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jazzyrider 06-10-2008 11:26 PM

ok so i have a show coming up (like you havent heard about that yet :roll: ) and its basically an equitation show. one of the events is a bareback rider class and i have to admit im very very worried about it.

i do ok bareback but possum seriously dislikes it. i dont know what it is but she really has a hate for it. the first time i rode her bareback it was like she was a different horse all together and i assumed that she had had very little experience being ridden bareback.

ive got her to the point where i can walk and trot on the bit (not constantly but she is starting to come down better now rather than having her head up in the air. but the canter is another thing. she really freaks out and does silly little hoppy bucky things and goes up and down from canter to fast trot to canter for 2 strides to fast trot and so on. as you can imagine its not that easy to stay on when they are doing this while you are bareback.

why does she do this? ive made a conscious effort to make sure im not moving position when i ask her to canter so i dont think im throwing her off balance or anything and one of the ladies from the pony club said i actually have a pretty stable seat and hands bareback.

so my question is, how can i get past this with her? is 6 weeks enough time to get this all sorted? im not worried about her acting up at the show because they are only judging me and how i control her/ask for right diagonals etc etc but it will make it hard to ride a good round if she is doing this. is it just a practice thing or something else?

ajegberg 06-11-2008 10:32 PM

There are several reasons why your horse could be acting this way when ridden bareback. First thing I would want to do is rule out any physical problems that a chiropractor or vet could diagnose/fix. When you are riding in a well-fitted saddle, your weight is distributed over a larger area of the horse's back. When you are riding bareback, your weight is in a much smaller area. If the horse has an area of pain, you could be sitting right on it.

Also, the way that you ride or sit your horse may be painful/uncomfortable to your horse. Many horses learn to "ignore" the rider's short-comings, but some are much more sensitive. If you are sitting in a way that places the tips of your seat bones into the horse's back, that can definitely cause a problem. Also, if you try and sit too "still" and do not move with the horse, you make it more difficult for the horse to move freely underneath you.

These are just a few common causes of the issues you describe. The main point is, the problem may well be caused because the horse can feel you much better bareback than with a saddle...whether it is something physical with the horse or possibly the way you are riding. Sure hope this helps! Best of luck at your show!

Curly_Horse_CMT 06-11-2008 11:33 PM

Riding Bareback
I have never ridden in bareback classes at shows since the only showing I have done is 4-H and open shows but they dont allow bareback classes since they are too much of a risk to take. :( But anyways, riding bareback surely does help balence once you do get it, but as the above said, just try and rule out any physical problems before you go any further. If it is just a matter of getting her used to the feel, just keep riding her bareback for short periods at a time often to get her used to it. But make sure that you are relaxed too, or else she will feel that anxiety, no doubt.

jazzyrider 06-12-2008 12:31 AM

theres no prob with me being relaxed and not sitting right etc i do better bareback than with a saddle :D i dont think im sitting in a way that will hurt her either. had someone watch me closely the other day. im using a rather thick sheepskin saddle blanket at the moment cause she has a boney wither

i have the chiro coming out again to see jarred next week and she is getting looked at as well so ill find out then :)

thanks for the replies

p.s. when i said i make a conscious effort not to move when i ask for the canter i mean i make sure i dont end up throwing my shoulders forward or something else that will throw me off balance.

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