Learning to ride bareback
 
 

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Learning to ride bareback

This is a discussion on Learning to ride bareback within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • When is the best time to start riding bareback?
  • Use your ass when bareback horse riding

 
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    04-09-2009, 11:27 PM
  #1
Yearling
Learning to ride bareback

This is what I would prefer to do, if I had my choice. I figure it would be the best way to learn. I have only ever told one person who claimed to have experience (I only knew him through a few e mails) and he said that you should learn in a saddle first. The thing that makes me doubt this most is that at the barn, which is a theraputic riding center, all the riders start on sheepskin with a vaulting girth. Very close to bareback.
So anyhow, even though I will be starting in saddle, would it be a good idea to start out bareback?
     
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    04-09-2009, 11:31 PM
  #2
Showing
Don't the riders using that setup usually have side walkers that keep them on the horse though? I always suggest starting out in a saddle and then after you have mastered all 3 gaits and the basic manouvers (stop, turn, back up, etc), then you can start bareback on a VERY broke and well trusted horse. I have been riding all my life and I didn't ride bareback the first time until I was about 7 years old. That is 4 years of riding almost every day and usually all day long. Even then, the horse that I rode was my old buckskin that you couldn't whip out of a walk with a switch and he wasn't scared of anything.........ever!!! I have had lots of pretty hairy experiences with bareback and I would suggest mastering the saddle first.
     
    04-10-2009, 01:42 AM
  #3
Started
I think riding bareback can greatly improve your seat and balance, and make you more aware of the way your horse is moving - and what you might be doing to cause unwanted behaviors, like putting too much leg on him or throwing his balance off with your body. I think it's a great way to tune up after being in the saddle for a while.

However, I agree with smrobs - learn in the saddle. In order to improve your seat and balance, you must learn it. Your stirrups will teach you to anchor yourself - by having something under your feet, you will be reminded to put your weight into your heels. Often when beginners start bareback, they don't feel the need to keep their heels down, because there are no stirrups. It also often encourages gripping with the knees, and that's a bad habit to transfer into the saddle.

But I think once you've learned the basics in the saddle, like smrobs said, riding bareback is a great way to tune up your seat, legs, balance, and cues.

Good luck riding! :]
     
    04-10-2009, 04:07 AM
  #4
Weanling
I also completly agree with smrobs. It is much better to master riding in the saddle first! Bareback requires balance which beginners don't have. Even if the horse just simply trips cause he didnt pick his feet up high enough, a beginner would easily come straight off!!

Good luck learning!!!! You will have a blast!!
     
    04-10-2009, 03:01 PM
  #5
Yearling
Thank you everyone. I like knowing the reasons behind it all. And it makes complete sense. When that guy told me, it was quite patronizing, and I don't like to listen when people tell me I should do something. They need to tell me why or I just wont listen. (Haha, I see where my son gets it from. You have to explain your reasons behind eerything you ask of him)
     
    04-10-2009, 03:51 PM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whipple    
This is what I would prefer to do, if I had my choice. I figure it would be the best way to learn. I have only ever told one person who claimed to have experience (I only knew him through a few e mails) and he said that you should learn in a saddle first. The thing that makes me doubt this most is that at the barn, which is a theraputic riding center, all the riders start on sheepskin with a vaulting girth. Very close to bareback.
So anyhow, even though I will be starting in saddle, would it be a good idea to start out bareback?
In therapy riding, the reason they want close contact is because they need the "rider" to feel the horse's movement....the forward and back movement of the hips of the horse mimmick how a person walks and this gives the "rider" therapy, this makes their body move normally as if they were walking and therefore stimulates those muscles that they don't use regularly (if they're in a wheelchair, they're not walking, so being horseback bareback, their body is made to move as if they were walking). Also, as it was said...they get sidewalkers to hold em up.

That said, bareback will be good for balance only if you do it right. What I mean is, there are people who ride bareback, but they balance themselves with the reins, hold the reins tight, pulling on the horse's mouth (not meaning to but it happens) and they clamp their legs around the horse. This isn't going to teach you how to ride properly. It'll only cause you to have bad habits for riding in general, and when you get a saddle, you won't have the balance you need.

To ride correctly, you use your SEAT to balance and keep you on the horse's back. Your butt is your seatbelt. That's why real cowboys have little butts.

You don't want to use your lower legs, but your upper thigh (not your knees) and your butt...you roll your hips forward and back (squeezing and releasing your butt cheeks) with the rhythm of the horse's movement....speeding it up (not exaggerated) with the horse at a trot and going with at the lope. Bareback will help you really feel the horse (but you can learn to feel in the saddle, too....but yeah, bareback, obviously, there's more instant feel)

The better you learn to loosen up your hips, and roll with the horse's movement, you'll learn overall balance for when you ride in the saddle or bareback.

You can learn to post bareback and really strengthen your thighs and butt even more for great overall balance. Again, as long as you don't use the reins or your lower legs or knees to grip/balance which happens easily when bareback riding.

If you need to grab the horse...then grab mane. Also, when bareback, use a pad (no stirrups!) it's easier on the horse's back if you do.

So...yeah, bareback riding is a good way to go for overall balance and learning to ride well. I did it early on and it taught me a lot. I was learning how to ride, and used a dead broke horse that was stout and it was in a small enclosed area when I started.

If you've never ever ridden before,...you can go bareback but be aware of the falling off factor. You can be lead around on a well broke horse by someone at a walk for a few rides, and be on a longer line and gradually be left on your own (with someone teaching you without them holding a line, that is)..... They do the same in riding lessons with saddles, ...the teacher leads or lunges the student.

Also,....you can pretend to be bareback on a saddle by simply not using the stirrups.
     
    04-10-2009, 11:18 PM
  #7
Started
I agree with LeahKathleen and smrobs. You need to acquire strong leg muscles and balance first (achieved from the saddle) to be able to ride bareback. LeahKathleen is right, that without stirrups, you will have nothing to anchor yourself. And if you're a new rider (no matter how naturally good you are) when the horse starts trotting, you're going to be sliding off the side. Not to mention the incredible pains in your inner thighs! Lol. I hope this doesn't discourage you.... bareback is great... but I think, in order to establish a good foundation in all gaits and learn to ride properly, as well as create a good sense of confidence, working in a saddle first is best.

Good luck!
     
    04-11-2009, 01:25 AM
  #8
Yearling
Thanks everyone! I will stay in the saddle to begin with not that I have the choice anyhow. Once I'm a decent rider, you can bet I'll be riding bareback for the most part though. :)
     
    04-12-2009, 10:46 AM
  #9
Weanling
Um like I rode bare back before I started cantering. Its was like the first year I started riding and I was 6. I was on a little 12 hand pony. Then the next day I rode a 16 hand draft mix bareback that like helped me gain my seat becaus =e I had a very bad seat.
     

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