Is horse riding vegan

Is Horse Riding Vegan? The Answer Might Surprise You!

When most people think of veganism, they think of foods that don’t contain any animal products. But what about activities? Is horse riding vegan for example? I always loved horses and even rode a few times. I also took a carriage ride one time, and my mind was racing all the time. Is this ok for the horse? Or are we just using them for our pleasure? Let’s find out…

Is horse riding vegan?

No, horse riding is not vegan. While some people may argue that the act of riding a horse does not involve any harm to the animal, others may say that since the horse is being used for entertainment and pleasure, it goes against the principles of veganism. Either way, riding a horse is not considered to be a vegan activity.

Why is horse riding not vegan?

Most people love horses and see horse riding as a beautiful bond between humans and these magnificent creatures. But do horses enjoy this activity? Maybe some do but when we look at the general overview of horse riding, we can see it’s not entirely ethical. 

  • For example, horses are frequently ridden for long periods. This can lead to saddle sores, chafing, and other problems. 
  • In addition, horses are often forced to compete in shows and races where they may be injured. 
  • Finally, many horses end up at slaughterhouses after their riding careers are over. 

While some people argue that horse riding is vegan if the rider is careful and treats the horse well, the truth is that horse riding usually involves some form of exploitation and is therefore not vegan.

What happens to older horses?

What happens to the horses when they are older and cannot be used for our entertainment anymore? The cost of taking care of the horse rises because some can’t eat the same food as they grow old, or the veterinary bill rises when illness occurs. 

This means that taking care of the horse becomes expensive and their owner can’t profit from them anymore. What happens with these horses?

They are abandoned, starved to death, or sold for meat.

Horses that are used in entertainment such as racing, or dressage often face a similar fate. They are forced to work long hours, sometimes in abusive conditions, and when they can no longer perform, they are discarded.

The bottom line is that horse riding is not vegan because the horse industry causes immense suffering and death to horses.

Real cases of how humans treat horses

Horses are magnificent creatures that have been helping humans in various ways for centuries. However, there are also countless instances where humans have mistreated horses. Here are some real cases of how humans have treated horses badly:

  1. In 2020, a horse pulling a carriage in New York City collapsed and died in the street due to exhaustion and heat. You can see the disturbing video of the poor horse here.
  2. In 2021, a German coach got disqualified for punching a horse. She also urged the rider to “strike it harder” because the horse wasn’t cooperating.
  3. Another case happened a while ago, in 2013 when a trainer used an abusive training method called “biting up”, which ended with the poor horse Bella dying in pain. This method is known for using a hard hand versus a soft touch.

Some may say that these cases are outliers, but the truth is they happen far too often. By horse riding and riding with carriages we normalize using horses for our fun and entertainment. The profit-seeking businesspeople then go beyond measure to earn money on the expenses of the animals.

Do horses feel pain when ridden?

It’s a common question asked by horse lovers and those considering taking up riding: do horses feel pain when ridden? The answer, unfortunately, is not a simple one. While we know that horses are capable of feeling pain, it’s difficult to say for sure whether or not they experience discomfort when carrying a rider.

We can say that some horses seem to enjoy riding humans. On the other hand, some riders and trainers use painful methods for the horse to cooperate, like kicking the horse.

Horse sanctuaries

Horse sanctuaries provide a much-needed service in our society. There are many horse sanctuaries across the United States that provide a safe haven for horses that have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. 

These sanctuaries offer a loving and nurturing environment for these horses to heal and recover and a second chance at life and help to rehabilitate them both physically and mentally. 

One of the horse sanctuaries is called Equine advocates. It’s located in Chatham, NY. They provide a loving home to 80+ horses on a large 140-acre farm. Visitors can come and see the beautiful animals, can feed them, and learn all about their lives.

If you are ever considering adopting or fostering a horse, please consider adopting from a horse sanctuary. These horses have been through so much in their lives and deserve to be in a loving home.

See also: Do Vegans Keep Pets? The Answer That Polarizes the Thriving Vegan Community

7 fun facts about horses

We all know that horses are magnificent beings. But there are many things we are not aware of. Here are 7 fun facts about horses you probably didn’t know.

  1. Horses are intelligent animals and can learn complex tasks.
  2. Horses have good memories and can remember people and places they have been to.
  3. Horses can communicate with each other using a variety of sounds and body language.
  4. Horses are social animals and form close bonds with other horses and humans.
  5. Horses are prey animals and have a strong fight-or-flight response.
  6. Horses are herbivores and eat mostly grasses and hay.
  7. Horses require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy.

Key takeaways

Horses have been used by humans for centuries, and in some parts of the world, they are still considered an important part of everyday life. In many cases, horses are treated very well and are given plenty of care and attention. 

However, there are also instances where horses are not treated properly and may be subject to abuse or neglect.

Many people now rightfully question, is horse riding vegan? Can you be a vegan and still participate in activities that involve animals? While some people may be okay with riding a horse, many vegans may not be comfortable with the idea of using an animal for personal transportation or entertainment.

See also: Is Swimming with Dolphins Animal Cruelty? Find Out Here



Petra profile image

Hi, I’m Petra and for most of my life, I was an omnivore. A vegan couple made me curious about veganism, so I did some research. What I found out about the animals, our planet, and the health benefits of a vegan diet made me go vegan overnight. It’s been 5 years now and it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.

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