Bareback Adventures Once Again
 
 

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Bareback Adventures Once Again

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        04-09-2014, 11:25 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Bareback Adventures Once Again

    Okay so when Ray was about 4 (2011-ish) I had like a full year of NO saddle... I went bareback EVERYWHERE. I was thinking about doing it again, only not as extreme.. I know Rayray is fine with it, and drift tolerates it, but they both get kind of annoyed with me.

    Why? Oh, because my seat absolutely sucks.

    Don't get me wrong, I can walk all day and go up and down even the steepest hills without sliding in the least, but my trot is way too bouncy. It's like my butt is trying to become superman and fly away. That doesn't make sense because both my guys have pretty smooth trots (drift goes through all the gaits and you feel like you're still walking, ray is choppy till he loosens up) but both of them slow down and shift their weight to keep me on if I slide.. Which sucks for trying to get better at a trot. Am I doing it wrong or something? Can someone show/tell me like where to sit and grip and absorb shock? I am NOT trying to canter bareback till I master trotting...

    Thanks guys!
         
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        04-16-2014, 03:52 PM
      #2
    Foal
    Just remember to keep your heels down:)
         
        04-16-2014, 04:05 PM
      #3
    Green Broke
    If you tense your body while riding bareback at the trot, you'll bounce all over.

    Keep your heels down and your calves free and your upper body relaxed. If you need to grip, do so with your thighs only. You can use the lower half of your legs for balance, by moving them out in the air, if you get off balance.

    I might not be the perfect example (these were during a dollar race at a gaming show) but see how my heels are DOWN and my calves are free?

    Loping



    Even when my barrel horse tried to pick up the pace (and I said no please don't!!!) and we got all funky looking .... my lower leg position has not changed too much. Squeezing with thighs to stay on (and keep my dollar).




    Here we are trotting. I actually have my calves out in the air a bit to balance myself.




    My heels could be down more in this picture, but my lower leg is still relaxed and free.



    Yes I was holding on the entire time. I was doing whatever it takes to keep my dollar! I think we ended up taking 3rd that day. No shame in hanging onto the mane if it helps you keep your balance better.
         
        04-16-2014, 11:20 PM
      #4
    Foal
    I'm not sure where I read it, but this has helped me get the feel of the bareback trot.

    Stand on your tippy toes, drop one heel to the ground, keep the other foot on tippy toes, then switch. Feel the way your hips move, remember that feel and don't brace while trotting.

    As for cantering, only done it once, up a shot hill, so other then keep loose, relaxed and heels down I can't help you there.
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        04-16-2014, 11:30 PM
      #5
    Trained
    The biggest thing I always tell myself and anyone who rides my horses bareback or saddled is to loosen your hips and use your core. You need to feel your horse through your hips/seat and go with them. I have a rough time translating this to a canter in saddle for some reason, I can canter and even gallop bareback no issue, but for some reason in a saddle I have to FORCE my hips to relax and go with the flow so to speak.

    Keep your calves off your horse too, that should be reserved for signalling. The only time my calves are intentionally on mine are when I am cuing OR I'm working on desensitizing them to beginner and children motion.
    beau159 likes this.
         
        04-22-2014, 11:23 AM
      #6
    Super Moderator
    I say forget about keeping your heels down and calves relaxed!
    Yes, it is what you want but at the moment it sounds like when they do trot you are fighting the bounce.
    So, for the moment when trotting or cantering bareback push your feet well forward so they are beyond his shoulders and lean back so you can feel your seat bones. Better still if he is patient then lift your legs so your knees are over his shoulders. This is just so that you have nothing to rode with but balance,

    One exercise a particularly tough trainer would have us all do was to rode around the arena without stirrups. Reins in one hand we had to make a fist with the free hand and put it into the small of our backs and lean into it. At the same time we had to raise our legs up and away from the saddle, nothing but balance keeping us in the plate. It is a very hard exercise. We did this down the long side, relaxed along the short and then up again.
         
        04-29-2014, 06:03 PM
      #7
    Foal
    Good advice! I will try that!
         
        04-29-2014, 07:13 PM
      #8
    Weanling
    My mare is kinda high withered. I end up running into those withers whenever I ride bareback. Usually I can't take more than 20 minutes of bareback on her. But I can throw any saddle (including a flat seat or close contact) on her, take away my stirrups, and canter the day away. It's just running into those withers, ouch!
         
        04-30-2014, 03:29 AM
      #9
    Super Moderator
    In your picture you are tilting forward, sit more on your butt.

    Rather than holding the mane, put a stirrup leather around your horse's neck and pull back on that.

    Sit on a swing, feel how, when you push the swing forward, the muscles you use in you butt and back, copy that when riding.
         
        04-30-2014, 07:50 AM
      #10
    Weanling
    I learned to ride bareback. I was a kid...who needs saddles? I don't think I OWNED a saddle for a few years. Trotting is just not a comfortable gait. Jogging is where it's at, if your horse knows the jog. If not, well, sit deep, loosen your hips, rock back a bit, and relax. Legs loose, or you risk driving the horse into a faster gait. Do walk/ trot transitions until you are bored silly and have no trouble riding the trot. Then do concentric circles, then figure eights. Increase trotting time as you gain confidence. One day, you'll wake up, go to ride, and realize you've been trotting for a half hour without slipping or feeling unbalanced. The key is loose hips, rocking back a bit, SITTING UP, and relaxing your butt muscles. And DO hang on to the mane.
         

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