Bareback? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 18 Old 11-29-2011, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by animalartcreations View Post
I always start horses bareback with a halter and lead rope. I feel safer because I can feel if they are nervous. In the beginning, it's a lot of getting on, getting off, getting on, getting off. By taking my time, I develop a bond and trust with the horse. My horses don't buck or otherwise act out. They all voluntarily come up to the gate and parallel up as an invitation for me to mount up because that is what they learned in the beginning and they love being rode. To me, a saddle puts a barrier in between me and the horse, so a saddle is for later after I have established the basics.
Agreed. If you have done the training correctly and have not left any gaps out then it doesn't really matter what you use. If you have done everything correctly it will not go 'tits up'. However, if it does go tits up, you are doing something wrong. It's not the horse choosing to do it wrong. Personally I like doing it with just a pad on, and anyway, the first time you get on a horse, you don't ride it, you get off it. This shows the horse release, and you do that many times before you ever get to ride it even a few steps. If you do it right, the horse does it right.

Another reason why I do it with just a pad: because it's closer contact and I want the closer contact with him before I put the padded saddle on. Personally I think this is more like the stepping stone to the saddle. But it's your choice.
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post #12 of 18 Old 12-01-2011, 10:13 PM
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I completely agree. I get on all of my young and training horses bridless and bareback before I ride with bridle, saddle and reins. Then gradually work up to full set of tack. Of course after lots and lots of ground work! :)

A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves - strong, powerful, beautiful - and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.
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post #13 of 18 Old 12-02-2011, 03:06 AM
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I totally agree. I start horses without saddle and bridle, because horse must be ready to accept that and I cannot force him to anything. This is why I wouldn't ride in any way on a crazy horse. If I can't ride him without a saddle I shouldnt ride with it. And by the way I think it is easier for a horse to accept riding on saddle when he has accepted rider yet.
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post #14 of 18 Old 12-02-2011, 08:15 AM
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When my cousin and I were kids, (as in 10 & 12 years old) we had to make the first rides bareback because our granddad didn't want our feet getting caught in the stirrups if we went off.

We also weren't allowed to have the reins tied.

We started handling the horses from the moment they were born (I believe the modern day word is imprinting).

When it was time to start riding, the horses had already been broke to line drive and were very familiar with a bit, although the bits were different for driving and riding.

So, the first ride was bareback with the horse in a low port curb bit and always uneventful -- down the mile long tractor lane.

Back in those days us poor farm kids didn't have round pens, lunge lines, carrot sticks or whatever else the modern day world thinks they need to break a horse.

We played with the horses in the pasture ("imprinting" never stops), worked them in the plowed fields in the spring, and made heavy use of the tractor lane & common sense since each horse thinks and progresses differently.

The horses got positive attention several hours a day, all year long, whether it was from us kids or our granddad. When it was time to work them it was under the guidance of our granddad.

Getting on them bareback for the first ride was as natural and uneventful as brushing our teeth in the morning.

I never saddle broke my first horse, that was born on my parents farm, until he was ten years old. That was only because, back then, I couldn't get on organized rides unless he had a saddle.

I have always had "expectations" of the horse. Meaning I don't approach the horse with negative vibes that can transfer to the horse; what I expect is pretty much what I get or close to it.

Depending on the horse, "close to it" can be good enough the first few times; I always quit a task while I'm the winner, not when the horse is "winnnninnnng"

I learned those simple, "old farmer" principles well over 50 years ago and they work as well today as they did then.
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post #15 of 18 Old 12-02-2011, 08:29 AM
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I like starting out things bareback. I like to feel the horse under me.
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post #16 of 18 Old 12-02-2011, 12:28 PM
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The first time I got on my harness trained mare, I did it bareback. My boyfriend thought I was crazy. I prefer riding bareback because I can feel better how a horse is flexing. I can feel a hump in their back, tight muscles, etc better than if I was sitting in a saddle. I'm less balanced in a saddle than I am bareback anyway and it's almost guaranteed that I'll come out of a saddle going faster than a trot. Bareback, I can ride a canter without an issue.
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post #17 of 18 Old 12-02-2011, 12:51 PM
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See, I eventually want to get there myself. Being able to ride bareback :)
My horse just got ridden bareback for the FIRST time ever a week ago. No one thought he could handle it. One day I want to ride him in just a halter and reins. Baby steps.

It's nice to read and know that others have successes with it. Makes me more determined :)
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post #18 of 18 Old 12-02-2011, 04:47 PM
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We started Hunter in March, short rides a few of times a week bareback. I never rode him with a saddle til August. Ahhh I remember the days when I could ride bareback all day taking out trail rides. Poor Hunter the first time I rode him he was walking like a drunkard trying to adjust to my weight and my horrible balance bareback. Must practice.
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