I used to be in a vaulting group when I was younger. We did much more than stand - We did arabesques, built multi person pyramids... Great fun!
I would like to do demonstrations on bundy one day. Bridleless riding and whipcracking, mainly. Of course, circus tricks, but fun nonetheless. One of the things I would like to do is stand on his back while cracking two whips, one in each hand. We are a long way away at the moment - lol!
However, I would only ever stand on his back with my saddle on. He has had back issues in the past and no way would I stand on him bareback.
I do think it is a skill that would add to his value as a demonstration horse if sold. However jumping up on the average backyard horses back isn't going to add value unless the buyer is very naive.
Horses with healthy backs are ok to be stood on bareback, IF you are barefoot and IF you know the correct place to place your feet. I do from my vaulting days - Having said that I haven't stood on a horse since then either :]
Exactly this. I have stood on a horse with a vaulting pad on, as we were vaulting. I've done tons of things on this horses back that a lot of people would gawk at. Swinging around half on, half off, flipping myself around a ton, to the front of the surcingle, jumping off and back on. It is more of a rider skill than a horse skill, but you need a steady, calm horse to do it on.
I have no idea where the negativity is coming from, to be honest. How is it not a selling point? The horse is laid back enough that a person can stand on them. Sure, the owner may be a bit of a dare devil, but a lunatic horse won't let you do it, period, under any circumstance. And often times, pictures of people standing on their horse will also supply pictures of working with tarps and other scary objects.
Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I think it's fun and pretty cool. If you are turning down a horse who will tolerate it, you're likely turning down a pretty steady horse.