Beginner Jumping -- Bareback (?)
I live on a rather large (128,000 acres) cattle ranch (1400 head of cattle) with some horses (approximately 45). Therefore, I ride Western. We gather, sort/cut, rope, brand cattle, and it's a great lifestyle. And I've never ridden English, and I wouldn't find it very pleasurable, I don't really think. However...
I think it would be neat just to do a little bit of jumping, just as a little fun, a break from our normal stuff. Wyatt and I jump bushes out in the pasture all the time- of course, it's because we're running flat out after a cow that broke from the herd and OVER is the fastest way... And yes it hurts when that saddle horn meets your tummy.
So, of course, I couldn't afford the proper tack aka English saddle. But... I can ride bareback. And I know that jumping bareback is much more difficult than jumping with a saddle. "Especially for a beginner." But it's all I have, and it's really good for my balance and my relationship with my horse too. We'd both have something new to learn together.
Oh, and I'm aware that it's best not to learn things together. But he's a 7 year old horse, very very very patient, and it'd be fun.
We could set up some jumps in our roping arena easy with some buckets and poles, we'll work it out. But I need tips. Anybody?
I think it's a good idea. I myself don't jump bareback, but I know a few people that do. What you could do is, work him over some trot poles and cavelettis so he'll learn how to adjust his stride. A jump is a lot different from a hedge or cross country obstical. Most of the time the horse can see through it, and they are generally easy to knock over.
When you jump, make sure to grip with your legs and lean well enough forward so you don't get left behind. Hold onto the mane is necessary, because the higher the jumps, the more your body will want to slide back.
jumping bareback is, as you say, an awesome way to bond with your horse. when i first ever started doing jumps bareback, i did as mentioned earlier, and rode him over trotting poles. i got the feel for that at a walk, a trot and a canter. he wasnt trained to jump at this point so the slower we did it the better :)
next i raised the poles to 10cm and did the same there. i gradually put them up each week or so until we were at about 60cm. bear in miind though that from about 30cm it does change a little as that leap gets a bit higher and you need to be incredibly mindful of keeping a good strong grip with your legs and making sure, as also said earlier, that you are well in place for the jump otherwise you may get left behind and its a little difficult to recover from being left behind when you are jumping bareback.
good contact, a big handful or two of mane and a steady seat should be all you need to be successful.
good luck :)
Its kinda like jumping with a saddle except you're bareback..
Dont grip with your knee, toes in, raise your self off the horses back, dont hold the mane and go for gold.
Its really simple honestly =]
i have been riding for many years both in saddle and bareback. i have always, as taught to me by my instructor years ago, gripped with my knees when jumping bareback. how else do you raise yourself of the horse while keeping balance and control? im sure a 3 point seat is rather difficult if you are all floppy. ive never tried it though so i wouldnt know however, sense sometimes should prevail.
also, grabbing a small piece of mane is something done even in higher levels of competition at times. while i agree that it is not always a necessity, while you get the feel for something, it can be of some benefit.
i agree with what jazzyrider said. in time certain things will become less necessary however. as also said, find what works best for you and your horse.
although new to this forum, i have perused many forums over the times. the biggest problem i find is someone says DONT do this and DONT do that. this can be misleading to people sometimes and in their particular case, the advice given might not work well at all in that scenario. offer ideas and suggestions and then allow the person to take what they have read and find their niche. in some cases DOS and DONTS are fine, but in many other cases, there are many and varied ways of doing things that create the same result. some things require a universal way of doings things, other things can be learnt by taking a little bit of something from everyone you meet plus, throw in a few of your own techniques.
remember we are ALWAYS learning. our horses are ALWAYS learning. everyone we talk to is also still learning. no one is ever right 100% of the time.
having said all that, jumping whether it be bareback or in a saddle, is a wonderfly exhilirating experience and i hope you have a blast :)
I thank everybody for their responses- advice is always welcome.
Arabian Princess, you somewhat confused me. First of all- I don't have extremely strong legs. They are strong enough, but I don't jump, have never ridden English, and I haven't had a horse to practice bareback on for a while and I don't have the time to ride bareback. I am experienced in bareback riding though, I used to all the time, after a couple times of 'review' I think I'll get the hang of it again. But you said not to grip with my knees and to turn my toes in. I'm also not about to put all my weight on my horse's withers, that would be silly of me of course. So how do i raise myself up then? Also, you said do NOT grab hold of the mane. I would not completely use it to balance myself, so why not?
I think I'll just try and see what works for me, my horse, and our situation. So I'll try to sit up far on his withers, grip with my knees but not too strongly, work up very slowly.... Do you think it would be okay if I tied some hobbles around his neck? just a strap of leather to kind of hang onto? this horse won't lose his balance because of my pulling gently on it, I won't use it to completely keep myself on, just as an aid. He has drug 100 pound calves and roped cows off of him, he's jumped with a Western saddle, so he's used to weight. And I won't be jumping very high at all.
I'll be sure and keep you guys updated on our progress! I won't be able to start anytime soon because we are in the middle of working cattle for about a week. Thank you all for your kind advice!
that's a bit strange.
I don't grip with my knee nor to i hold onto my horses mane.
I can rise trot and lift myself off his back without gripping.
Whatever tickles your fancy i was just explaining how i do it because there is no set way of doing things.. there is always a different way.
May I ask just how you can post trot with gripping? Because that is light sitting on thin air, there is nothing propelling you upward. Unless you just pop your butt up and land heavily on your horse's back, which I am almost positive you would never do intentionally.
And I totally agree. There are so many ways of doing things, thus the disputes that so often break out in such discussions. I apprecate your input!
Jump in a western saddle I do it all the time, 17" boots, spurs and a cowboy hat looks funny in a english saddle, I jump logs on the trail and real jumps 3' in a western saddle, and never have I hit my tummy on the horn. When you jump in a western saddle you sit different then if you are in a english saddle.
Flying B, I already said I'm not going to buy an English saddle just so I can jump a little every now and then as a change in our routine. I am pretty sure I am aware how you sit differently in the saddles, haha! I've never sat an English saddle, but I can imagine the difference in the saddle seats. And also, I could jump in a Western saddle, but it might be kind of hard on my horse, the extra weight up there and such. And besides, bareback would add something more to it, make it more fun and a little more challenging. :)
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