Bareback riding questions
I have had my horse about a yr and a half and a few times while hand grazing him in my front yard, I went up on the porch and attempted to get on his back and he seemed to not want that. I tried that twice since I had him and both times he wasn't cool with it. I have a pool ladder lying around and just thought of something the other day. Well long story short, I first introduced the ladder to him getting him comfortable with it while he ate. I was able to mount him with a halter and reins attached to the halter and get on his back. Now this was a careful procedure, I didnt just jump on lol. I slowly did the whole process and took me about 3 days before I was comfortable even getting up on him because of how tall he is. On the third day, yesterday, I got on him and wanted to take it a step further. I was able to ride him down the pasture and back with no problems and rewarded him when we got back.
I have always wanted to be able to just jump on his back and ride him around the yard or whatever just to keep him ridden and can easily do that once a wk not having to worry about saddling him up. I like the idea especially just right around the house of getting on him and doing just that. Just wondering if anyone has actually ridden far or knows anyone who rides bareback regularly and the advantages or disadvantages if any there are. I actually seen a young girl who lives near ride a about a 12.5-13 hand horse with just a bridle on the side of the rode for about 6 miles or so total round trip
Oh I LOVE riding bareback! Sometimes it can be a bit "scary" doing gait transitions, but there is nothing better to get your balance in check then riding bareback.
It's amazing how dependent you become with your saddle, even though you don't think you are.
As far as distance, comfort for you and/or your horse etc...I don't think there is any "rule." Obviously horses with nice round backs are more comfortable to ride than a horse with a more prominate topline.
My first mare had a pretty prominate wither that wasn't so comfortable so I just used a bareback pad and we use to ride the day away bareback, through trails, to the river, down the road. We did it all. :) Never seemed to bother her and I loved being so "close" to my horse.
Good Luck and have fun with your new journey. As you ride, you'll build confidence and you'll ride longer and further and as you do, you and your horse will be getting in shape for it and before you know it, your saddle will be an afterthought. :)
After my first child was born, I often didn't have much time for riding, so every chance I got, I'd jump up on my gelding bareback and ride, even for a few minutes around the pasture or arena...then I started practicing riding bridleless and we got really good at it within the confines of the arena and pasture.
What ever you do...just have fun!
I ride with a bareback pad most of the time. I love it! Your leg feels longer, your balance improves and it's a great workout, especially if you post. Trick is not to grip with your knees as that is a signal to go. Also, having a one rein stop is essential.
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I ride bareback almost exclusively in the winter. A saddle is only used when I have to carry tools. Usually I use a bridle, but on occasion I will have gone out to visit the horse, maybe groom or whatever so didn't bring the bridle from the house... then I decide I want to ride but I'm too lazy to go for the bridle! Out we go with the halter and a lead rope for reins. I love it. So does my horse.
It's also great training because she never knows if we're going riding or not based on what tack I bring with me. Sometimes I'll put the bridle on her, do her feet and groom her, then not go for a ride after all.
I rode my mare for 3yrs. with a bareback pad with stirrups (mainly to help with balance), it's a good way to learn your balance. I sometimes if I am being lazy I will just use the pad instead of the saddle. I also ride her in her halter or a biteless bridle.....
Yes a hardback pad is different. They come with their own girths and often have stirrups. though if you tend to ride with a lot of weight in the stirrups they may not be best for you as they disperse weight unevenly across your horses back.
But riding bareback is the best. It improves your core, other muscles, your seat, and I feel the relationship between you and your horse too. My 17.2 Percheron is ridden strictly bareback. She is also old and as close to bombproof as possible!
I just went for a hack last week that was aprox 16 miles, bareback. (:
And I'm going out for another soon!
I can't do anything past a trot yet but it has helped my balance tons and because my mare knows if she acts up without a saddle, I'll fall, so she's more careful. (Your horse may not be like that :b )
I love riding bareback. It makes me focus on my balance more and I love feeling closer to my horse.
It really helps with getting in sync with my horse too. I don't use a bareback pad currently but have tossed around the idea of getting one. Its one of my favorite ways to ride though Ill admit I don't do it as often because at the stables I ride at we teach western riding so Im more often than not in the saddle to help out some.
Rubbermaid makes a great 2-step stepstool that has a nice wide base giving it stability. We love it for a mounting block. It might be a consideration as a replacement for the pool ladder. I worry about that sort of thing...but then I worry about everything.
Have a happy and safe ride!
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