Riding Bareback too often? - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-08-2010, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Riding Bareback too often?

Hi, I've been slapping on my bareback pad lately much more often than my saddle. I find that riding bareback is helping me with my balance when I do put the saddle back on. I also jump a lot in it.

Just a quick question though: Will riding bareback too often have negative effects on my horses back or anything?

Sorry if it's a silly question. Thanks.
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-08-2010, 10:51 AM
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If you are balanced and not plopping down hard on your horse's back, IMO it doesn't seem like it would be a problem. . . I'd just check your horse for soreness daily by running your fingers firmly down the length of his muscles alongside his spine and watch closely for bracing or flinching.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-08-2010, 11:11 AM
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Bareback can sometimes be a problem. Saddles distribute your weight more evenly across a horse's back. When you ride bareback, most of your weight is right in your seatbones, which can sometimes cause discomfort for the horse if you ride bareback a lot. If you've ever had someone sit in your lap, maybe you know the feeling of their seatbones digging into your thigh... then imagine them bouncing around on your lap for hours at a time over several days.

The more balanced and effective a rider you are, the more this can be compensated for (by trying not to bounce and jounce along on the horse's back). It also depends on the horse and how sensitive he or she is to this discomfort. As the previous poster said, just check periodically for any soreness in the muscles along your horse's spine.

With all that in mind, riding bareback is a fantastic way to improve your balance and your seat.

Last edited by Eolith; 08-08-2010 at 11:13 AM.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-08-2010, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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My horse is a smooth gaited horse so when I ride bareback I don't really bounce at all maybe if he breaks his canter or something, and he hasn't shown signs of soreness.

Does using a bareback pad change anything? My guy has a horribly uncomfortable back so I ride with a nice thick bareback pad on.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-08-2010, 07:15 PM
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As we've said, just keep a close eye on his comfort level and you should be alright. The pad may help to some extent, depending on the materials and design. There are some specialized bareback pads that are better than others.

I've also had a friend describe her treeless saddle as a "glorified bareback pad". ^_^ I ride in a treeless dressage saddle and enjoy it very much.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-09-2010, 01:16 AM
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My opinion on this is that you probably can't hurt your horse riding bareback as long as you find it comfortable. If it is uncomfortable for you, ie bouncing or slipping around, you are going to stop of your own accord or topple off before you cause any damage to your horse's back. (provided you are not too big for the horse). If it is comfortable and you are balanced, then you are doing it right and no harm will come to the horse no matter how long you ride him.
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