Bareback for the first time?
I have a Saddlebred and he is fairly bouncy walking/trotting. Well actually it's very bouncy compared to other breeds:) I have been dying to ride him bareback and I'm finally going to get to but I'm a little worried about staying on since he is bouncy AND I've never ridden bareback before! Any tips? Thanks!
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Hold on the the horses main, that one of the best tips I know :) oh and you are probably going to be sore for a day or two, just thought I'd say lol!
* mane Auto correct XD
I second mane-grabbing and remember: you don't need to go faster than a walk, if you don't feel comfortable! :) If you've never ridden bareback before, you'll probably find that just walking is quite an experience.
Also, my mare has a super bouncy trot too [she's an Arab] so I generally just walk and canter when riding bareback. If I must trot, I try to stay as relaxed as I possibly can - if I stay loose, I feel less like I could fall off at any second! haha
Take it slow and start off at a walk. Nothing changes riding wise when you're bareback compared to using tack. Take your time and start off at a walk and work your way up.
You can get a stirrup leather or lead rope and tie it around your horses neck (just take off any heavy clips) that way, if you feel like your slipping, you can grab onto that and/or the mane.
Also, before you trot, try doing tight circles at a walk, or walk over little poles, just to try to balance yourself while doing something other than walking straight. :D
When you do trot, let you legs hang long and dont grip with your heels! You could try riding in a bareback pad to start with (they give you a little bit more support) or try riding in your saddle but without stirrups...
Practise makes perfect and its heaps of fun when you get the hang of it! :D
I've seen bareback pads with stirrups to help keep your balance. When I was younger, I didn't need 'em but I was also riding a tired old mare. My current horse has a ton of "go" and it's really hard for me to stay on without stirrups, without squeezing with my legs too hard, which makes him go faster. LOL
100% agree with those saying try to take it slow and walk your first time through. However, as horse lovers we can be easily excited and want to just test the waters of a faster gait, so if ya do want to attempt the trot, relax your body and let your hips move with the horse's shoulders. most riders try to fight the bounce and movement when they try trotting bareback the first time, but try to just go with the flow of the horse. But remember, YOU need to feel comfortable and confident before you try to move beyond the trot! No one knows your horse better than you, so be safe but have fun!
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