Bareback -v- tacked - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 09-18-2012, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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So I took into account a couple variables today that I hadn't thought of (but seem so simple).

First off, when I rode her tacked, I rode in the outside arena. At the beginning, she was calm and responsive because there were other horse's in the arena with her. When those horses left, her turns were sluggish and she didn't respond as well. I ended up picking the reins up and working her forward for the remainder of the time.

Then I went inside and rode bareback. She was calm inside. Horses were around her and she listened to every aid I used.

I think it has a lot to do with the level of comfort she feels from other horse's around her since she has become somewhat herd sour.

Anyways, I started her out with the halter today and worked inside a little bit, then went outside. Her attention span lapsed and she was a bit of a goob. I took her inside and swapped the halter in for the bit, and I got the same reaction.

So, I worked her and I demanded that she turn when I ask her to, and stop sharply when I ask her to, just like she does in her comfort zone. At the end of the session she was pretty sharp in responding and I was pleased with what I got.

I also discovered that when I am in the saddle, since my leg is somewhat forward, my calf isn't connecting to her side through the ride. This would mean that she really doesn't feel my leg unless it purposefully comes against her to ask for a higher gait, or turn. Hense the speeding up when I put my leg on to turn. She feels that like a new pressure and assumes I want her to move faster.

I worked on bringing my leg back and resting it against her side as we worked...and what do you know, she turned on my leg at the trot instead of speed up. *forehead slap* My leg was already against her side while bareback, it wasn't held out and forward like it is in the saddle, so she responded the way she should.

I guess sometimes you need to work through the "duh" moments and put things down in writing so they become clearer in your head. Helps me figure things out, anyways.

I also got a kick in the butt from my friend, who told me to stop baby-ing her. I guess I have been. Three years ago when I started training her for board, she was quick and responsive because I expected that from her. I treated her like a client's horse because thats what she was. These days, I'm a bit more laid back about it and have hearts in my eyes over Raina, and it clouded my judegement. Raina is a work horse, not a liesure horse. She needs to work and thrives off of a job. Over the past couple months, I've been over-thinking things and haven't really put Raina back into work, really. So to answer my own question in "Why is she doing the things she is doing?" is "Because I'm not expecting the best out of her, like I used to".

I put her into work after debunking the bridle/halter thing with the different atmospheres. She isn't as sharp as she was three years ago, but she's a lot sharper than she was yesterday after I got my point across.

On a side note, the dentist is coming at the end of the month to check her teeth, and I palpated her back to see if there were any pain issues with the saddle. She checked out clear with the back and now I just have to wait for the dentist.

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music
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post #12 of 21 Old 09-18-2012, 02:26 PM
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Honestly, I think I'd finish her with tack before I rode her bareback. I didn't even try to school/ride my young horses bareback for YEARS. I did ride the horses that I bought in their teens after I really trusted them. I never even bothered to ride my babysitter QH with just halter and lead until I was too tired to bridle at a CW event and wanted to make a trip to the trailer. THEN, I knew I could ride him bridleless--I think he was 12yo, and I bought him as a 5yo. I think yours just needs some more time.
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post #13 of 21 Old 09-18-2012, 06:00 PM
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I use to only ride bareback unless I were going camping, or working - for obviouse reason. Young horse, old horse...didn't matter. I actually thought saddles were dangerous for the most part. I have never seen a horse that responds bareback exactly as they do under saddle - usually they respond well to either, but differently to both. They are highly intelligent animals and their survival as a species was highly dependent on balance. For one, I sat in the "exact" same place on a given horse when I rode bareback - not true of saddle to saddle or bareback to saddle.

When I rode bareback on a consistant basis, I could do anything as well as undersaddle w few exceptions. Today, I ride bareback on occasion - and it is not "the same". If you are not one-thousand percent confident bareback, and "balanced" muscle memory is just "part" of your body and soul on their back, the horse can feel it b/c you are at full contact. A good horse will hesitate for your benefit....a fantastic horse will make up for your error.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #14 of 21 Old 09-18-2012, 09:17 PM
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Copperhead my little mare does better bitless. I'm riding more western at the moment and in a sidepull, but have a bosal coming. I plan to try her in a English bitless bridle eventually, but she listens better without a bit. It takes more work to teach collection that way, but it can be done :) To relax I toss a rough saddle blanket on her with a cinch and strap and climb on to go. She steps out as soon as the cinch is tightened up. lol If I don't have some sort of cinch on her all she wants to do is eat :)
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post #15 of 21 Old 09-18-2012, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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I never actually ride my horse bareback on a consistant basis. I did so last week because I lacked an extra saddle and couldn't send my sister out on a trail bareback, and I just hopped on her again a couple days ago for poops and giggles before putting her back into the pasture.

I really don't expect her to be a bareback mount. Bareback is fun, but its really not in the direction I want to be taking her.

I have thought about going into a bosal when she is better trained, but that experiment won't be til much later on in the game. We still have a lot of things to sort out

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music
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post #16 of 21 Old 09-18-2012, 10:20 PM
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No I don't plan for Emma to be full bareback either. When I got her she was severely under weight. I started riding her bareback because I didn't want to add the extra weight of a saddle to her until she gained some of it back, not to mention I didn't have a clue what size cinch she was going to need. So I'm riding with just a nubby blanket until the flank strap gets here for the western saddle. I have a English saddle ordered, but won't know what size girth she needs until it gets here :) She is green broke, but is probably one of the sanest(sp) horse I've ever ridden.

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post #17 of 21 Old 09-18-2012, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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You are very brave with riding a thin horse bareback! That backbone would kill me!

She is a very pretty girl! Is she an appy?

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music
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post #18 of 21 Old 09-19-2012, 12:14 AM
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lol The first couple of months I felt like I was riding the narrow edge of a 2x4 then one day I got on and realized I wasn't queing under her belly anymore. She is still a little thin, but a lot of horse at 14 hands.

She is part app probably has some paint and Arabian in her too. She has a really Arab look to her face, not a dish exactly, but the bones have a Arab look to them.
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post #19 of 21 Old 09-19-2012, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Copperhead View Post
You are very brave with riding a thin horse bareback! That backbone would kill me!

She is a very pretty girl! Is she an appy?
I agree, brave. I started using a saddle as a "standard" instead of bareback after I was injured - I was merely trotting along ponying a gelding whilst on a young thin filly w a high wither bone, the gelding abruptly stopped - I pulled her up short but was "tethered" to the huge gelding, she "bounced" to a halt...when I "landed"...holly molly, I thought I would never be able to have children - seriously. But, I still won't ride bareback w a pad..I like the "stick'em" of jeans to hair.

And, Emma is beautiful!
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There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #20 of 21 Old 09-19-2012, 12:43 AM
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lol I've had her jump out from under me once, thus the blanket lol. She can really move fast without trying. As long as I have something other then her satin coat to hold onto I don't budge :) That once was enough. I had a bruise that looked like barney the dinosaur for 4 weeks. That cheap blanket has enough texture to it that I can hold on probably better then I can in a saddle. My saddle is a old slick leather western trail saddle.
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