bareback - bad habits? - The Horse Forum
 21Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 23 Old 09-19-2014, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Northern MN
Posts: 34
• Horses: 4
bareback - bad habits?

Just got into the horse gig this month. I spent all summer logging for a pasture, building a barn, hay shed, fencing, etc. and finally two weeks ago brought home a Mini for my 3-year-old daughter and an approx. 15-hand mare quarter horse for my wife. She has some horse experience, I do not. That being said, I think I took to the mare more than she did, and I love riding her.

My question (well, one question out of thousands in my mind) is: is it possible that I'm doing any damage riding bareback without any training? I don't think I'm physically hurting her or anything. I really get a kick out of loping her around the neighbor's huge field, trotting on trail rides, and just wandering around trails with her. She seems to love to move fast. BUT I probably have bad posture, bad manners, who knows what else. She steers very easily just neck-reining with a rope halter. Might I be developing bad habits for her or I by just "winging it"? Should I take lessons or something before I turn her into a bad horse? We don't even have a saddle yet.

What got me thinking this way is I just watched a few youtube videos about how to ride bareback and learned that I'm not doing it right. They suggest having totally relaxed legs and a very erect, strong core. I've been "gripping" with my thighs and sitting more on my butt pockets with my back kind of arched (more comfortable then sitting straight-backed). So that made me think, 'well, what else am I doing wrong?'

Just don't want to turn a good horse into a bad one, but also don't want to spend lots of time on lessons if it's not necessary.
JAultman is offline  
post #2 of 23 Old 09-19-2014, 05:30 PM
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
Posts: 33,887
• Horses: 3
Riding bareback for long periods is putting a lot more strain on a horses spine than a well made saddle will and if you're doing a lot of bouncing around that's going to increase it
As for creating bad manners - well that depends on if you insist on good behavior at all times or if you allow her to call the shots.
Yogiwick likes this.
jaydee is offline  
post #3 of 23 Old 09-19-2014, 05:37 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 852
• Horses: 0
Well, I'm pretty sure plenty of people will say that I am soooo wrong, but I think you're doing well,,,,I'd just recommend not arching your back so much,,don't slouch, but if you mean a curve inward to the lower back, I'd relax that a bit. Sitting nearly on the hip pockets is fine, and in some circles even preferred.

If you've got to grip, gripping with the thighs is much better than gripping with your calves , esp. if that also brings your heels into her. That would be telling her to 'go' constantly and she would get dull to it after a while, and it would confuse her if you were gripping with the calves while asking her to slow or stop. You want to keep her light and responsive, which it sounds like she is.

As to damage....a western or trail style saddle does disperse the rider's weight over a larger area instead of all the weight right under the rider's seat bones. For short distances/times, you're probably ok, unless you are a heavy guy. For longer rides (?? 2 hours or more ??), you might give her sore spots riding bareback. But an ill fitting saddle is just as bad, for what it's worth.

If you're loping around with just a rope halter-neck reining-you're doing great! Lots of 'advanced' riders would envy that !
Of course , there's lots and lots to learn with horseback riding, so I dont want to discourage you from more research or lessons!!
But, for what you're currently doing, you may be just fine. Make sure your balance is good enough for the 'uh -oh' moments that WILL happen sooner or later. If you ride her enough for her to get sweaty , and she spooks, you could slide right off. I'd recommend a bareback pad , at least, for safety's sake for bareback rides of any length. jmho.

Stay safe. Have fun ! It's great that you are so enthusiastic with your 'wive's horse' !

Fay
PSNapier, Chasin Ponies and SueC like this.

Respect......rapport......impulsion......flexion.. .
Be as soft as possible, but as firm as necessary--Pat Parelli
mslady254 is offline  
post #4 of 23 Old 09-19-2014, 05:57 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: SW UK
Posts: 15,182
• Horses: 0
Personally I would far rather teach a rider who has learned to ride bareback than one who has done the same in a saddle.

They have learned balance and how to absorb the movement of the horse. Generally the posture will be one of leaning back with feet forward but that is more easily corrected than the rider who sits stiffly and leans forward.

I wouldn't think you are doing the mare any harm unless you are riding for hours and hours.

My mother learnt to rode on her gather's driving mare, bareback. Self taught. She hadn't ridden for many years and came with us to get the ponies in from the fields to the riding school.
Once she was mounted (and that is another story) she was brilliant, never moved at all when we trotted in and was even happy cantering across the field.
She decided to start again and once in the saddle she was totally useless, bounced around all over the place. She never odd get the hang of riding with a saddle. Her last ride was when she was in her early 80's, bareback on my niece's pony happily cantering around the arena.
Foxhunter is offline  
post #5 of 23 Old 09-19-2014, 06:44 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Woodinville, Washington
Posts: 1,203
• Horses: 0
Learning to absorb the horse's movements rather than bounce is probably the most important thing. If you ride for a long time bareback and then try switching to a saddle you'll probably be awful, but that's not a bad thing

The only other thing I'd be concerned about is if you're balancing yourself on the reins. Do your reins have slack as you are riding or is there a fairly straight line from your hands to the mouth made by your reins? Leaning on your horse's mouth (whether in a halter or a bridle) can develop a horse who hangs on your hands and is just not polite tot the horse.
Chasin Ponies likes this.
TessaMay is offline  
post #6 of 23 Old 09-19-2014, 06:53 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: SW UK
Posts: 15,182
• Horses: 0
Tessa, if you read the post he says he is riding with a halter.
Foxhunter is offline  
post #7 of 23 Old 09-19-2014, 07:15 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Woodinville, Washington
Posts: 1,203
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
Tessa, if you read the post he says he is riding with a halter.
Which is why I said halter or bridle.

He said rope halter which could cause pain/issues if he's balancing on it.
Chasin Ponies likes this.
TessaMay is offline  
post #8 of 23 Old 09-19-2014, 07:21 PM
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,293
• Horses: 0
Just go and enjoy and quit overthinking it. She'll let you know if she's uncomfortable as it usually starts with tail switching then trying to bunt your foot (telling you to get off). If she ever does that, that's the time to get off and give her a break. Don't let her eat as she'll see that as a reward for her behaviour. Happy trails.



PSNapier likes this.
Saddlebag is offline  
post #9 of 23 Old 09-19-2014, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Northern MN
Posts: 34
• Horses: 4
Thanks for all the replies, all!

The reins are really loose when I ride. My wife keeps them a little tighter, but doesn't rely on reins for balance at all.

We're only riding for about 30 minutes at a time, max. My butt couldn't take much more...

As far as gripping, it's just with my inner thighs. I was told to keep my heels and calves off her unless I want to speed up. She is really "light" or sensitive or whatever. A quick squeeze with my heels and a kiss sound and she's up to a trot, then next squeeze, right to the lope. I prefer to pass through the trot quickly and get into the canter because it's much smoother, and going fast is fun!

What you guys are saying makes me feel like no harm is being done. Thanks again. Good site, good people!
PSNapier, TessaMay and SueC like this.
JAultman is offline  
post #10 of 23 Old 09-20-2014, 05:22 AM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Italy
Posts: 508
• Horses: 1
If you ride bareback, you put more weight on the spine
If you ride with a traditional saddle, you block some of the spine's natural movement.
You can't have it all.

Just enjoy your horse :) if you can lope bareback, you already ride pretty well, the perfect relax/follow the horse will come in time.
PSNapier and SueC like this.
Cielo Notturno is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bad habits... HELP! KarmaLove Horse Riding & Horse Activity 15 01-11-2014 10:31 AM
BAD habits...can anyone please help? JaneyWaney9 General Off Topic Discussion 5 01-13-2013 08:01 PM
Bad Habits Breezy2011 Horse Training 65 12-20-2012 11:53 AM
New Bad Habits? Mckellar English Riding 6 07-02-2012 06:07 PM
New bad habits bella64 Horse Training 3 10-13-2010 09:37 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome