I finally got my new bit, got it all set up in my bridle, and raced out to see Blaze after work. I don't know why I'm such a doofus-the saddle his owners lent me is a total piece of crap (terrible quality leather, I could hardly get the billet straps to bend enough to put the girth on) and really doesn't fit him well to boot. Plus, the girths they gave me are all too small, by 2-4 inches. I was so excited to ride, too.
Blaze is a pretty even keeled seeming guy, but I have yet to ride since since I test-rode him earlier in the month. I don't know if he's ever been ridden bareback (I e-mailed his owner to ask), but I'm dying to hop on and work him a little bit. Do you think it's a somewhat dangerous combination: horse in new surroundings (been there 2 weeks now), new bit/bridle, no saddle, first time riding him? I'll wait until I can find a saddle if it wouldn't be smart, but I really want to ride.
I think I would hold off on the jumping on bareback thing, too many factors and you could end up not riding for a long span if you get hurt.
I could go either way with an answer.
The parent in me says wait until you have a saddle that fits. Like you said, new horse, new surroundings, new bridle, etc. You want to make the first ride a good one.
The child in me says, if I'm in an arena, it's quiet, there are others around if I get into trouble, I'll only walk him a few min. ... it'll be OK.
Tough call but knowing me, I'd ride - that is NOT to say you should, just some things to think about.
Thanks for the replies. As luck would have it, my BO is selling an old Crump saddle that I tried tonight. I only got to walk/trot a little bit before it got totally dark, but I was riding and it felt fantastic. :D
^very cool...i love jumping bareback....nothing too big though 3' and under....tehe
a few days-1 week after I got Montana I hopped on bareback. He was wearing a new bit and new bridle as well. Everything went fine, but I only walked and did a little bit of trot work.
You could always see how he is, and if either of you are uncomfortable, end on a good note (standing still for a few min) and then get off and call it a day :)
I ended up having a saddle to borrow (and hopefully buy!) anyway, but I think he would have done fine. He was very calm walking around the arena, no lunging first. It's so cool to see how he's mellowed since being off of the sweet feed. I cannot wait until tomorrow to ride more!
I rode Ri bareback for the first time last week. I put a snaffle in his mouth and climbed up on the mounting block, I was nervous... not sure how a 2 year old would react... He didnt care... I even loped him... rode him again last night bareback w/ my port.... He didnt care, did not lope last night because he hadnt been ridden since Friday....
I think if you are careful and read the signs... it's worth a try... but I would wait until I knew the horse a little more, since you may not realize he's giving you a sign yet....
I'd work him some on the ground first, making sure he listens and understands the new bit, and geting used to the surroundings. Then I'd take a calm bareback ride after doing that a few days.
It's better for the horse to ride bareback than with a saddle, especially if the saddle doesn't fit perfectly. Just don't use ''riding girths'' with stirrups since they doesn't even out the preassure from the stirrups. (when you ride bareback without stirrups your bum and thigs evens it out, and yor seatbones doesn't push into the horse as it would if you sat on a chair ;)
(But I'd slide off without a saddle so. x)
lunge him a bit to get the kinks worked out, then hop on!
I wouldn't do any jumping or anything, but there is no reason why you cant walk/trot/canter in the arena (JMO though!)
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