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If you’re an equestrian who’s managed to find someone who will tolerate your many trips to the stables and love you despite (or because of?) the fact you always smell of manure and fly spray, congratulations! Getting engaged or married is an exciting time, and chances are you have a ring you can’t wait to show off. If this is you, you’re probably asking, should I wear my engagement ring while horse riding? 

Unfortunately, the answer is no, you should not wear your engagement ring or wedding band when riding a horse. Wearing a ring while riding is a safety hazard, as it could get caught on the reins, lead rope, or part of the saddle. This could lead to serious injury, such as a broken finger or even amputation. For your safety, it is best to take off your rings before riding.

I speak from experience. While I’m pretty good at remembering to take my rings off before getting in the saddle, there are some days I just forget or my breeches have a hole in the pocket or I don’t want to risk it getting lost in the abyss of the tack trunk. 

A person wearing an engagement ring while riding a horse
What not to do

And while I got away with it for years, there was one day when I fell off the horse I was riding and jammed my finger really good. I immediately tried to take my ring off and while I could move it, I couldn’t slide it up over my ring finger knuckle. I figured it was okay, and climbed back on Libby to ride for a few more minutes.

After my ride, I tried to take it off again and could not even move my ring. My finger had swollen so much that my ring was stuck, and I started to panic a bit. It can be dangerous to have a ring stuck on like that and limiting blood flow. Normally if you have a ring stuck on your finger, you would need to ice and elevate it. But when you’re at a barn, ice isn’t an option. 

Thankfully, I remembered the barn owner kept a mini fridge stocked with water bottles. So I grabbed two, sandwiched my finger between them, and walked around the area with my hands on top of my head. It took many, many laps, but eventually the swelling reduced just enough for me to pry the ring off my finger. 

Between jamming my finger and the humidity, I wasn’t able to get my ring back on comfortably for weeks. I still don’t feel like it fits right, and may need to get it resized. 

All that to say, don’t wear your ring while riding, or even while at the barn. 

Wearing a Silicon Ring While Horse Riding 

If you really do want to wear a wedding band, you can switch out a metal one for a silicon one like these. I’ve been wearing these silicon bands for a while now, including to the barn when I forget to take them off. After messing up my finger, I’ve decided not to risk it with a metal band, so I wear these to the gym, hiking, playing with my dog, gardening, you name it. Wearing one of these also means I don’t have to worry if I forget to take my ring off before going for a ride. 

I got this pack of several from Amazon. They’re inexpensive, easy to clean, and pretty durable. I wanted to have a few to choose from and have backups in case they turned out to be super easy to break. I thought these colors were cute but not too noticeable. Even if you don’t like these colors, you can find tons of different color options for this product. 

Silicon Wedding Bands

Should I Put My Ring on a Chain While Riding? 

Some people wear their engagement ring or wedding band on a chain necklace instead of on their finger. This is still a bad idea while riding, though. You still risk getting your necklace caught on something if you get thrown, or even while mounting and dismounting. Even leading your horse is a risk: what if they spook at something and you catch your necklace. 

Is My Ring Safe If I Wear Gloves While Riding? 

Other equestrians might choose to wear gloves while riding, thinking that if their ring is covered it (and their fingers) will be safe. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. While it may keep your ring from getting scratched or dirty, your finger is still at risk should your glove rip. 

What Do I Do If My Ring Gets Stuck While Riding? 

If you do wear your ring and something happens while riding, try to stay calm. The best thing you can do is ice and elevate your finger, but that can be hard at the barn. Find something that’s as cold as you can get it (i.e. water bottles),, and wrap your finger in it. Keep your hand elevated. If you can find windex or oil or something to use as lubricant at the stables, use that and gently rock your ring back and forth until you can get it off. If you can’t get it off, you may need to have a jeweler cut it off or go to the emergency room. 

If your finger seems broken, or if you’re in a lot of pain, or if the ring seems to be acting as a tourniquet, seek medical attention. This blog post does not qualify as medical advice. 

The Bottom Line: Wearing Jewelry While Horse Riding Isn’t Worth the Risks 

We may love our bling (I know I do), but it’s just not safe to wear it to the barn. Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings… these can all catch on things and potentially hurt you. If you do really want to wear a ring, I recommend using a silicon one that will break in the case of an emergency or can easily be cut off.

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