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You learn better balance and to really move with your horse as well as working your leg muscles more :]. As for the high withers you could use a bareback pad or you can just sit a little bit farther back it all depends on whats easier for you. Bareback you can play all sorts of games, if you have a horse that will stand still you can do balance exercises like scissor kicks, around the world or even teach yourself how to mount different ways from the ground. As you get better balanced you can jump/barrel race/ do different speedy type events also.
 

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Riding bareback you get a better feel of your horse, and balance for you.
I rode bareback all the time and still do, just to old to swing up on a horse anymore,or from behind.
My friend and I lived on our horses when we were young, swimming, jumping, trial rides, practice different classes for show like keyhole, rescue race, poles, barrels, egg & spoon race, bat race, pennat race, trail class, jumping figure 8 just to name a few, they probably don't even have some of those classes anymore.
we rode our horses sometimes up to 20-25 miles a day, and always rode bareback in the winter, to keep warm.
Good Luck
 

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Also, my horse has high withers, so how do I make riding without a saddle comfortable? Thnx
my mare has the same problem, and eventhough i'm a girl, YIKES does that hurt! ive found the a bareback pad makes it a bit better to withstand the pain of her shark withers bumping against me. also finding your seat a little bit farther back and realizing when the transitions get bumpy and where to place yourself during these times helps as well.
 

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I LOVE riding bareback. I usually do it to cool my horse down at the end of some of our rides. It helps with your balance to much and my horse is alot more responsive when riding barback. It really helps you bond with them and will totally change the way you ride in the saddle. I wasnt so sure about bareback riding nd then i started doing it and its changed my riding so much for the better. You can do anything on horseback that you do in the saddle it just takes practice and not doing more than your ready for. Its a little hard when you first start riding bareback but gets better and better. I do alot of bending and turning exercises itll help your balance and his responsiveness. Also my horse has a little bit higher withers and i just sit a little further back on him and its fine. i prefer not to use any kind of pad because they slip of SO easy and are actually dangerious sometime, If im gonna ride bareback id prefer nothing between me and the horse.
 
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