Bareback Pads - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-15-2011, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Florida
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Bareback Pads

I have a 3 yo gelding that I have had issues finding a properly fitting saddle for. I have 4 myself, and have borrowed a number of others, both western and english. Some fit "ok" but not well enough for my liking, and then I don't really feel too comfortable in said saddles. Then there's the issue of "will he outgrow it" so on a whim I decided to abandon my saddle search for the time being and bought a Best Friend Western Bareback Pad (Western Bareback Pad, Horse Pad). I've done quite a bit of reading and research, but as always would love additional insight. At the moment I ride maybe 3 times a week for a half hour at a time, and our next step would be short hacks. I know of the issue that riding bareback can cause soreness to the horse, but from what I've gathered bareback pads are like a base treeless saddle and with proper spinal channeling and padding they can be used as so. And also that the issue of soreness has a lot to do with the skill of the rider, as someone experienced will ride more off their legs/thighs than just plopping down on their back and bouncing hard (which could cause soreness with a saddle too). I've read of people completing 50 mile endurance rides bareback! So my question really is, am I just crazy wanting to ride bareback? On a green horse? I've always preferred to ride bareback and feel that if I continue to do so it will only improve my balance and seat. And ultimately, keep my horse comfortable and happy!

Would love to hear from others that ride bareback (with or without a pad) or those with any general advice. Eventually I would love to do lower level eventing (of course I'd be using a saddle then!) but first and foremost he is to be my trusty trail horse,and possibly complete limited distance endurance rides.
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-15-2011, 09:33 PM
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Personally, I prefer bareback to anything else, especially in the winter and cold months when it's not worth the trouble of tacking up fully for less work. I use the bareback pad suggested by caroline rider, it's barely there, but I am a fairly good rider and stable myself easily without needing to plop on my horses back through walk, trot, canter and gallop. I've used other bareback pads and not liked them as much fit-wise and comfort-wise, but I see no problem with it :)
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-15-2011, 09:59 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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I pretty much ride bareback all winter long. I don't usually use pads, but a friend of mine recently let me try out hers, which is this one:

The Natural Ride Co. - The Natural Ride Saddle

I do like it, but it wont fit any of my horses except the resident QHs lol.

That being said, I don't know if I would spend too much time on a 3 year old's back bareback, even with a really good pad, it's just not going to distribute the weight evenly enough for a young, maturing spine.


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post #4 of 10 Old 08-16-2011, 03:12 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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What I heard about bareback pads is that they are dangerous. It's easy to turn to one side of a horse and you can be under your horse! To prevent that girth must be very tight and personally I prefer just bareback than this. But it is what I heard.
I rode on a western pad without girth or anything. Quite good but feel safer without this - I feel horse more and his movement.
If you have a problem with fitting saddle maybe try treeless?
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-16-2011, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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I am not riding him very much, and I do have a saddle that fits decently (it just didn't fit me very well) so I can ride in the saddle as well and have been. I have an old pad that does slip like mentioned, but the one I ordered has slip proof backing on the pad and the girth and it has no stirrups so sliding shouldn't be an issue. I have looked into the treeless route, but don't see justification for spending the money on it when with correct padding a bareback pad can be made to have a very similar effect. I used to almost always only ride my old horse bareback, but now the option of not being filthy every time and with a bit of cushioning support is rather appealing!
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-17-2011, 11:42 PM
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Im in australia and have recently been interested in barebacck pads because I ride a lot of tbs with bony backs!! Can anyone recomend andywhere in australia where they are chea? Or suuuupppper cheap in the US or somehing (to cover postage) THANKS!
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-18-2011, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
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Location: Florida
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My pad arrived! I LOVE it! It is very comfortable, has a well made feel, and my horse also seemed at ease. In all the saddles I've tried, I honestly feel most comfortable in this pad. I trotted him, and was able to easily go with the movement. In the saddles, it was unsittable and very bouncy.

I'm not sure if it is available in Australia, but it is called Best Friend Western Bareback Pad. I paid less than $80 including shipping. Definitely worth it!

Here are a couple pics:







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post #8 of 10 Old 08-18-2011, 02:52 PM
Trained
 
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Looks awesome! I've been thinking of getting a bareback pad for my horse; maybe I'll give this one a try (I've always ridden without one, but he has a bonier back than any other horse I've ridden!)
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-20-2011, 03:58 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
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I've been thinking about getting that pad myself. Glad to hear good things AND see it on a horse as well as under rider, thanks for posting!

BTW, your boy is goregous!!!

One is closer to God's heart on a horse than anywhere else on earth!
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-21-2011, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I just wanted to add that I took Midas for his first "trail ride" (it was just down the dirt road to the barn, but I've never ridden him off the property) and I was able to successfully sit 5 spooks! At one point I did get off to walk him past this extremely terrifying log, and ironically got back on with the aid of said log. Gotta love the babies!
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