Bareback Riding? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 20 Old 11-20-2008, 02:07 PM
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I agree with those posters who commented if the rider can't ride and has no balance, use a saddle because you just might do some damage with long-term bareback riding.

I am 61 and have been riding bareback since I was ten. I still ride all of my horses without a saddle, unless we're in a parade

While I am retired from "Calgary Stampede" riding, when I was young I thought nothing of taking my Arab/Saddlebred down power lines so steep that he literally sat on his butt and walked his behind down, then would dig with his knees the last 20 feet up the other side.

I prayed both ways that I wouldn't slide off one end or the other Going up hill, I would set my reins under my legs and wrap my arms around his neck. If I needed to turn him, I used my lower legs to cue him.

He was around 15.1, tough as nails and I only weighed 120, so he barely knew I was on his back.

I raised that Arab/Saddlebred from birth and we did parades (I used a saddle for that) and trail rides until I had to put him down with cancer when he was 29. He was no where near looking sway-backed.

So if the balance is truly there, the horse won't be hurt --- just be sure to not "ride the horse's mouth" when riding bareback.
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post #12 of 20 Old 11-20-2008, 09:20 PM
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When you have a saddle, you need the saddle tree, or some sort of solution for it (some tree less saddles) because it is lying pretty still on the horse. Sure the treeles saddles especially yield and follw, but not like your bum.

When you ride bareback, you move around to different preassure points on the back, you lift your legs/tighs a bit in the steps and so on. It's natural and it keeps the dreaded seatbones from digging into the same spot all the time.
Also, your seatbones arn't as obvious as if you sit on your ands in a chair and feel them, because when you ride, you don't sit like in a chair, you're more standing.

My instructor bought a PRE with a really poor back and stressed out mind.. no back muscles whatsoever, the spine really stood out. She rode him bareback, since no saddle would fit (lots of numnahs tho and a home made bareback pad with support for the knees and back, nothing fancy - no stirrups). He has become much, much better! His back still doesn't look good at all, but it's way better and now she can have a saddle on him. He has been better in his head too, although still quite stressed up when it comes to riding.. it's the calmest, sweetest stallion there is in all other situations. His last owner rode him until he couldn't even walk but just stood and trotted, hollow back, sharp bits and spurs to get the ''energy''...>___>)'

Anyway, so bareback riding is great for both horse and rider.. in most cases. If you bounce around too much or are very unbalanced, you'll hurt the horse.

Also with bareback pads and riding girths.. don't ever use them with stirrups. That gives a really bad preassure over a small area and is bound to lead to sores and trouble. No matter how light you think you are in the stirrups :P


Always keep your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.


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post #13 of 20 Old 11-20-2008, 09:24 PM
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good point, Zab...yea no stirrups...what's the point on them anyways? lol
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post #14 of 20 Old 11-20-2008, 10:20 PM
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I've never heard of bareback as being bad... I ride bareback a lot during the year, probably three or four months total out of the year I ride bareback.

In fact, even though I've owned my mare for years, it's been only VERY recently that I've gone faster than a trot with her...

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post #15 of 20 Old 11-20-2008, 10:27 PM
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I was with one instructor for a brief time that ONLY let you ride bareback. She believed all saddles were bad for horses' backs...
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post #16 of 20 Old 11-20-2008, 10:36 PM
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I don't believe that it is bad for the horse. All of my horses have been ridden extensively bareback and never showed any negative effects. I absolutely love riding bareback for fun and also when it's cold because you stay warm (until you get off, that is). It improves your balance and connection to the horse.
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post #17 of 20 Old 11-20-2008, 11:10 PM
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I love bareback!
If they had more shows for bareback riding I would totally go to them.
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post #18 of 20 Old 11-21-2008, 12:17 AM
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i absolutely love that picture of your mustang, smr!
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post #19 of 20 Old 11-21-2008, 01:01 AM
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I love riding bareback on my MFT Loki. I used to hate it, because no matter how I would sit, there would always be something digging into my rear (this was most likely caused by the fact that I was a SUPER green rider at the time)

On my MFT you just settle right in and go. It's more comfortable than any saddle you could buy.
I'm going to be riding bareback a LOT more as soon as I get my horses moved into there new home just down the road. In my opinion, it's a huge confidence booster and really helps connect with the horse. Plus, it strengthens your muscles like crazy x)

I've never heard of it ever hurting the horse though. Unless your sitting wrong O.o

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post #20 of 20 Old 11-21-2008, 04:39 AM
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I will second SMRobs

I get a huge kick out of riding bareback. More often then not with my own, I like to spend time riding mine without. The time tacking up bugs me occassionally, LOL!

I agree about the warmth aspect, as well as the fact I love crossing a variety of terrain bareback, and getting to feel the different muscles used by the horse with variation!

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