Anyone have tips for bareback riding? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Question Anyone have tips for bareback riding?

I've been riding my pony bareback a lot lately. I am 13, and I guess you could say I'm an advanced beginner...I can trot and I've cantered before although I'm not SUPER comfortable with cantering. Anyway, my pony's trot is really bumpy. When Im riding bareback, I tend to slip to one side, then I have to stop her. I think this happens because I don't have stirrups. Do you have any general tips for staying on her and not sliding around??
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 09:09 AM
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Tuck your pelvis as tho you are trying to sit on your back pockets. This rounds your back which acts as a shock absorber if you keep it relaxed. The faster the pony trots, the easier it is to sit, if you don't fall off from giggling.
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
Tuck your pelvis as tho you are trying to sit on your back pockets. This rounds your back which acts as a shock absorber if you keep it relaxed. The faster the pony trots, the easier it is to sit, if you don't fall off from giggling.
Thanks, I'll try this!
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 09:59 AM
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Smile

Have you trotted in the saddle without stirrups? It might help to do half of your ride without stirrups while in the saddle to get your seat and then taking the saddle off when you feel comfortable.

It might also help to really round her, if she's like my bounce mare it won't fix the problem but it will make her trot more comfortable and more controlled. Are you riding with a bit? To round her with a bit gently bump your inside hand while keeping your outside still. If you're bitless I find half-halting works decently, though not as good as with a bit, half-halting while applying very slight leg pressure gets the point across to go slower.

Lastly, if you think you're up to it, try posting. You will DEFINITELY want to start out posting in the saddle but after you get used to rising with the outside leg and gripping with your calves you can do it bareback, as long as your horse keeps up momentum.
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 10:14 AM
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MILES and more miles. It just takes practice. You will end up with a fantastic seat if you keep it up. Right now(like all people) you have one side stronger than the other . In a saddle you can correct for a lack of balance by using your stirrups, bareback you really need to use your core. Try really hard to keep your legs down and relaxed, most peoples first reaction to bare back riding is to tuck up into a ball when the horse gets trotting, which just ensures you will fall off.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twilly View Post
Have you trotted in the saddle without stirrups? It might help to do half of your ride without stirrups while in the saddle to get your seat and then taking the saddle off when you feel comfortable.

It might also help to really round her, if she's like my bounce mare it won't fix the problem but it will make her trot more comfortable and more controlled. Are you riding with a bit? To round her with a bit gently bump your inside hand while keeping your outside still. If you're bitless I find half-halting works decently, though not as good as with a bit, half-halting while applying very slight leg pressure gets the point across to go slower.

Lastly, if you think you're up to it, try posting. You will DEFINITELY want to start out posting in the saddle but after you get used to rising with the outside leg and gripping with your calves you can do it bareback, as long as your horse keeps up momentum.
Thanks! I post with a saddle but I've tried posting bareback and its hard xD But thanks for giving me tips and telling me it is possible :3

To BlueSpark, thanks for the tips (;
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-22-2012, 12:47 PM
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It takes time, and you HAVE to be able to RELAX. If you tense up, you'll likely scrunch your body and legs and then have nothing left to balance you on the horse. Get really good at the walk first, then try a little trotting at a time, etc. Also, it's a good suggestion to do a lot of no stirrup work with the saddle. Have fun and be safe!

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post #8 of 11 Old 06-24-2012, 02:47 PM
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Two words, ride lots. :) Follow everyone's advice about sitting deep on your pockets, and relax. If you tense up, you'll end up bouncing yourself right off your horse like I did a million times.
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-25-2012, 03:00 PM
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Sitting the trot bareback is very different than in a saddle; I actually find it easier personally.

I agree with above posters! Definitely have to use your core much more bareback. Make sure you keep your legs LONG and heels down. Slow down your pony's trot so that it is a little more controlled and try to get her to relax down into the bridle and round up; it will be much smoother and more comfortable.

I find that when sitting the trot, you REALLY have to follow their movement, and I will tell you this right now; it will feel a LOT more exaggerated than it looks when you are doing it correctly. You have to be very free and flexible in your abdomen. I like to imagine there is a board, or a ceiling right above my head that prevents me from bouncing up and down at all; don't want to smack your head off the ceiling! Instead, your pelvis and abdomen will bend, rise and fall underneath you to accomodate for your head and upper body not being able to bounce up and down, if that makes sense. You absorb all the motion in your abdomen so that you are moving with the horse; this will also help your horse to relax and round up underneath you. :)

Lastly; practice, practice, practice! The more miles you have under (lack of) saddle, the easier it will get. That is honestly the thing that helped me the most.
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-26-2012, 12:38 AM
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Ooh, I forgot one, move your hips! Exaggerate and think about moving each hip up with the stride (or more front to back depending on how the horse moves). It will feel funny at first if you're not already doing it, but it helps a lot. You'll train your muscles and they will eventually follownthe movement without you having to think about it.
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