of my own 9 YO draft cross).

                          I stopped because the filly left and my own horse was too wide and was uncomfortable to ride. Also I was "high risk" and on blood thinners, so it was sort of a perfect storm. I had all kinds of intentions of getting back in the saddle ASAP, but have yet to do it (my first attempt last weekend was foiled, by, get this, my horse's sympathy weight gain which left him too big for all the girths I could find. go figure.)

                          It's all about perspective, I'm starting to get the itch to ride (badly!) but at the same time, I view it as a short time in my life, and have been (pleasantly) surprised by exactly how much I want to be with kiddo ALL the time. I'm surprised by how much instinct really does take over and how much I loathe separation, and riding just isn't so important anymore even though a big part of me is aching for it.

                          As far as riding during pregnancy - I don't judge anybody. I know several ladies who were out galloping racehorses through 7-8 months. I would have ridden longer if it was comfortable and my horse wasn't a spook machine.
                          Last edited by caffeinated; Apr. 16, 2012, 09:44 AM.
                          "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                          My CANTER blog.


                          • #14
                            It is a very personal decision. One that should be made with doctor and father. Although my doctor said keep doing what I have been doing in life until its uncomfortable. Your body is use to riding or any other sport keep doing it.

                            I rode until 7 months and did my T3D at 11 weeks pregnant. This was a very person decision that was made with the hubby. Talking with the doctor driving in the car is the most dangerous thing I do! Although I did not jump after my T3D and stuck to just flat work. Only on my cob too. He is very protective of me! I’m now grounded and counting down the weeks until this future pony rider arrives. It’s all worth it!

                            Very few people knew I was pregnant at the T3D and not many were shocked afterwards that I still went for it! If they were shocked they kept it to their selves which I appreciate!

                            A friend of mine was high risk pregnancy and could not ride at all. The doctor put her on bed rest right after her first trimester. So it really depends on the pregnancy and personal decision. Although I don’t think it’s anyone’s place to sit back and judge their decision to ride or not to ride.


                            • #15
                              I am pregnant right now (24 weeks) and posted about this myself a few times before getting pregnant and after we conceived as well. I was SURE I'd be riding until I was too big to get on and off. SO SURE! Alas, my Mommy instinct seems to have kicked in and riding just seemed like a more and more scary notion as the days passed. Not because my horses are crazy - they are all very sensible. But that doesn't mean they can't trip or spook at something unforseen. I was VERY surprised that I no longer felt comfortable mentally before it was a physical issue. I could still be riding now, physically. I am not big, I don't have a belly unbalancing me (just a little bump still), but when I think about getting on, it's just not worth it - which is hard while everyone is starting the show season and the weather is gorgeous! So I'm lunging and ground driving the boys and doing general ground work with them, and my friend is coming 3x a week to ride them (which REALLY helps my sanity, knowing they are staying in work so when I am ready to ride again, they will be ready to go).

                              I also had a miscarrriage with my first pregnancy at 8 weeks (I was out of town with work when it happened), so I don't know if that made this one more real or if I would have been like this anyways, but I am content to wait until she (yes, it's a GIRL!!) is born to throw a leg back over, which I never thought I'd say. Yes, I miss it, yes I wish I was out XC schooling over the weekend with my friends, but if I want to, I can go in the fall and next spring and the spring after that....

                              It really is a personal decision and I now know from experience you don't know what decision you will make until you are pregnant yourself!

                              Originally posted by Eventcrazy View Post
                              So it really depends on the pregnancy and personal decision. Although I don’t think it’s anyone’s place to sit back and judge their decision to ride or not to ride.
                              THIS!!! ^