Bareback or in a Saddle?
Just curious to know what all you trail riders ride in! I grew up only ridding in a bareback pad (w/o stirrups) using a hackamore (mechanical I think- it was a long time ago!). I currently use a western saddle with a round skirt (Big Horn with cordura skirt and fenders) and a snaffle bit.
I'm considering switching back to bareback as it is much easier on my knees than using a saddle has been and as my horse continues to improve I'm feeling much more confident without stirrups.
Do any of you have a favorite bareback pad you would recomend? Pics are always welcome!!
I prefer a saddle. I do on occassions turn my horses out to graze when I camp in the mountains. When I go out to collect them, I'll loop the lead rope around and tie it off on the halter and hop on bare back. Ride one and leading 1-2 others back to camp. But that's about my extent of bareback.
On a February ride a year or two ago, A daughter of our friends rode bareback all day. It was a 20-22 mile ride and I was impressed she did it all bareback. She claimed she was warmer than the rest of us, because she got all the heat from the horse transfering through her leather pants. I would have been pretty miserable if I had tried to ride that far bareback,
I prefer bareback out on the trails. Honestly, I just prefer bareback in general. I actually find it more comfortable and just enjoyable in general.
I like to ride bareback, but I've been spending a lot of time in the saddle lately on trails. A. My horse is a spooky nut (getting better) and B. I'm really working on improving my position.
If your knees are bothering you, google some hip strengthening exercises. It should help. Most people with knee pain actually have weak hips.
I used to have a lot of knee pain, esp in a western saddle. Went to the PT guy for something else and he said I have very weak hips (esp the left). Got some exercises and doing a lot better now.
When I was a kid I rode bareback all the time, but I don't bounce as well now and I'm not as good of a rider, so I've been using my saddle. It also really helps me refine my position/cues/etc. Of course, you're taking lessons (right?) so you have someone to help you with your position, so bareback might be a fun thing to do on your off days.
On long trails, I'll go in a saddle. Same with trails that are farther away from the barn. But short/local trails, I'm all for hoppin on bareback ;)
I used to always trail ride in a saddle, but I started riding bareback more often once I got my horse and found out how fun trail riding bareback is. I think the only reason I'd choose a saddle over bareback is if I needed to pack stuff in saddlebags or if it was a really long ride.
Bare back is great!
I love to ride bareback. I almost feel a better seat bareback, than with a saddle. I can stay deep in my seat and feel my horse better. I like to ride bare back as often as possible for the muscle tone, balance and feel. Seems to get me ready for a saddle better.
But for lengthy trails I think a saddle is safer and more practical in the long haul. My little 5 year old mare had a dancing fit one day as a dog snuck up behind us...and her sudden twists and turns had me off balance and settling for a soft landing, before I could even get ahold of the situation. With a saddle I probably would have stayed on. But I really beat myself over those things, cause I want to be ready for anything and STAY ON!
My excuse is that I'm used to Grasshopper who does not freak so drastically and is very easy to get under control. It's a great learning process with different horses...and challenging myself! I love to conquer a challenge...if I'm passionate about the activity. :-)
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