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This was my first time loping my gelding bareback and and we both didn't do well.
He was fine trotting around bareback but when I asked him to lope he did for a couple seconds then went into a crow hopping fit. I couldn't do much bareback so I just tried to woah him. I know everyone will say I shouldn't have done that but it was pretty hard for me to do anything else when I was trying to hang on... So he woahed and I tried to lope him again but he just started Crowhopping as soon as he started to gallop. Then I saddled him so if he crowhopped again I could stay on and correct the issue, but he didn't at all. He was a perfect gentleman! Maybe he just doesn't like the feeling of me bouncing on his back?????
What should I do to solve this issue?
Thanks
 

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Were you bouncing on his back?

Honestly I sort of feel like he's allowed to dislike something. Trust me I'm the first person who thinks every horse should do everything politely and quietly but at the same time with this, it's so different likely uncomfortable and what's the point?

Do you ride him bareback often? I would do lots more bareback- WITHOUT loping, then add it in IF you think you can attempt it safely. A thought would be to have him on a lunge with a good ground person who can push him through it. I would also be prepared (crop and short reins) for if he started acting up.

I would definitely keep in mind it may just be uncomfortable for him though. The most important rule training wise is to be safe.
 

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When a horse lopes well with a rider in a saddle but not with the same rider bareback, the natural conclusion is that the rider is making the horse uncomfortable when riding bareback. Understand that a well fitting saddle can act to distribute a rider’s weight, provide padding, and absorb shock.

The source of discomfort may vary. The fact that this horse seems fine trotting with you bareback seems to rule out some things such as pointy seat bones. Still, your seat position may be different causing any pressure to be applied to different parts of the horse’s back.

Balance, leg pressure, and rein tension are other things to consider.
 

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Have you ever had someone press their thumbs into your back along either side of your spine? It could be the same thing with your butt bones. The canter requires a rocking motion from the rider where a trot is more up and down. Your bones dig in and then rock forward with every stride. He may be particularly sensitive along his spot next.

You can test this by standing on a mounting block and pressing your fingers deeply in his back on either side of the spine and running them firmly down his back. Any sensitive or ticklish areas will cause him to dip his back to get away from the pressure.

The next logical step would be a chiropractor and a good bareback pad if you have to ride bareback.
 

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If you'd like to learn to ride bareback better, I would suggest do more walking and trotting work before trying loping again.


Were you tensing up while loping?
Is it possible he has a back issue that is uncomfortable for him, from your bare seatbones?
Is he a really sensitive horse?
 

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An old, bad joke comes to mind.

The patient says, "Doctor, it hurts when I do this." "Then don't do that!"

I think horses are allowed to say no to certain nonessential things. If cantering bareback isn't critical to your riding plans, why push the issue?
 

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As someone who has hard trail ridden bareback my entire life: You HAVE to learn to be "one with horse".

I agree with Beau159, do a lot more walking and trotting before you attempt to canter. If there's even an inch of air between your butt and the horse at a trot, you aren't ready to canter bareback:)
 
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In addition to what others have said, if you want to ride bareback, starting with a good bareback pad(withOUT stirrups) can help, and you need to learn not to sit on your seatbones or on his spine - the pressure should be more on your thighs, not on your backside... Or in between. And you MUST learn not to bounce. If you can learn to sit without bouncing at a trot, you should then find it easier to do at a canter.
 

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Glad it turned out okay!
 
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