Probably every female rider of the age of having children (I include myself) has at some point asked herself if she would keep riding or not after knowing she is pregnant. It is a difficult choice for all of us. Either because we would have to let our first source of happiness on stand-by or in some cases (professional riders) stop our careers completely and at the same time our first source of income. All I can do from my humble position is to share with you some information I consider important about horse riding while pregnant, but it is always going to be your body, your life, and your decision.
1. Doing sports while you are pregnant has many benefits for you and your baby.
Several studies have found that exercising during pregnancy is beneficial for both mother and baby. Staying physically active reduces the probability of suffering from diseases and complications, helps shorten the duration of labor, as well as helps improve the neuromotor development of the baby. Labor is like a long-distance run, you have to arrive in the best physical and emotional conditions.
It is important that before starting any sports practice, you have medical consent from your gynecologist to rule out any risk during pregnancy.
2. Horse riding has the risk of falling.
Unfortunately, horse riding has a higher risk of accidents. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how good of a rider you are, there are many unpredictable factors and horse riding is not one of those sports where you can have everything under control. Everyone can suffer from an unexpected fall, amateur or professional. It doesn't matter how good you know your horse, they are unpredictable!
3. Talk about it with your obstetrician.
The decision to ride while pregnant is personal and made by the rider itself, ideally after a conversation with the obstetrician. A specialist opinion must be sought, to find out if there are any other medical issues or previous miscarriages.
Some obstetricians affirm that there is no problem in riding a horse in the first 12 weeks, as long as you are an excellent rider, regularly practice this sport and master it, ride short periods, without jumping, and ride very slowly. However, after that time the fetus has moved from the pelvic girdle (the bony structure that protects it in the first trimester) and, although it is protected by the uterus, placenta, and layers of muscle and skin, a strong stroke can be harmful, even inducing to premature labor.
4. General recommendation.
However, as there are always risks, it is generally recommended to avoid horse riding from the moment you find out you are pregnant. Look for other more suitable exercises such as swimming, yoga, or pilates.
Who knows, it might be a time to get to learn new things and explore your body on a whole new level! Maybe you even learn new things about yourself!🧡