What Animals Can You Ride? 7 Examples with Pictures

When I took my nephew to a ranch for the first time, he became amazed to see a herd of horses being kept in sheds and young ranch hands riding some of the other horses.

It was terrific because he felt it was straight out of an old western movie. However, even today, many ranches use horses for cattle rounds, and it is one of the preferred animals for herding cattle.

My nephew is quite a curious young man, and the horses with the cowboys riding them stirred his imagination. He asked if horses are the only animal that is ridden and used for such purposes.

You would be surprised to know that several animals are ridden in different parts of the world, and here are a few.

Animals that you can ride:

  • Horses
  • Reindeer
  • Donkeys
  • Llamas
  • Camels
  • Water Buffalos
  • Cattle

List of animals that you can ride:

1. Horses

horse riding 15052022

Undoubtedly horses are one of the most common animals that are ridden worldwide. You have the entire equestrian games based on horse riding, racing, and performance done on horseback.

The earliest known evidence of the domestication of horses and using the creature for commercial purposes goes back to five thousand five hundred years.

Horses have been referred to as ‘beasts of burden’ as they have been used to pull carts or loads for the benefit of man.

When you think of a horse, you do not always imagine it as a creature running freely on grasslands, but often with a person riding ‘horseback.’

Learning to ride a horse requires both training and patience. You will have to learn how to mount the horse, trot, and canter before you can take it for jogging or loping.

2. Reindeer

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Reindeers are powerful animals, and we usually associate these creatures with pulling sleighs.

But in certain parts of the Taiga regions, reindeers are ridden and are used as pack animals.

Like horses, reindeers are also used to herd animals, as well as adult males.

For example, the Dukha people of the Taiga region raise reindeer to ride the creatures and use them in a manner that we use cattle. Reindeer are raised for their meat and milk.

Children of the Dukha tribe learn to ride reindeer when the creature is as young as two years.

In addition, reindeers need to be taught to become pack animals early on; otherwise, you cannot ride the animal once they become adults.

3. Donkey

little girl riding on a donkey 15052022

Donkeys are the quintessential beasts of burden but are also one of the animals that man has ridden for many years.

But donkeys are not used like horses as herding animals. This means you will not find full-grown adult men riding donkeys.

The primary reason for this is the build and sizes of donkeys are much smaller compared to that of a horse.

Moreover, a donkey can carry only twenty percent of its body weight, which means, on average, you can ride a donkey only if you weigh less than fifty kilograms.

Hence donkeys are usually given for children to ride with supervision. Earlier in amusement parks, children could enjoy donkey rides.

But this has become rare because it falls under animal cruelty in many parts of the world.

4. Llama

girl riding a llama 15052022

Llamas are fascinating creatures, and they have been used as pack animals extensively in South America.

Given the terrain of South America, the llamas are essential for the survival of indigenous tribes of the region. 

You will find that llamas are used to transport goods and are pack animals.

Though llamas are not typically used for riding, some species can be bred to be ridden, especially by children.

The nomadic tribes of South America often use the llamas to help move children of their families from one place to another.

This makes their movement faster which is essential for nomadic tribes.

Llamas, like donkeys, cannot carry heavy loads, which is why they are not capable of carrying adult males and can only carry children.

5. Water buffalo

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If you visit places like Vietnam, Laos, or the Philippines, you can enjoy the native experience of riding a water buffalo.

This friendly animal has been an indispensable part of the growth and development of this region, especially Vietnam.

Water buffaloes are used to till the lands and for harvesting crops.

In Vietnam, tourists often enjoy taking rides on water buffaloes as these creatures are big enough to carry the weight of adults.

Moreover, despite their size and appearance, you will find that water buffaloes are not temperamental.

They can follow their owners’ orders, and they are pretty soft-natured creatures.

It is often a common sight in Vietnam to see a farmer giving a ride to a tourist on the back of his pet water buffalo.

6. Cattle

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When you think of cattle, the first thing that will cross your mind are cows.

Of course, you can ride these creatures, but cattle owners mention that it is better not to ride cows.

The primary reason for this is that cows can be pretty temperamental and are not used to carrying burdens.

In addition, cows are pretty slow-moving, and they prefer to take their time while grazing or moving from one place to another.

When herding cows, you will find that cattle farmers use horses to herd the cows, making moving the cows in a particular direction easier.

However, there is some evidence of cows being ridden in parts of Asia, especially by children under the farmer’s supervision.

7. Yak

boy riding yak 15052022

Yaks are commonly found in Central Asia and the Northern parts of India. You will often find tourists enjoying yak rides.

These massive creatures belong to the cattle family and can be domesticated.

Yak calves are trained to carry weights and people to make it easier for owners to give tourists yak rides.

Adult yaks can weigh from three hundred and eighty kilograms to five hundred and eighty kilograms, capable of carrying heavy weights on their backs.

You can even go for tours that exclusively offer you yak rides in Mongolia.

When you take a ride on this creature, you will find that it is pretty slow and moves at a steady pace making the ride quite enjoyable.


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