Published by Emily Rohr.

Why isn’t riding horses ethical? Because of one word: consent. As humans, we have a fundamental responsibility to refrain from taking advantage of those who have no choice but to live alongside us. Horses are herd animals and enjoy living for reasons of their own. They can’t consent to being ridden by people—and if they could, they’d likely ask folks to hop off their backs.  Horse riding only benefits one party, and the beneficiary certainly isn’t the one being riding, bridle

Horses are intelligent and empathetic animals who’d choose to live in nature with a large group of friends and family, graze in meadows, and travel long distances, running and playing. They have sensitivities, needs, and desires that are entirely independent of what humans ask of and expect from them—and this especially includes the privilege of hopping on their backs at a moment’s notice for a ride or otherwise using them for entertainment and profit.

english riding

Would you want to be subjected to uncomfortable head and mouth gear so that others could use you as a mode of transportation? How would you feel about being kept alone and in a stable—until someone decided to use you for a ride again? When faced with the decision to ride a horse or not, whether your family wants to engage in it as a summer activity or the camp you’re going to has it on the itinerary, use empathy and put yourself in the horseshoes of the animal who’s expected to carry you (and likely many others).

horse, girl, racing

Horses—both wild and domesticated—could really use our protection and care. Did you know that all across the western U.S., the last remaining herds of wild horses are being violently rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management and forced into government holding pens? These animals are supposedly put up for adoption, but few actually get new loving homes.


Stay loud for horses—and stay off their backs. Ride a skateboard or a bike—not someone who lives, breathes, and feels. If you want to do more for horses, share this article to inform others that these animals aren’t ours to ride.

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