Do horses like to be ridden?

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By Rachel

Quick Peek:

Hey there, horse lovers! Have you ever wondered if horses enjoy being ridden? Well, according to Horse Rookie, they do! But, there are some things that can affect their enjoyment, like the rider’s weight and balance, the type of riding, and the rider’s skill level. When ridden correctly, horses can find pleasure in the physical and mental challenge of being ridden, and it can even strengthen the bond between horse and rider. So, saddle up and enjoy the ride!

Do Horses Like to Be Ridden?

Many people wonder if horses actually enjoy being ridden. After all, horses are living creatures with their own thoughts and feelings. As someone who has been riding horses for over 20 years, I have come to understand that horses do indeed enjoy being ridden. However, there are certain factors that can influence a horse’s enjoyment of being ridden.

Understanding Horse Behavior

Before we dive into whether or not horses like being ridden, it’s important to understand their behavior. Horses are social animals and have a strong herd instinct. They communicate with each other through body language and vocalizations. Horses are also prey animals, which means they are constantly on the lookout for potential threats.

When it comes to riding, horses have been trained for centuries to accept a rider on their back. However, it’s important to remember that horses are not machines. They have their own personalities, preferences, and moods, just like humans do. It’s up to us as riders to understand and respect our horses’ individual needs.

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The Benefits of Riding for Horses

Contrary to popular belief, horses can benefit from being ridden. For one, it provides them with exercise and helps keep them physically fit. Riding also provides mental stimulation for horses, which can help prevent boredom and behavioral issues. Additionally, riding can help improve a horse’s balance and coordination.

When ridden correctly, horses can actually enjoy the experience. A well-trained horse can find pleasure in the physical and mental challenge of being ridden. It can also be a bonding experience between horse and rider.

Factors That Influence a Horse’s Enjoyment of Riding

While many horses do enjoy being ridden, there are certain factors that can influence their enjoyment. For one, the rider’s weight and balance can affect a horse’s comfort level. A rider who is too heavy or unbalanced can cause discomfort or pain for the horse.

The type of riding can also play a role in a horse’s enjoyment. For example, a horse that is trained for dressage may not enjoy jumping or trail riding. It’s important to consider a horse’s individual training and preferences when choosing the type of riding to do.

The rider’s skill level can also affect a horse’s enjoyment of riding. A beginner rider who is unbalanced or rough with the reins can cause discomfort or fear for the horse. It’s important for riders to have proper training and experience before riding a horse.


So, do horses like to be ridden? The answer is yes, when ridden correctly and with consideration for the horse’s individual needs. Horses can benefit from being ridden, both physically and mentally. However, it’s important for riders to understand and respect their horse’s behavior and preferences. By doing so, we can create a positive and enjoyable riding experience for both horse and rider.

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