Is riding bareback bad for horses backs?
   

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Is riding bareback bad for horses backs?

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  • Is horse riding bad for their back
  • Bareback riding bad?

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    11-10-2011, 01:50 PM
  #1
Started
Is riding bareback bad for horses backs?

I recently heard from a friend that riding bareback is bad for their back if done often. Is this just a myth- or is that real? I ride Casey for about 15-45 minutes 1-2 times a week bareback, should I not ride her bareback that often? I am like 15% of her body weight- and she is a small horse, I don't like weigh 50 lbs
Thanks!
     
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    11-10-2011, 01:53 PM
  #2
Foal
Im going to say no- you are not sitting over any vital organs, some saddles will sit back onto the kidneys. Also riding bareback you don't have any extra added weight of tack (or ill fitting tack). Its just you- and your horse. I don't really see how that could hurt anything.
     
    11-10-2011, 02:10 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Just do it. It's lots warmer in the winter. =D
     
    11-10-2011, 02:13 PM
  #4
Yearling
A saddle spreads your weight out evenly, but as long as you have good balence and your not crashing around on her back, I don't see an issue. If she hasnt been showing any signs of being tender or sore I wouldnt worry
     
    11-10-2011, 02:15 PM
  #5
Green Broke
I haven't heard of such a thing. I used to ride my first horses bareback every day for years because I didn't have money for a saddle. Although, I don't ride Cinny bareback currently because it seems to hurt his back, but he has had back and hip sensitivity ever since I bought him for some reason, I even have to be very careful what saddle is used on him.

I say, if your horse isn't behaving like it's hurting, and doesn't act sore after, then you aren't hurting it and I doubt there will be any long term effects. Besides, didn't Native American ride bareback most of the time?
     
    11-10-2011, 02:38 PM
  #6
Banned
HA :) HA :) HA :) Heck No....unless the horse has back issues how in the world would you riding bareback be any worse then you riding in a saddle?!?! Just Saying. Your friend is silly!
     
    11-10-2011, 02:38 PM
  #7
Started
Thanks everyone! And Cinny, I was thinking the exact same thing, Native Americans only rode bareback
     
    11-10-2011, 03:07 PM
  #8
Green Broke
I personally don't think its great for the back. Instead of being distributed across panels, as is done with a saddle, with an area of at least a square foot/ 0.3m squared, a bareback riders weight is basically just resting on your seat bones which is probably less than a quarter of the size. I imagine it like carrying a back pack that weighs maybe 15kg. If you have it in a normal backpack the weight is just spread on your shoulders, you can carry it for a bit but after a while it hurts. If you wear a proper backpack, with padded straps, designed panels with a hipband and such, you can carry it for much longer more comfortably. To me, common sense would dictate that a saddle makes it easier. You have a point with saddle weight though - if you're talking about 15kg difference, I think it starts becoming a factor in working out which is better/worse. I think a light saddle would still be much better though.

It's not natural for horses to carry people, whether they have saddles or not. But I think correctly fitting saddles distribute the weight better and allow the rider to be more balanced, which is turn makes it easier for the horse.

A little bareback here and there is fine, but I don't think its a good alternative to riding with a saddle. Each to their own though.
     
    11-10-2011, 03:19 PM
  #9
Banned
AHAHAHA! Definitely a myth! I PREFER riding bare-back! And I ride everyday!
     
    11-10-2011, 03:37 PM
  #10
Yearling
Considering that horses have been ridden since around 4000 B.C. And saddles with trees didn't come into existence until around 200 B. C., I think your limited amount of bareback riding will do no harm to your horse. (assuming, of course, you aren't riding on an emaciated bag of bones.)
     

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