Can riding bareback be bad for the horse?
 
 

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Can riding bareback be bad for the horse?

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    08-20-2012, 10:16 PM
  #1
Foal
Question Can riding bareback be bad for the horse?

I have recently heard that bareback riding is not good for a horse's back. Is this true? Thanks
     
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    08-20-2012, 10:40 PM
  #2
Yearling
I heard as much too. I was told that a saddle spreads the weight more evenly across the back, and that bareback puts a lot of pressure in one spot... But I've never really looked into it because I don't really ride bareback. I do on occasion just hop up and ride around a bit, but I don't do it frequently, so I didn't see need to further research it. I'm curious to hear what others say about it.
     
    08-20-2012, 11:09 PM
  #3
Green Broke
It is when I do it.

I have no padding on my hiney. Horses have indicated pain when I ride them bareback, so I don't.
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    08-20-2012, 11:35 PM
  #4
Yearling
I'm sure it probably is, but a lot of it likely has to do with the rider in question.. as it definitely is a whole different ball game riding bareback compared to with a saddle.

My instructor has been forcing me to ride bareback to help with my balance and leg, which is improving.. but I feel bad for Major having to put up with me. A saddle distributes the weight a lot more evenly, plus without a saddle, even the slightest bit off balanced you are.. the horse will pick up on it.

I'm not completely sure though, so I wouldn't take my word for it! I know that I'd only ever ride bareback on a horse with some padding on their back though.. never on a horse lacking some weight and muscle.
     
    08-21-2012, 12:10 AM
  #5
Trained
I rode bareback today, and I never ride that way anymore, rode in bare feet, cutoffs and with a bosal. 2 horses, 2 hours and I don't know about the horses' backs but my buttcheeks are raw so I won't be doing that again for awhile.
     
    08-21-2012, 01:12 AM
  #6
Trained
I have no idea. I ride bareback more than I ride with a saddle. We work better together when I can feel her with my seat. I can feel when she's lifting, I can use the muscles in my thighs to get her to bend and move and lift, we have a much more harmonious ride. I haven't had any problem with her being more sore after than if I rode in a saddle. *shrug*
     
    08-21-2012, 01:17 AM
  #7
Banned
I have heard this, but I think as long as you practice on your balance and not bouncing it should not affect them. I had to work up to long hours bare back riding on Drifter but now we can trot, lope, walk, etc all darn day. I am a biiig fan of bareback riding. I feel closer to Drifter when I ride without a saddle. I can feel when he is truly relaxed, I can feel when he is tense and I can feel when he is about to go a certain direction.

I am sure when we were first practicing he was like "what are you DOING up there?! Geez" but now we've gotten a lot better. Trotting is still horrid, but I have found a way that works for us. It keeps me from bouncing on his back if I grip with my knees higher up as if I was in my close contact english saddle. He has never showed any sign of soreness after a bareback ride and he is one that will let you know. He also always stands perfectly still for bareback rides and will line himself up with the fence so that I can get on once I climb up on the gate. I don't have to do a thing.

I take that to mean he enjoys it :)
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    08-21-2012, 02:24 AM
  #8
Green Broke
I doubt bareback is worse than an ill fitting saddle. And does wonders for balance too.
     
    08-21-2012, 07:55 AM
  #9
Foal
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jore    
I know that I'd only ever ride bareback on a horse with some padding on their back though.. never on a horse lacking some weight and muscle.
Thanks so much! I suppose I shouldn't try this on my new mare yet as she definitely needs to put a bit of weight on--not a whole lot, but her back appears to be a razor blade at the moment so we'll have to see what happens after we get some weight on her
     
    08-21-2012, 07:56 AM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by boots    
It is when I do it.

I have no padding on my hiney. Horses have indicated pain when I ride them bareback, so I don't.
Hehe unfortunately I don't have to worry about that...I've too much padding on mine!
fkcb1988 and khrysoula like this.
     

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