Why Do Horses Let Humans Ride Them?

3 Mins read

Horses have developed a close relationship with humans over the last 4000 years. They were always considered as the human’s most loyal companion, but how did this relationship start, and why do horses let humans ride them?

Well, it didn’t start that way.

Horses are wild animals and their natural instinct is not to let humans close enough to touch them, let alone ride them. However, just like any animal on the planet, horses are smart and have feelings and emotions.

Horses have thousands of years of domestication in their genes, making them comfortable around humans. In the old days, humans captured horses when they were hunting for meat, but after a while, they noticed that horses can be trained.

So, why do horses let humans ride them?

Well, it comes down to three basic traits:

  • Domestication
  • Training
  • Trust


The history doesn’t have a clear idea about the beginning of horse domestication. There is some historical data that suggest that horses were first domesticated in northern Kazakhstan more than 6,000 years ago. 

The earliest real evidence we have about a horse and human relationship is 5,000 years ago, but they were primarily used for riding. 

Through these thousands of years, horses were transformed and trained to perform the tasks we needed, including riding and pulling. Nowadays, this process is translated into their genes, and they are much easier to tame and train.


The biggest reason why horses let us ride them is simply that they are trained to do so. Since the first horse domestication, humans have established dominance over horses. Many horses accept humans due to their lack of power.

So, the crucial thing apart from building trust is establishing dominance over your horse.

Over the years, horses have been trained to perform tasks that will make the job easier for humans. Back in the days, horses were a common way of transport, and all of that was possible only through horse training.


As we mentioned before, horses are smart animals that developed a close relationship with humans. However, the most important thing in the horse training process is gaining the horse’s trust

Taking care of the horse, like feeding, helped humans develop a strong bond between humans and horses. This is also important when it comes to horse riding.

The rider’s relationship with the horse is also why horses let humans ride them. 

In order to earn your horse’s trust, you have to spend time with your horse working from the ground up. Additionally, you have to prove that you are a good leader by introducing training techniques slowly. 

Do Horses Like Being Ridden?

Horses are like humans, with their own unique personalities. Although some breeds may be predisposed to certain personality traits, each horse, even from the same breed develops a unique personality, unlike any other horse. That’s why when betting on horse racing it’s important to take advantage of the free past performances, to understand how the horse behaves under specific conditions.

In most cases, horses like being ridden. It is important to understand that they are not suffering when being ridden and they seem excited when they know they are going to be taken for a ride.

Signs that horses like to be ridden

  • Relaxed muscles
  • Standing on all four feet
  • Lips are relaxed
  • Tail is swinging
  • Sideways ears
  • Chewing and licking

Signs that horses don’t like to be ridden

  • Swishing tail
  • Pinched lips
  • Rotating ears
  • Raised head
  • Foot stomping


Horses play an important part in our history, and it is safe to say that we wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t developed a relationship with these majestic animals. In general, they like to be ridden but it all depends on your relationship with the horse.

If you encounter a wild horse that hasn’t been trained, it is obvious that the horse wouldn’t let you anywhere near him. However, a well-trained horse with a strong relationship with the rider can be a lifetime companion.

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