Hmm...another way to challenge myself...I will have to try it! No stirrup work can definitely be taxing when you're not used to it, and sometimes the saddle makes it more difficult...it's easier in some saddles than others (some saddles are just too slippery). AND it's easier with no saddle, than with a saddle, as long as you're confident enough bareback.
Up until this year (and Ive been riding 13 years) I would get on any crazy horse, but still wasn't confident on the calmest kids horse bareback....without the saddle my legs scrunched up and I froze. This year I made myself just get over it. I said "I own a horse now, she's MINE and I'm NOT scared of her" and I just did it. I started off just at the walk with small trotting spurts, then the next day I felt gutsy and just galloped her out so that I wouldn't be scared anymore. Haven't used my saddle since that day :-D It's so nice when you hit those riding milestones isn't it?? Big thumbs up on posting w/out stirrups...I know many people who can't do that!
A horse is the projection of peoples' views about themselves--strong, powerful, beautiful--and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existance.