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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I rode Ninja bareback a couple of weeks back and I noticed he was flinching a lot. Like when they're trying to get flies off, but constantly. And he also just seemed uncomfortable, taking short steps and he felt a bit hollow in the back - having said that I don't ride bareback often so maybe it just feels hollow cos' there's no saddle?

Anyway, I bought a bareback pad and am waiting for it to arrive. Is there anything else I can do to get him more comfortable? Would it be cos' of a lack of muscle on his back or something like that? Does he just need to get used to it?

We've had the massage person out and his back isn't sore, so that's not it. I rode another horse who was used to bareback and even cantered him (never cantered bareback) and he wasn't uncomfortable, so I don't think it would be because of me...plus we were only walking.

I want to learn bareback so we can swim in the dam and not ruin the saddle, cos' he really liked it last summer, and it'll be good for my balance.
 

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The pad may work, but you can also look into a soft saddle. I have one for fooling around with, I just love it. If you keep it stored properly you can get it wet. You clean them by hosing them off.
 

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You say he lacks muscle - that could be part of it, along with how... well padded or not are you? Perhaps your seat bones are a bit bony. So both of those factors could be improved with a good bareback pad, and if you learn to either be in a 'chair seat' sort of position for relaxed stuff, or for active riding, use your thighs more & be lighter on your seatbones, that should help if your being bony is the prob.

Do not girth up the bareback pad tightly - should be no more than firm, it's just for comfort & keeping your bum clean, not for security. And do not use stirrups with a bareback pad.

If you've already ordered one, hope it's an anatomically 'friendly' one - I find most seem to be just one strap of webbing across the back for the girth, and it's too far forward on the pad too. I bought cheap ones like this, pulled the webbing off and attached 2 straps on either side, a bit further back, and half way down from the spine. That way, the front of the pad is a fair way ahead of the girth line, so you're not sitting over the front of the thing and, more to the point I reckon, for horse comfort, the girth straps/points pull down evenly over a wide area of the pad, rather than being one narrow strip of pressure over the spine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The pad may work, but you can also look into a soft saddle. I have one for fooling around with, I just love it. If you keep it stored properly you can get it wet. You clean them by hosing them off.
Oh I've never heard of those! I'll give them a look.

You say he lacks muscle - that could be part of it, along with how... well padded or not are you? Perhaps your seat bones are a bit bony. So both of those factors could be improved with a good bareback pad, and if you learn to either be in a 'chair seat' sort of position for relaxed stuff, or for active riding, use your thighs more & be lighter on your seatbones, that should help if your being bony is the prob.

Do not girth up the bareback pad tightly - should be no more than firm, it's just for comfort & keeping your bum clean, not for security. And do not use stirrups with a bareback pad.

If you've already ordered one, hope it's an anatomically 'friendly' one - I find most seem to be just one strap of webbing across the back for the girth, and it's too far forward on the pad too. I bought cheap ones like this, pulled the webbing off and attached 2 straps on either side, a bit further back, and half way down from the spine. That way, the front of the pad is a fair way ahead of the girth line, so you're not sitting over the front of the thing and, more to the point I reckon, for horse comfort, the girth straps/points pull down evenly over a wide area of the pad, rather than being one narrow strip of pressure over the spine.
I'll try those ways of riding. Probably the 'chairseat' type cos' I already have problems with gripping, and we're only going to be doing chill stuff bareback for a long while at least.

https://www.amazon.com/Intrepid-Int...0062JMKYC/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
This is the one I got. The only negative thing I saw anywhere was that the girth buckle slipped sometimes, but they've added a velcro cover to stop that. I'm not sure if it's good anatomically though.
 

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My mare has a bit of a prominent spine and she's not in bad shape either. Looking at her you wouldn't know but once you're on you definitely do! I really took my time easing her into accepting me bareback and when I first got on she was also a bit like "what the heckin is going on" and very careful and slow with her steps. My god her stride is so huge that learning to dip my hips left and right was a feat in itself which created a bit of a grip problem at first. In fact walking my first circle was really scary as I nearly felt I was sliding off her o.o And because of said spine I was worried about hurting her. The chair seat is a little to scary for me at this point in time so I've taken a more forward "pincer" seat. I call it the slightly-sitting-peg (what you hang clothes up with on the washing line just to make that very clear!). I do put weight down on my butt but I'm actually always active with my thighs trying to pool any excessive bounce and movement into my legs rather than directly onto her spine. Work hard not to dig the bones in your butt into their back. Boy this is hard to explain but hope you get it. I am to have a little space for her spine basically while not compromising too much of my own position. Posting bareback is super easy like this as well and riding a trebuchet of a horse really helps.

The pad you linked - I bought it and man it is GREAT. I REALLY loved it. However, it is NOT for shark-withered horses. There is zero give and it will cut in with a pocket of space around the wither dips. But in terms of grip and comfort (for the right horse) it's really great. Gotta wipe the dust off the underside to keep it "sticky". The girth I found isn't really there to hold you on like a saddle and outside of helping you get on without dying the pad itself does a great job. It's one of my favourite pads but alas... shark wither.

Lastly I rode my mare in her rug in the rain once. Having wet breeches really helped me stick on lol. Wearing leggings bareback is a death sentence on mine and I wont be trying that again. Nearly slid off the other side!!!! Find a good pair of something sticky on your butt. Just not sliding around so much might help you both feel more confident I know it does for mine. He's sounds very sweet to take care of you nonetheless!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My mare has a bit of a prominent spine and she's not in bad shape either. Looking at her you wouldn't know but once you're on you definitely do! I really took my time easing her into accepting me bareback and when I first got on she was also a bit like "what the heckin is going on" and very careful and slow with her steps. My god her stride is so huge that learning to dip my hips left and right was a feat in itself which created a bit of a grip problem at first. In fact walking my first circle was really scary as I nearly felt I was sliding off her o.o And because of said spine I was worried about hurting her. The chair seat is a little to scary for me at this point in time so I've taken a more forward "pincer" seat. I call it the slightly-sitting-peg (what you hang clothes up with on the washing line just to make that very clear!). I do put weight down on my butt but I'm actually always active with my thighs trying to pool any excessive bounce and movement into my legs rather than directly onto her spine. Work hard not to dig the bones in your butt into their back. Boy this is hard to explain but hope you get it. I am to have a little space for her spine basically while not compromising too much of my own position. Posting bareback is super easy like this as well and riding a trebuchet of a horse really helps.

The pad you linked - I bought it and man it is GREAT. I REALLY loved it. However, it is NOT for shark-withered horses. There is zero give and it will cut in with a pocket of space around the wither dips. But in terms of grip and comfort (for the right horse) it's really great. Gotta wipe the dust off the underside to keep it "sticky". The girth I found isn't really there to hold you on like a saddle and outside of helping you get on without dying the pad itself does a great job. It's one of my favourite pads but alas... shark wither.

Lastly I rode my mare in her rug in the rain once. Having wet breeches really helped me stick on lol. Wearing leggings bareback is a death sentence on mine and I wont be trying that again. Nearly slid off the other side!!!! Find a good pair of something sticky on your butt. Just not sliding around so much might help you both feel more confident I know it does for mine. He's sounds very sweet to take care of you nonetheless!
I think I know what you're talking about with the first part - we didn't do it bareback but I was trying to sit trot at Pony Club and the instructor said to do something similar to what you said. I'm lucky Ninja's not very bony - he's got a bit of a spine, but he has dropped a bit of weight over winter so it could very well just be because of that. Haha, I also probably didn't do as much to get him used to it as I should - the first time I hopped on bareback was at a friend's house and I just got on and hoped for the best. He was an angel though, even though he wasn't too comfortable :).

I'm glad the pad is good! It still hasn't got here, but I'm excited to see if it fits well :D.
 

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Well it looks like a good pad you got - I don't think any are made for 'shark fin wither' horses tho Kalraii, so yeah, I wouldn't be adverse to cutting down the centre line if I had a... pet shark either!
 
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