Can You Ride a Horse With Ringbone?

Horse riding is all fun until the thought, “The poor horse is having difficulty in carrying the weight”, comes into the horse rider’s mind. The Ringbone is a common horse disease that is affecting horses of all ages. 

Ringbone disease is also referred to as the disease of lameness and many habitual horse riders and horse owners think that it takes away the horse’s ability to carry humans around whereas as a group of people debates saying “Horses suffering from ringbone disease can still be ridden”

If you are researching whether the horses suffering from ringbone disease can or can not be ridden I’m pretty sure you have been a victim of such debates. Mostly such debates are nothing more than a waste of time as the people involved have no real knowledge they are just yelling what they find more believable.

Rest assured, you are in the right place as we are about to discuss whether you can enjoy riding such horses? If you can, then what do you need to do to keep it safer for you and the horse, and everything else you need to know about the ringbone disease. But first, for those who are reading this article solely to expand their knowledge, 

What is Ringbone Disease?

Ringbone disease is commonly called “A disease of lameness.” Ringbone is a painful condition in which a new bone encircles the pastern or coffin joint of the horse.

Can horses suffer from the ringbone disease be ridden?

Can You Ride a Horse With Ringbone? The answer is yes, you can in some mild cases and you can not in a serious condition. The horse that has just been developing the bone can be ridden but the ground should be smooth and the horse riding time be limited to a few minutes. The ringbone disease is progressive it gets worse day by day so a horse whose pastern or coffin joint is fully under the control of this disease can not and should not be ridden at all.

Riding ringbone diseases horse is utter cruelty

It’s usually impossible for the severely affected horse to carry humans or even kids on the back as their joints are apologizing for the burden. So, how can a horse who has just been affected by the disease be ridden without any regrets? I have seen people putting pressure on the newly affected horses to take them to ride but sorry to say it’s utter cruelty. Don’t you agree?

Why should the horses that have fully developed the extra bone should not be ridden?

It’s pretty obvious as it’s a disease of lameness. How can a horse who is finding it hard to move with those feet can handle a burden over their backs? 

Riding a horse s can worsen it before time

The horse can still give joyful rides when the disease has just begun affecting the movement but riding the horse in this condition may make them lame even before time. Because of this reason the vet usually restricts their masters to ride the horse in this condition.

Now you have got the basic idea as to whether you can ride such horses or not? And why should these horses be left alone? Let’s discuss what usually comes next in the listener’s mind when they hear ” They can not ride a horse suffering from a ringbone disease”

Can you ride recently cured horse from ringbone?

Yes, but not right after the recovery (If miraculously it is cured). The horse still needs six to twelve months to deal with the aftermath of this disease. In this “actual” recovery period the two bones that were separated by the ringbone start growing together to form a single solid structure. Once the X-ray gives a positive report you can now slowly bring the horse back to its routine.

I hope you got the answer to the most asked and Googled question. Let’s move forward to 

 Horse With Ringbone

Facts about ringbone horse disease

The causes of ringbone disease in horses

There could be several causes but the most common ones are; poor conformation, unbalanced shoeing, inferior hoof trimming, bone spurs, joint, and blunt trauma. However, the most common cause of ringbone disease is a joint injury that usually occurs because of high demanding athletic activity.(Resource)

Find in early stage

The ringbone is curable only when it’s detected early but It’s hard to find out about the development of the ringbone disease in its early stages as the signs are barely noticeable.

According to thehorse The only way to detect it when it has just begun affecting the pastern or coffin joint is to know the pastern structure more deeply and keep noticing it if there is any change from time to time. The signs are usually visible but come to notice only when due attention is paid.

So, develop an understanding of the horse’s most affected area to get this deadly disease cured at its earliest stages.

Can it be cured?

The vets mostly try to answer this question by saying, Ringbone disease is incurable once it reaches a certain stage. However, if it is detected early the vet can find a cure or a way to slow down the process of affecting the area. Mostly, the ringbone disease is developed in middle-aged horses and they have to live the rest of their life questioning their existence.

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The ringbone is a disease of lameness that takes away the horse’s ability to keep moving as per the usual routine. The horses suffering from this disease can not and should not be ridden as it worsens the condition.

It’s generally said to be incurable but if it’s detected at the earliest stage there are some solid chances of a miracle happening. The common causes of ringbone disease are joint injury, poor conformation, unbalanced shoeing, inferior hoof trimming, bone spurs, joint, and blunt trauma. 

In the end, I would say even if it sounds harsh, riding, and even thinking of riding a horse suffering from Ringbone disease is utter cruelty.


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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