Originally Posted by toto
Oh and don't worry about the horses back with out a saddle- he aint going to know the difference anyway- hell want you off no matter what you break em in.
Why is he going to want you off no matter what? I don't understand that thought, surely the whole point about starting a horse is that he doesn't want you off. If he does, you have seriously skipped some important steps in his training.
I'm not sure about the whole back thing, I'm more convinced by the argument that a well fitting saddle makes carrying a rider a more comfortable experience for a horse. However there are a lot of horribly fitted saddles out there, and maybe bareback is more comfortable than a bad fit.
When it comes to it, ride and start him in whatever you are comfortable, and more importantly secure with, even if he isn't trying to get you off a novice horse needs a secure and steady rider.
BUT A BIG FAT NO to a bareback pad with stirrups, simply dangerous.