Bareback lessons?! - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 8 Old 05-23-2013, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Bareback lessons?!

First off I am sorry if I have put this in the wrong place, feel free to move admin but as I live in the UK was hoping for opinions from others here.

So, I would say I am quite a competent rider, never going to be an Olympian but I've had plenty of hours in the saddle. I can tell during my lessons however that my position has a lot of room for improvement! I was wondering if it would be really strange to ask for a lesson bareback to really have to get my balance right and be able to feel what the horse is doing, I do find this difficult through a saddle (as in what their lets are doing etc).

I was thinking maybe to ask for a half hour lunge lesson. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated :)
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-23-2013, 07:34 PM
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that's a great idea bareback really helps beleive me!
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-23-2013, 09:39 PM
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I teach summer camps for a local non-profit, and ALL of our kids start out bareback for those reasons you mentioned. They learn to feel which muscles are involved in their requests, as well as developing a balance independent of the saddle. Our students earn a saddle when they are effective riders without it!
walkinthewalk and xJumperx like this.

Kids and horses----it just doesn't get any better!
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-23-2013, 10:47 PM
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I think it is a great idea too, BUT I do not believe that the riding stables' insurane would cover bareback riding... I was looking into it for my own business (I usually take people swimming in ocean and lake in the summer) but the insurance does not cover it when horses are ridden bareback and something would happen!
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-24-2013, 06:44 AM Thread Starter
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Backyard horse, that's such a good idea! I wish I had learnt to ride that way! I do feel a bit like I am blocking the horses movement with my seat sometimes. And Island, that is such a shame but I guess I can see where they are coming from, I might ask anyway just to be sure.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-24-2013, 11:10 AM
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In today's litigation-happy society sadly you have to watch your back for the stupidest reasons... seriously, if you get on your horse bareback, that's YOUR lookout. You, in theory, know the risks, know your horse, and therefore it's your responsibility if you come off and get badly hurt. Same goes for poorly-kept tack that's apt to break. Or the wrong tack for your horse, or the wrong horse for the rider [unless said horse is a school horse/pony, in which case, yeah, that's negligence... but if it's YOUR horse, it's YOUR responsibility for getting on the animal - sane or not].

I have 24/7 personal insurance. If I come off any horse, anywhere in Australia, for any reason, my medical bills are covered. I can therefore learn under ANY instructor, on ANY horse [mine or not] and technically, any accidents, injuries or incidents are covered under MY insurance. The coaches I ride under are all insured [NCAS accredited, which is a national standard for coaching, and to keep up the accreditation they have to pay for insurance] because a lot of them do teach people who DON'T have 24/7 insurance, and aside from that, any injuries that occur involving their equipment/facilities CAN be argued to be due to the equipment/facilities... and therefore the litigation-happy rider can technically sue for damages.

Sad what some people will do for money.

Onto the topic of bareback - it is WONDERFUL. I do it a lot. The feel you have with nothing between your horse's back and your butt but what you're wearing... the core strength and stability it develops done right... it's incredible. Just today I rode my breaker for an hour and a half on trails... bareback. And that's a 2 1/2 year old, hot, sensitive, reactive Thoroughbred. I could literally feel her heart jumping in her chest when she spooked at things, and a few times I felt her back tense up a few seconds before she actually spooked. The feel you have... the contact... there are no words that describe how wonderful it is to be bareback and in harmony with a good horse.

Trotting can be painful though - I don't have an issue on my narrow Thoroughbred but on my wide Anglo Arab [he does have a wither and being an older horse, his backbone sticks up a bit, even when he's frighteningly obese, but he's pretty wide] it hurts! I end up with chafing between my buttocks on both of them because neither has a lot of topline at the moment but I'd rather canter on Monty when I'm bareback on him. Trot is my "comfort" gait on Magic.

A CLEAN SLATE FOR THE FUTURE
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-28-2013, 12:57 PM
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I've taken bareback lunging lessons in the past to help solidify my equitation. Love them! It helps you focus on yourself so much.
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-28-2013, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Ahh so you were allowed to do it then! That's what I really want, and to be able to gain more knowledge about what the horse is actually doing underneath me!

Had a light bulb moment while riding the other day with squeezing with my seat to change within a pace and make transitions, the horse then started working much more through fom behind and more consistently on the bit, so now I'd like to see how little I would have to do in direct contact with the horse....just thought I'd share, still excited about my revelation!
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