Bareback Riding! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-18-2015, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Bareback Riding!

The last time I tried bareback riding was two years ago. I couldn't go more than 5 or 6 trot steps with out having to stop, re-adjust... my balance just wasn't there. In fairness, i hadn't been riding all that long and we started in the round pen (perhaps a straight line would have been easier) - and it was my 1st time - but still - not so great.

So this weekend I decided to give it a go again! Felt good at the walk so asked for a little trot and my balance was 100% better! As the horse changed gait it took me a second to lock in my seat (although my bounces were balanced a least and not too big/bad) - but after that second or two we were mostly together and pretty good!

The one thing i noticed is - there was only ONE way my seat could be for the whole thing to work well. I had to be sitting on my pockets with my seat bones straight down... I had to sync up my hips with the horse and be relaxed/let him push them back and forth & go w/ it... and I had to be on the vertical to achieve my best balance. If i was off on anything of those things- I felt. I could tell a LOT easier then with a the crutch of a saddle.

Even when we walked down a small incline - I was surprised that i leaned back NOT because someone told me to, but because in order to keep my balance - that's where I had to be! I felt exactly where the sweet spot was where I was in balance w/ my weight going back and gravity going forward.

I really feel like I have to do more of this because my theory is bareback riding takes a lot of the grey area out of the equation and makes me see right vs. wrong a lot clearer.

Does this make sense? thoughts? I sometimes have these "ding ding ding!" moments but just want to make sure their valid. I'm sure any type of riding helps, but i just think this is going to be the quickest way from point A to point B in really, truly understanding balance issues and seat.

Re: any of my advice - Happy to give my two cents, but not an expert... just a girl who loves riding horses!
Gossalyn is offline  
post #2 of 6 Old 05-18-2015, 12:39 PM
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Bareback can encourage a chair seat (I picked mine up from riding solely bareback for six months on a naughty pony) but it's great for your balance and you learn to stick, especially if your mount is a brat! lol

MAKORA THOROUGHBRED SPORTHORSES
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-18-2015, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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really? my legs seem too heavy to have them come forward! interesting to note though that can happen.

Re: any of my advice - Happy to give my two cents, but not an expert... just a girl who loves riding horses!
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-18-2015, 02:24 PM
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I think it depends on the conformation of your horse. I've never developed a chair seat from bareback riding. I always liked bareback riding because it allows you to really feel everything in your horse's body, plus its great for strengthening your core and legs. If you aren't 100% comfortable riding bareback, then ride without stirrups for half your lesson every time you go.

When you "lock your seat" it may be easier for you to let your legs hang down and not really grip for the first few strides. I see a lot of people who ask for a faster gait when riding bareback and then they immediately grip with their thighs super tight and make it hard to find a rhythm and balance.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-18-2015, 02:31 PM
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exactly, kapbob. the pony I'm riding bareback has an extremely large belly and relatively narrow shoulders. So that encourages the chair seat. Same went for the pony I rode solely bareback for six months. I am fighting the shape of my mount to keep my legs under me.

It's just something worth keeping in mind. A classically perfect seat is much harder to achieve bareback and some horses, you'll find yourself fighting their shape. Particularly if you sit the trot - I've recently started posting the trot bareback again because I noticed sitting it was affecting my seat in a saddle. You physically CANNOT post to a trot without stirrups if you don't have your legs under you.

MAKORA THOROUGHBRED SPORTHORSES
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-18-2015, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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you are definitely describing me 2 years ago! ask for faster gait, immediately grip, everything falls a part!

i actually find lately i really don't like stirrups all that much. :) it's so easy to wrap your leg around the horse and relax when it's just allowed to hang there... or like in western riding, i feel the stirrups are so long they're not in the way.

It's english (particularly jumping when it's shorter stirrups) i find myself over-thinking leg position.. long free legs draping around the horse? that makes sense to me.

Re: any of my advice - Happy to give my two cents, but not an expert... just a girl who loves riding horses!
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