Project Genesis

The Jewish Legal System

Marriage Laws

Horseback Riding for Women

Question: Is there something wrong with horseback riding for women in Jewish law or is this just an area of sensitivity in Tznius (Modesty). I was never able to get a clear answer and that makes me think there is something wrong- and that the issue is just an unpleasant area of discussion. If this includes a prohibition I’d like to understand why and what it is. I greatly appreciate your time and effort with this matter.

Answer: Thank you for your interesting question. In Jewish law, there is nothing wrong with women riding horseback, and this was fairly common in previous times when this was a more popular method of travel. Of course, it should be done in a manner which conforms with the standards of Tznius in that area. Although some claim that this activity does create a greater likelihood of hymenal rupture than others, there is no prohibition involved in this per se, and if a woman is not concerned about this possibility and wishes to go horseback riding anyway, there is no legal problem for her to do so. It would not take away her status of a virgin, in relation to marriage, if the rupture would occur.

Take care,
Rabbi Aaron Tendler

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