Bareback riding help
I've been doing lots of bareback riding since it's been raining almost every single day....and I don't want to ruin my expensive Tucker saddle....
sooooo....Originally, at my old barn, I'd only walk while bareback because my balance is whack...but I've been doing some trotting (haven't fallen off yet...which I guess is a good sign) but each time I trot, I almost seem to slide forward towards his neck...and sometimes I swear I was going to go on his neck.
How can I prevent myself from moving forward while trotting?
Also, when I trot, I tend to bounce up and down, and I know that isn't particually good for his back. I try to sit deeper, relax my muscles and so on, and that does seem to help, but then I get off balance more. Suggestions?
I hope someone answers you because I want SOOO badly to learn how to ride bareback. I've only walked on Harley, and that was hard enough. Kept feeling like I was going to just slide right off. I tried extra hard not to squeeze my legs to hang on, but it was really hard.
Hopefully someone will answer soon!!
I mean it's fairly easy...I find it's easier to keep my balance if I have a bareback pad. I can trot and canter and so on....but without it, I can barely trot. I'm pathetic lol
I've tried squeezing with my legs for balance, no leg pressure at all and what not, but nothing has helped.
sometimes the way a horse is built/shaped can make it harder to ride them bareback. for example possums back shape gives me a definite chair type position which makes it very hard for me to get my legs underneath me.
if you are slipping forward it sounds to me like you are compensating for lack of balance by squeezing too much and staying to tense even if it doesnt feel like you are. maybe you are relaxing, getting off balance which makes you tense then you relax, get off balance and so on.
if you are having troubles at the walk as well i would concentrate on getting yourself steady in the walk before going on to the trot.
remember when you ride bareback to keep the same position as you would in the saddle. when you trot make him to a really slow pokey trot so that there is no way you cant sit to it. move your hips with the movement of the horse exactly the same as you would when you have a saddle. if you are struggling with the sit trot bareback i would think that means you are still using your toes/feet for balance when you have stirrups. remember though that you dont want to go to overboard with the hip movements. i have attached a clip of me and possum practicising some bareback.
all i can say is practice practice practice dont start another gait unless you are 100% comfortable in the previous one.
oh yeah and i forgot to say that when you are bareback you have the closest possible contact with your horse. use this when you are walking to really feel the movement of his back and his body and work your body with his. if you are in an enclosed arena close your eyes and concentrate on the sway of his body. dont force it or go against it, just go with it :D
for the walk I'm fine bareback...no problems on balance...it's the trot that is kinda bothering me. I worry that I am bouncing up and down too much on his back so I try to sit quieter which I think doesn't help at all. Once I get my bareback pad in the mail (which STILL hasn't come) I'll see if that makes any difference.
I know Sonny's coat is REALLY slippery and smooth which makes it hard hehe
Thanks for the video it helped!
yea bareback pads do wonders for..well... staying on haha!
sorry if this is a little vague but..
try to absorb the movement with your lower back
..sorry, idk how to explain it better
You want to relax your lower back. Sort of melt into the horse and become one with the horse (goofy sounding but true!).
I've been riding bareback since I was six, my Gramps wouldn't let us use a saddle until we could ride bareback.
Don't squeeze tightly with your legs. Grip with your thighs around the horse's barrel and sit straight and just relax the lower back and move with the horse.
Don't move to trotting until you have the walking down. Bouncing on the horse's back can make them sore, especially if you have a bony behind!
Try jog trots if your horse has a nice easy jog.
Kai can have a bouncy trot bareback and Com has a smooth as silk trot that just glides, ahhh. To stay on for Kai's bouncy bareback I sit back on my jean pockets and grab a little mane as well to stop myself sliding forward. I try to get him as slow and steady as possible, a jog maybe, but usually I prefer to just canter him bareback, soooo much easier ;)
Hmm, well, what I am about to suggest involves using tack. So maybe go to a facility where you can hire an indoor area or something, or maybe do this when it isn't raining. Well, we do this exercise all the time to improve our balance and our muscles in the legs, it's hard work, but it's worth it!
Well, take your feet outa the stirrups, but if you won't, don't cross them over, because if you feel as though you are going to fall off, you can put your feet back in them. Get your horse into a trot, start by sitting to the trot with no stirrups. Don't hold onto the saddle, just continue with your normal position. Only if you feel uncomfortable or feel as though you are going o fall off grab onto the front of the saddle and put your feet in the stirrups. Then, start to rise trot, I know, it kills, but it really improves your balance and position and not to mention your leg muscles! Alternate to sitting and rising, sitting and rising etc. After a while, I'm sure you could canter with no stirrups. This is also good if you get someone to lunge you if you're doing it for the first time.
I remember, we all used to canter down the runway with no stirrups and no hands. We once did a lesson cantering over a jump with no hands and our eyes closed. It was great fun and it builds heaps on confidence and trust between you and your horse!
Let me know how it goes, I hope I helped and good luck!
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