Whether you're just starting to take up the pastime of riding a horse or you're planning a vacation in which you'll be mounting up to ride a trail, you want to ensure that every moment spent on the back of your animal is in the best interest of your health. While falling can be a concern for most people who ride horses, you should also be cognizant of the risk of hurting your back. You don't need to tumble to the ground to hurt your back while riding a horse. There are other ways that you can either acutely injure your back or develop pain over time. Here are some strategies that you can employ to lessen this risk.
Pick A Safe Route
It might seem exciting to ride a horse over a rugged trail, but doing so can jostle your body significantly and lead to a back injury. While you may wish to pursue this type of riding in time, it's important to get more comfortable in the saddle and allow your back muscles to develop as a result of your riding. As a beginner, you should endeavor to pick a safe and gentle route. This will allow you to concentrate on the fundamentals of riding your horse without getting bounced around to the point that you're nursing back pain.
When you have the horse's reins in your hands, it's easy to hand to lean forward toward the animal's neck. This can especially be true if you're feeling a little unsteady, perhaps due to the speed at which the horse is walking. It's important, however, for you to focus on keeping your posture upright. When you lean forward, your lower back won't be supported. This can potentially lead to a herniated disc, which is especially risky if you're leaning forward while the horse is bouncing your body around. Even as you focus on riding, you should always be mindful of keeping your spine upright.
Take Frequent Breaks
Too much time spent on the back of your horse can leave you with back pain in the days that follow. Especially when you're new to this pastime, it's imperative that you take frequent breaks. While there's no set interval that works for everyone, given that everyone has different degrees of back health, you should plan to ride for a while and then get off the horse for a bit. While off, you can walk around, stretch, and assess how your back feels. If you happen to develop back pain after you ride, seek help from a chiropractor at facilities like Regional Pain Care.