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kinky_oz69 09-19-2007 10:59 AM

help riding bareback
i'm taking a college class called intro to horsmanship and right now we're riding bareback (walk and trot) our instructor has been telling me to (at a trot) grab a hold of the mane and lean back but i'm nervous i'm going to fall off i can't practice on it outside of class because my horses are 2 hrs away and i was wondering if any of you can give me a couple points on how to relax and posible practice at home but without the horse

kitten_Val 09-19-2007 12:25 PM

I've seen the guy in my old place set up the barrel on ropes. When you sit on barrel someone drag and shake the rope, so the whole barrel moves. It'll teach you to keep your legs around tight enough and keep your balance. In fact, I've seen one teenager was flipped over together with the barrel, but he was still sitting there till they move him in head up position. That was pretty cool.

3days3ways 09-20-2007 08:21 PM

thats so fun that youre taking that class!

k the first issue to conquer is trust- although there is no "for sure" that horses wont spook or trip, your teacher would never put you on a horse that you were not ready for. as you are probably on very wel schooled horses, for now focus on you and your balance.

while youre walking, take a deep breath and let your hips/ lower back relax into the walk- be aware of the horses movements until you feel the 1,2,3,4 of the beats. (this is gonna sound kinda weird, but work with me here haha) imagine a string is attached to the top of your head and it goes down to your seat, and you must stretch up as tell as you can without compensating for your relaxed lower back. with your legs, keep a light, steady pressure thats basically equal between your thighs, knees, and calves. try to keep your leg steady so you don't confuse your horse with multiple signals.

when doing any transitions, ask politley first. do a small squeeze with legs / hands, to let your horse know what you are about to ask so you don't surprise him/her and have an unbalanced transition, which might then throw you off balance.

during hte trot, have the same image of the string, and try to find the 1,2 beat of hte horses trot. your hips are going to have to move up and forward to stay with the trot, and it is important to relax your hip flexers as well as lower back and hips, so you stay sitting up tall instead of forward. many peoples first instinction is to hunch their shoulders and lean forawrd if they get off balance, but that is not effective at all. if you get off balance, take a deep breath in, sit up tall and let your hips relex into the horses motion again. also,, try to keep your legs and hands/ arms steady again so you do not confuse your horse with multiple signals.

as for your instructer telling you to lean back, make sure you do not go beyong 90 degrees, cuz if you literally lean back you are driving your horse forawrd with your seat unintentially and it is overal, not a ocmfortable exerience for either of you.

sry i basically wrote you a novel haha but remember the most important thing is to HAVE FUN!!!! (and respect and thank your horse haha)

good luck! keep us posted on how your lessons go!

*ArabianPrincess* 09-21-2007 05:38 AM

Not for bragging but some people call me the bareback queen.
Because i sit and i don't move in any condition.

Whether it be - Walk, Trot, Canter, Jumping, Extended trot, Galloping, No hands etc etc. You get my point.

There is no 'training' way to ride bareback. You cannot teach people how to ride bareback, its something that come naturally to the rider.

Trotting -

Your instructor said to grab hold of there mane, Am i correct?
Wrong. When you grab the mane it will automatically transfer your weight to the horses neck and wither. You want your weight to sit evenly across the horses back and you want to relax and let your legs hang. I don't want you to grip with your legs because its like when you're jumping.. when you grip with your knees your leg can swing back and you can fall forwards.

Cantering -

Cantering is kind of like trotting, you want your legs to hang free, don't grab onto the horses mane and just sit there make sure you relax because if you don't you will become uneven on your horses back and fall or end up slipping to one side.

Here are some pictures for examples of what im trying to explain -

Cantering -

And trotting will come when i can be bothered going through my Photobucket.

kat399 09-21-2007 09:50 PM

ArabianPrincess is right, no one can teach you how to ride bareback, you need to find the technique on your own. I haven't had a lot of experience riding bareback, I've done it maybe 4 times before, but I can do a walk,sitting trot and posting trot.

Never lean forward! That's what causes a fall. You need all your weight on your tailbone and lean back slightly.

Never grip with your calves (lower leg), until you want a transition. If you keep a grip, your knees will point out and you'll be popping yourself off the horse's back, kind of like a cork in a bottle. If you need to grip to regain your balance, use your thighs instead.

Always make sure to have your legs really long and keep your heels down, as if you were riding in a saddle. If you need a downward transition, make sure to sit far back, or you'll slid right onto the horse's neck.

Have Fun!

kinky_oz69 09-22-2007 12:05 PM

i wanna thank you guys very much for your advise

on thursday they had us pick out a horse we've never ridden before i was kinda nervose because i've riiden all the other horses and was use to them but i did really well (acording to the teacher) i even got in to a canter but suprissingly i had issuses with that for a lil bit i did good in the trot but i really don't like the whole being told i need to lean back i feel like i'm gonna fall off

thanks again

*ArabianPrincess* 09-22-2007 07:34 PM


That's alright! That is what we are here for! To help.

If you don't want to lean back by all means don't do it.
i don't lean back nor do i lean forwards.. i just sit up straight.

I would hate to think what it would do to my horses back if i Lent back and put all that pressure on him. Sitting up straight and evenly across his back takes the pressure off.

its like when people slouch here's a thing you can do to know what it feels like. Get you hand and put you fingers straight up and then put the tips of your fingers on your leg.. you will notice it dosnt hurt?
Well not make them slouch and feel heavy.. Now think if you're slouching all that pressure is going onto your horses back.

I learned that at riding club. 8) :lol:

kat399 09-22-2007 07:42 PM

You can also tilt your pelvis forward, especially during a downward transition. Congrat on trying a canter. I haven't gotten that far yet :shock:

nurse_in_boots 09-22-2007 11:08 PM

Something that helps me bareback is to really stretch my legs downward. Not sure why but somehow it helps me keep centered on the horse, especially at the trot and canter.

kinky_oz69 10-03-2007 11:10 AM

thank you for all of your advise they finally gave us saddles :D

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