Riding bareback - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 06-21-2014, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
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Riding bareback

My question seems to be asked a lot, and it seems as though people either completely agree or completely disagree. If you have strong opinions, please back up your opinions with some facts. Anyway, is it OK to ride a horse bareback? I have heard some positives and negatives, but I want to be totally aware of everything before I jump on my horse and go. My horse is a 25 year old Tennessee Walking horse, so I don't know if that will effect anything or not. Would you recommend a bareback riding pad, or just short walks around the property line. Well, I won't be doing anything until she is back up to weight (I got her a couple of months ago, and she was SEVERELY underweight, but since then, the vet says that she has gained at least a 100 pounds). Please respond ASAP!
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-21-2014, 09:37 PM
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I don't see why you can't ride your horse bareback once her condition has improved. I would get used to riding her first in a saddle though and get to know her a bit - its much harder to stay on bareback! Some horses seem to not like being ridden bareback, a pad of some sort will definitely make it more comfortable for both of you, even if its just a saddle pad.
I don't ride bareback much these days now that I have a younger horse but with my previous horse who was in his mid twenties I felt pretty safe in knowing that he wouldn't spook or dump me suddenly. Bareback riding can be fun but for me now that I am a bit older I prefer the safety of a saddle.
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-21-2014, 10:28 PM
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What kiwi said.
But also, if the horse is underweight or has been, she may not have much topline, which will make bare back rather uncomfortable for you. Protruding spine meets um.. rather sensitive areas = not much fun.
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-21-2014, 10:46 PM
Green Broke
 
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Spent all of my childhood riding bareback and still do if I'm just hacking around in the pasture. Have never had a one of my horses have back issues. Agree with Kiwi & Vicki that if your horse doesn't have enough fat and muscle covering her spine you should use a bareback or saddle pad.
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-22-2014, 05:25 PM
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Be aware if you have a bony butt lol sounds ridiculous but if you do it can be irritating to the horse. How to find out is to sit on your hands and move around a bit. You'll feel if it'll be uncomfortable for the horse. If you do then use a bareback pad. Keep in mind that you don't want a bareback pad with stirrups. They present a few issues including pain for the horse and possible injury for the rider. Bareback is fun and great to develop your seat and balance.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-22-2014, 05:58 PM
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I ride mostly bareback with a pad for short rides in my neighborhood. The pad has a handle I can grab if I need it. For longer rides I use a saddle. My horses have shown no I'll effects.
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-22-2014, 06:04 PM
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I never had a saddle that fit me growing up, and many unbroke horses and I rode everywhere on them with no issues even in the hills. I had a lot of fun and I never remember falling off unless the horses bucked. I only last year got the first broke horse iv ever owned. I still train all of my horse bareback when I start them. If you asked me to get on and ride in the hills or go for a run bareback now though I probably wouldn't last 5 minutes
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-22-2014, 09:37 PM
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I ride my horse bareback sometimes-I did a lot last year because my horse had girth itch for a while. I didn't use any pad, he was great. It's definitely different, you may have to hold on with your legs more and it can be uncomfortable, this may confuse your horse a little. Mine was a bit confused at first, and I had to adjust the way I rode a little bit-try to keep my legs off of him a little and give with my hands even more. I'd try it and see how your horse takes it. Every horse is different! :)
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-22-2014, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rescuechick View Post
I never had a saddle that fit me growing up, and many unbroke horses and I rode everywhere on them with no issues even in the hills. I had a lot of fun and I never remember falling off unless the horses bucked. I only last year got the first broke horse iv ever owned. I still train all of my horse bareback when I start them. If you asked me to get on and ride in the hills or go for a run bareback now though I probably wouldn't last 5 minutes
That doesn't make any sense. If you're riding the horse, regardless of whether you have a saddle or not, it must be broke. Unless you're jumping on wild horses and just running around on them willy-nilly with no bridle or halter? I'm confused.

OP- Bareback isn't necessarily bad for horses. Heck, right now my gelding prefers bareback to a saddle (apparently my saddle that I thought fit relatively well doesn't fit as well as I thought...ugh). And bareback is definitely better than riding in an ill-fitting saddle.

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post #10 of 11 Old 06-25-2014, 12:30 AM
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I prefer bareback! When I first took lessons they started me off bareback instead of replying on the saddle! It does actually help a whole lot riding bareback. Whenever I lose my stirrups I don't flop around like some people I've seen when they lose their stirrups because they rely on them too much. My Arabian prefers bareback too but I have to wear a bareback pad, he hates my boney butt. Lol.

~Ride On~
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