Can You Ride a Horse With Arthritis?

Horse keepers mostly get to hear “can I ride your horse?” all the time. This simple question tells how people are fond of riding a horse and how often horses have to give rides to people of all ages. 

Horses are probably the only animals that are carrying people on their backs every single day. Camels are also used for riding but a major number of people find horse riding more fun.

The horses begin giving riding when they reach the age of 2 years and when half of their life is passed pleasing the people some deadly incurable diseases take away the ability to carry the burden on their back. 

The two most serious diseases that are proven to leave the horse questioning the existence are Ringbone and Arthritis. These diseases are still, even in 2021, incurable and the horses that get affected by any of these two have to live the rest of their life with lameness.

A few days back we discussed whether the horses with ringbone disease can be ridden or not? So let’s discuss whether the second disease of lameness ( Arthritis) takes away the horse’s ability to give rides or not?

A lot of the readers of this article might already know what Arthritis is? But those who have no clue, let’s quickly discuss it first before moving on to our main topic of discussion “can you ride a horse with Arthritis or not?”

What is Arthritis in Horses?

Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes severe inflammation in the joint. The inflammation, over a short time, damages the cartilage beyond repair, and the horse often becomes lame.

Now you know what Arthritis is, how minor it sounds, and how deadly it is. Let’s move forward and answer the most Googled questions about this topic first.

Can you ride a horse with Arthritis or not?

Can you ride a horse with Arthritis? You can but you should not. The horse that has just been affected may not refuse to take you on a few minutes ride but you should avoid riding a horse with Arthritis. 

Why should you avoid riding a horse with Arthritis?

The horse is already in pain and is having a hard time accepting the fact that he has to live the rest of his life being “bedridden” so it’s cruel to put a burden on their back that they can not handle.

Is riding a newly affected horse dangerous?

Yes, for the horse and the rider. As the horse may lose its balance and the rider may fall off and the horse’s condition may get worse even before the time.

What happens when you ride a horse with Arthritis?

The answer to this question is pretty much the same when you try to ride a horse suffering from a minor Arthritis attack, the disease, and the pain may get worse and the horse becomes lame even before the expected period.

 Horse With Arthritis

You might have got the idea from the above questions as well but to be more clear, the horses that have been affected by Arthritis but the attack is mild yet can give you rides limited to 5 or 10 minutes.  The horses that have become lame may not be able to stand with a burden on their back, let alone walking.

It’s cruel to ride

Arthritis and Ringbone disease both are called “the disease of lameness.” Thinking of riding an affected horse is similar to forcing a lame person to go on hiking. Don’t you think it’s cruel? As it’s beyond their capacity, the same is the case with the horses suffering from Arthritis.

I guess it’s pretty much clear to you that you can ride a horse that is just affected by the disease and you can not put a burden on the horse’s back that has already been taken down by the disease. Riding both newly and severely affected horses is cruel so they should not be forced. Now, discuss this disease a little for our better understanding.

Everything about Arthritis in Horses

Arthritis is incurable

Most cases of Arthritis are incurable but that doesn’t mean miracles don’t happen. If this disease is identified within a few days of its attack, there are some solid chances that it can be cured otherwise, it’s impossible to cure and control.

It affects the middle-aged horses more

The young horses seldom get under the spell of these fatal diseases but middle-aged horses that are already losing their strength get affected by this fatal disease more easily.


This disease is mostly caused by the wear and tear of the cartilage that is residing in the body to absorb the shocks. According to research gate Over time, due to heavy demanding athletic activities, the cartilage wears off, causing Arthritis that is still needed to be figured out.


Unfortunately, we still are struggling to find a cure. Early identification, can ease up the pain or inflammation for some time but the painkillers can not be taken as a cure. You should give joint supplements to horses in the required amount.


Arthritis is incurable but it can be prevented by mixing anti-inflammatory aids in the horse feed. The anti-inflammatory aids reduce the chances of Arthritis happening in the later stage of the horse’s life.


Horse riding is fun but not all middle-aged horses can please you the reason can be Ringbone or Arthritis (most likely Arthritis.) Arthritis, like Ringbone, is another deadly disease that cuts the horse’s wings away within a short period. Arthritis is simply defined as a disease that damages the cartilage and causes inflammation and pain to the horse’s joint.

The cartilage usually gets worn down due to excessive heavy-demanding athletic activities in the earlier stages of life. In this condition, the horse becomes lame and fails to welcome rides. You can ride a newly affected horse but it’s cruel as it speeds up the process of lameness.

In the end, I am begging everyone to please do not put this poor creature under a burden that it can not handle. Find a healthier horse to enjoy riding instead.

Hi, I am Waqar and active in the horse world since 2012. I have MSc (Hons) in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. I love to solve equine health care issues and note down in the form of research papers. I have written hundreds of equine health care, accessories, names, and history-related blogs. My equine related work is watering a lot of horse-related magazines and blogs.

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