Does anyone else get a sore back after riding?

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
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I am reluctantly having to face the fact that my back often aches after riding - especially trotting on a hack. I have recently cracked solo hacking with my lovely pony and went out on Saturday for about an hour and a half. We did a fair bit of trotting and I did have to use my legs strongly at some points as he is still a little nappy. However, my lower back has ached ever since. I hacked again on Sunday and when I got off there was a definate pain. When I ride my other horse out (we only ever walk) my back doesn't hurt, but then all I do is sit there as she only needs a slight touch to go forward. My back does also ache in the school especially riding without stirrups.

Does anyone else suffer from back problems associated with riding and how did you overcome them. I know that a visit to my doctor is required but I full expect him to tell me to cut down on riding which just isn't going to happen! Are there any exercises I do to stop it aching so much? Apparently bad problems do run in my family.


BSJA-Big Scarey Jump Asso
Apr 16, 2000
UK, Northampton
I have the same problem and have had for years.
Recently found a solution that really helps. My OH bought me a back support with magnets in it. I was very dubious initially as wasn't convinced about the benefit of magnets and I had previously used a normal back support without seeing any real result.
Well I am now convinced. Even taking Ed xc practice (and running hard) 2 days in a row I felt fine after putting the support on. Normally I would be hobbling around for a couple of days after punishment like that.


New Member
Mar 27, 2001
i would get a referral from your doctor to a physio or similar, and see if you can pinpoint exactly where and what is hurting, and then you can do exercises to strengthen it. it may be that by cutting down riding a bit now you'll be able to carry on for the rest of your life, whereas pushing it now could damage the back irreparably. of course,. it might just be that you've been doing more lately as you have been working on the solo hacking, and it is just taking time for the back muscles to adjust and catch up with their increased activity.

pilates might help too, to develop the core muscles and support your spine like that, but i'd get the all-clear from doc and physio/chiro/osteo first.


New Member
Mar 1, 2005
I get pain in my shoulders and they get stiff and clicky too. Think my problem is rounding my shoulders.


Mar 6, 2006
back supports

i get exactly the same back ache after riding but i found a solution back supports they are great and you dont even know you have them on.
here id the link for where you can buy them. this is not the only place loads of places sell them.

you can also get a magnetic back strip which my friend uses and swears by thme :
try them out
from katey


Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
On an island
Yes!! I suffer from lower and upper back pain when I've been cantering on my "bad" rein! The pain is awful but hopefully as my cantering and seat improve on both reins the pain will subside. I know its the cantering that has done it - I've found a good seat and position on my good rein, it all goes to pieces though on my bad one:rolleyes: The only thing I can do is practise more and more!!! Its probably because I am tense on this rein too.


Magical Unicorns forever
Jul 15, 2002
Mafra, Portugal
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I suffer from lower back ache, and yes, riding can make it worse, in my case, specially when riding with a treeless saddle.

I manage my condition by attending at least a monthly chiropractor appoitment and treatment and occasionally I use my Prolite back support belt.
I also had excellent reviews from a friend on the Bioflow magnetic back support belt. I would love to try it.


New Member
Apr 1, 2004
Carlisle, Cumbria
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Hold up hand. I have suffered from lower back pain for a year now, following a riding accident. Luckily my father in law is a remedial massure, so when I am really bad I can go see him for free :p

I find riding (especially jumping position) causes me the greatest pain, but also my bed does not help. Currently looking to buy one of those Tempura mattrasses.

Alison x


Active Member
May 23, 2004
I do and I'm only 19 :eek: but its because I have such bad posture, always slouching :eek: Not good for hours in the saddle :)


Oct 21, 2005
yes especially if i haven't ridden for a while, or i ride a horse with a big stride. its my lower back that aches. its ok with a couple of ibuprofen though.


Cob lover
Jul 31, 2005
Well! How coincidental.... I have been sitting at work this morning thinking about how achey I feel following a 2-hour ride yesterday. I put mine down to my age (but yes I also get a bit of lower back twinge if in the saddle for too long!) . Was wondering if I should nick a bit of Cherry's 5*Superflex??? :D

Seriously though, can anyone recommend a good HUMAN joint supplement???


New Member
Apr 8, 2003
East London, UK
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I do on long hacks. I would recommend tho' if you go the back protector route don't wear it all the time or your back never gets a chance to strengthen - they are better used (IMO) for 'out of the ordinary' support... aj xx


Owner of Baileigh & Rowen
Mar 6, 2006
Central Scotland
I broke my back (crushed vertebrae) when I was younger, so I tend to have bad back problems. I used to get a sore back when riding and discovered it was due to a bad position and being tense, mainly because I'd just got Baileigh and was very tense about riding him, once I realised that, I did my best to relax, breathing exercises etc and doing exercises on his back to stretch and just get used to him. I also found my position was slightly hunched, because I'd been tense, my shoulders were up/forward rather than back, and my back was curved forward. After that I've done my best to ride with a straight back, and mostly I do, only occassionally do I slip and ''lounge'' about.

Also, collapsing a hip when riding can hurt your back, I had a bad habit of collapsing my right hip, so my back ended up curved to the right in a sorta 'C' shape. All of these bad positions, and tensions put strain on your back, which if you were riding ''correctly'' or with a good position, you wouldn't feel as much.

So, at least for me, a lot of it was just making sure I rode better, getting people to watch me, and shout when I was dropping my position, and I found my back was never as sore. Also wearing a back support belt can help, but before you do that, you really want to pin point why you are in pain. Of course with some bad backs, you always get pain, but a lot of back pain is just caused by riding incorrectly. So I'd ask someone to watch you ride, and also take note yourself of the differences in riding each of the horses, especially if you get pain with one, and not with the other.


Has anyone seen my mind?
Mar 18, 2002
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domane said:
Seriously though, can anyone recommend a good HUMAN joint supplement???

Vitamins Direct Glucosamine and Chondroitin... marvellous stuff and won't break the bank. Oh, look! They have it on special offer right now....
:D :D

Also, I don't know how good they are, but I've just bought a magnetic therapy elbow support from e-bay at a very good price, and they do back supports too and have been reccomended to me...


New Member
Nov 18, 2005
I often get a sore back whe riding but have just put it down to the fact I have such a horrendous riding position!!!!


Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
I dontnecessarily think medical advice or manipulation is the answer. After all, I was told not to ride.
Mary Poppins, i think the answer lies in moderation. If I go on a long fast hack, my back needs a day to recover. Rising trot doesnt hurt my back and I am not sure how it could, unless you are landing hard on the saddle which i dont expect you are.
But sitting trot, riding with no stirrups and fast canter bump the base of the spine. If I do too much I am in trouble.
Because I like cantering, my instructor taught me forward seat which she dsaid would reduce the stress on my back over the years to come. And she also told me that I could simply come forward half an inch off the saddle to reduce the impact too. I did this last week when I rode on four consecutive days.
Trouble is that most of the time when I am out going fast, my back doesnt hurt and it slips my mind. It is only after doing too much of it, that it hurts, which is what you have found. I dont use a back support but I do wear a body protector and know that you do too. I also have flexible stirrups, and Ariat boots with some cushioning in the soles - all supposed to reduce wear on one's joints in the long term.
In my case, I dont think exercies help. And they make my back hurt more because the trouble is degneration in the pad between the vertebrae. So there is less give and eleasticity as one gets older. In other words it is incurable. But not insuperable, if you see what I mean. A few days rest and I hope you will be back to normal.


.Love me, love my horse.
Apr 13, 2005
Down Under ... Australia
*puts hand up*

Yes .. I occasionally do also .. but thats because I have a back problem .. mild case of scoliosis .. doesn't bother me .. just makes standing up after hoof picking, or jumping a bit sore .. but soldier on :p


New Member
Nov 18, 2004
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I often get lower back pain, not originally caused by riding but certainly worse when I have been riding.

I always ride in a back support now and it is wonderful - no pain at all even after a very long ride - at least not in my back:D However I also have to stand to canter, I just can't flex my lower back without pain. Doesn't worry me hacking and I have developed great balance, I just won't ever be a dressage star:eek:
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