Bareback - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-21-2011, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Oregon
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Bareback

I've been riding off and on for 10 years and I really want to work on my balance so I decided to ride bareback for a while. I was wondering if there were any exercises that would help? The horse I ride is fantastic and fairly sound and his trot isn't too bouncy. The arena I ride in, I feel, is too small to canter so I've just been doing walk-trot work, I also live in an area that has great trail riding. I ride Western if that makes any difference. Thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-21-2011, 03:13 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
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the best exercise would be practice, in my opinion. I just taught my new mare to go bareback, yesterday was our 5th bareback ride and i even stood on her (very proud, lol). Riding bareback is a great way to learn balance and horse movement. I'm actually using it to get my mare used to more contact while riding. I've found the english style of riding lends itself really well for bareback. We're taught to use out thigh muscles to grip on, so basically you can use your thighs to hold on the the horse bareback too. I dunno how it is for western, but i've heard posting is different, so i'm assuming this is different too. You can even post english, even though my mare absolutely does not like that, lol.

It helps if you can get a comfortable horse to start on, i don't suggest TB's or OTTB's or any bony horse. If the horse does not have a fat layer protecting it it will hurt it's back (nerves) when you sit on it, not to mention your bottom as well. believe me, i've ridden an OTTB bareback due to saddle sores and that's something you really don't want to do.... My suggestion is to find a plump medium sized horse with relatively good gaits =)

I'd also practice getting on bareback if you're going on trails.... you never know when you might slide off, and you might not have some "mounting block" on the trail. Another reason for a short horse=P

I thought of another thing...it's often harder to go in tight circles, so for preliminary practice try to keep things as straight as possible, especially at the trot. Also a warning: if you ever do canter (or lope) please remember that the trot afterwards will be MORE bouncy. Also NEVER put on show sheen while riding bareback, especially not if you're riding a rocket who thinks he's a stallion at a show. Other than that i wish you the best of luck, i personally LOVE riding bareback and have many,many stories. I hope this sort of helps you =P
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-21-2011, 03:25 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
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If you have a high withered horse, you can always buy a simple bareback pad. If you do buy one, do not buy one with stirrups!

"When Nature made the Thoroughbred, she made no mistake."
"when riding a horse we borrow freedom."
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-21-2011, 03:25 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Oregon
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Thanks this does help. The horse I'm currently riding is my aunt's horse that I've been riding since the summer started, He has a pretty comfortable seat and the trot isn't too bouncy.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-21-2011, 03:31 AM
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lol, my mare (morgan) has NO withers and is rather pudgy, so she's great bareback. I've also ridden a 27 yr old QH with high withers and a sway back and he's the second best bareback horse i've ever ridden. For some weird reason you don't come into contact with the withers, so everything works out. It all depends on the horse, but hop on first, you might be surprised how comfortable a weird-looking back can be!
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-21-2011, 10:15 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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What are the bareback pads like to ride with? do they come in different sizes, how much do they cost?

I used to ride bareback ALL the time as a kid/teenager, but I haven't done so for the past 10 years... I don't know if I would be brave enough to try again, but maybe with a bareback pad it would be better/different?
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-21-2011, 10:25 PM
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hmm, in my opinion bareback pads don't do much except if your horse is skinny/ weird shaped. Please do NOT buy the ones with stirrups attached, they are really hard to get out of in case of a fall and tend to slide very which way. A normal bareback pad with padding and maybe an anti-slip surface on the bottom would be the best option. If it has a loop at the top then that can add to your security and comfort. I've found that the ones with breast plates also tend to stay on better, depending on your horse. For getting back into bareback, the best option is a smaller and calm horse that you trust (hopefully with a comfy back). Also, there are SO many options and price ranges for bareback pads. Try not to get one with a slippery material, it will negate the whole point of a bareback pad. I personally think they're more trouble than worth it, but that's only because me horse is super comfy bareback, lol. I would just look around the internet and local tack shops and see if anything strikes your fancy. You can post it on here and get people's opinion before you buy =)
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