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xxEmilyxx 04-07-2011 10:30 PM

I really want to ride my horse bareback, but he's never done it before, and he acts up when I try to mount.

I tried to mount him the other day from a block, my mom was holding him, and as soon as I swung my leg over, he moved sideways really quickly and spooked. I was only half-on so I slid off. We were in the round pen though, so he couldn't go much of anywhere.

He's perfectly fine when I mount him saddled, but he doesn't seem to like me on him bareback. How can I get him used to this without him spooking and moving while I try to get on?

Chele11 04-07-2011 11:04 PM

While I do not have any useful information, I wanted to say good luck bc once you get him to accommodate you, it will all be worth it. :-) I love bareback riding!

rosie1 04-08-2011 01:15 AM

It must be something you're doing differently when you mount him bareback, is the block you're using tall enough that you can comfortably and easily mount without a saddle? Its possible you're kicking him or putting some sort of pressure on him that's causing him to move away. That would be my first guess anyways, good luck :)
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horseloverd2 04-08-2011 04:09 AM

I agree with rosie1. He associates the saddle while riding, but he may not know what the heck you are doing when you climb on him without one. I think getting him used to it would be the best thing for him.

xxEmilyxx 04-08-2011 06:40 PM

well can I get him used to it if I can't mount him? And the block is pretty tall...Its One of the ones with three steps. he's 16.1. It is difficult though because I can't put my foot in the stirrup and he's quite antsy when you first exercise him anyway. I had to slide onto him and swing my leg over, but he got scared and backed away before I could really get on.

horseloverd2 04-08-2011 06:52 PM

Try using treats when mounting. It sounds like he's scared and not being a brat, so giving him a treat and talking to him quietly might work. It may be hard to get on the first few times, but with persistence I'm sure you can do it.

Edit: If he's antsy when you first ride him, you may want to lunge him before getting on so he get the extra energy out before you get on.

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OffAgainOnAgain 04-08-2011 06:57 PM

I've been working on this with my friends little brothers shetland pony. (I'm 5'3" so I'm not crushing the little thing, no worries!)

Kabba, the pony, is great with the saddle on. Like, perfect pony. My friends little brother is 7 and one of those natural horsemen. Him and Kabba, great pair. So when Thomas, the little boy, wanted to try him bareback, no one thought anything of it.

Kabba had a mental breakdown. He just didn't know what to do. But I worked with leading him to a mounting block (not that I needed it to get it a pony that small haha) and leaned on his back to get him used to weight like that. If he spooked, I would get down, circle the block, try again. And if he stood, I rewarded him with treats! It's going swell.

With your horse, have you tried having just a normal ride, saddle on, and then unsaddling when you're done and popping on? That way some of his spunk has been worked out first??

Just an idea! Good luck though! Bareback is the best! I just wish my mare thought that.

horseloverd2 04-08-2011 07:03 PM

Offagainonagain gave some great suggestions. Try riding with the saddle first, or maybe circling the mounting block when he acts up.
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ButtInTheDirt 04-08-2011 08:27 PM

You should definately start by just leaning over on his back. You can't excpect a horse just to stand there and accept it when something new is happening. I usually use a mouting block and lean over my horse, then swing my leg over. He has been ridden bareback plenty before, but I do that every time. It is safer, because you can just slide off if he walks away rather than when you put a leg over, you'll probably be pulled off. My horse does like to bite me on the butt when I mount, but he always does that when the chance is available. xD

Lauren Woodard 04-08-2011 08:29 PM

There's a short video (5 min) on my site about this mounting subject if you're interested.

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