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Hey guys!

Im just curious how you teach your students (if you coach!)

I start both my western and English adults and kids off bareback on the lunge line. Once they are capable of keeping the horse out on the line, at the walk and trot, and are able to whoa, then they can come off the lunge line.

Once they can walk, trot, back up, whoa, go over ground poles, can cross the diagonal both ways at walk and trot and circle tightly while balanced, then they can get the saddle!

My students only get their stirrups once they can post without, and can go into 2-point without them!

Once all of that is covered and I am confident in their abilities, then they can canter, jump, barrel race etc!

I do this because I find riders balance better when they start without the saddle as opposed to when they start with one.

Whats your coaching style? Let me know what you think of starting bareback compared to the traditional ways!

Will also mention I keep my mares bitless and barefoot as well!
 

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You are pretty tough! Most students would quit if you made them constantly post without stirrups, you have some tough, dedicated ones.
 

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I started learning with stirrups, and I'm quite satisfied with my riding skills. It is important to practice riding without stirrups to the point of being comfortable, so panic does not set in when - inevitably - you will drop them at some point. It is irrelevant when that skill gets developed. I consider bareback riding a luxury. I have never lost my saddle under me during a ride, and I'm sure my horse appreciates not having 190lbs pressing in a small area.

While we are sharing opinions, I'm not sure why you would have that signature line. I never met a mare that was anything less than agreeable, and that includes two young chestnuts - TB and Arabian x TB. They do say, though, that the horse is a reflection of its handler. :p

Do you have a tendency to make things harder than they need be?
 

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That's rough, and I am surprised you don't have people quitting left and right. Having said that, I think riding bareback is great, as is riding without stirrups. But at least for beginners that is pretty intimidating. And if you're doing a lot of trot work, I start to feel sorry for those horses with beginners bouncing around on their backs like that.
@mmshiro maybe you just haven't met the right mares LOL. Where I ride, pretty much every mare has perfected the "mare face," including my daughter's mare, who is very respectful to humans but hates every other mare, and honestly pretty much every other horse, around. Which oddly doesn't stop my two boys from worshipping her.
 
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I give my beginners saddles and stirrups. Of course, many of my beginners are around 8 years old and too short for me to trust them bareback. I don't teach any particular discipline. I want my students to be able to control their horses and control their bodies. I'm all about having fun and learning something in the meantime.



I use western saddles, but my students start with two hands on the reins. That keeps their shoulders straight and their hands off the saddle horn.


Also, I teach them to post at the walk before they're allowed to trot. That helps them feel the movement of the horse and move with the horse, not just be bounced around by it. When they start trotting, they post. My horses' backs appreciate this method. Once they're comfortable at a posting trot, they learn to sit it.


I don't allow loping until a student can sit, stand, and post a trot while maintaining control of the steering in an open area.


Eventually, I teach them to ride with one hand, but honestly, my horses are out of practice.


Of my four beginner-proof horses, three are mares and two of them are chestnuts. They're sweet as can be, but they will let their opinions be known.
 

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Two point without stirrups, especially bareback, is evil for beginners. They just don't have the muscle for feel for it.

I don't coach anymore, didn't do a tonne as it was. The students I started fresh were started bareback, but they were also very young kids. If they are too small for a saddle to reasonbly fit, bareback just makes sense. Most people I coached weren't raw beginners.

If I had to start someone new again, someone older, I'd put them on the lunge line in a saddle without stirrups or reins until they had a basic seat, then split the lesson between lunge line and off the line with the reins and stirrups. Posting without stirrups would be introduced on the lunge line after posting with stirrups on the lunge line. You don't want to introduce a student to something and immediately have then learn weong because they are scared, or tense, or not strong enough. I follow more traditional teachings, generally.
 

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Depends on the beginner. With a little kid like my granddaughter who is three, and too short to reach the stirrups, she gets to do the airplane with her arms to improve her balance. When the horse is standing she gets to do the around the world, meaning she turns herself around in the saddle from front to side to back to the other side to the front sitting position again. When she's really good at that she gets to do it at a walk. I had a young fellow here the other day who has never even touched a horse before. I made him ride without stirrups at a trot and do the airplane arms, but I told him at any time if he ever felt he was losing his balance he could either have me stop the horse or he could grab to the front of the saddle. To start him off I had him holding the front of the saddle, by the end of the lesson he was riding without hands at a trot without stirrups. I didn't scare him off because he has been texting me ever since for another lesson! The most important part of riding a horse is...... Staying on! However you can't scare off students and discourage them. I learned that from my coach who is now retired (phoo!). Another teenage girl student of mine, is not too keen on riding without stirrups and complains a little. The first time she complained I told her I had a reward for her at the end of the lesson. I took off the saddle at the end of her lesson, and I rode bareback and I told her she could give me instructions, her revenge, she loved that. Another lesson, she was dreading the lose the stirrups part, so I joined her on my horse and dropped my stirrups, and we practice patterns together she got to critique me and I got to coach her, she really like that! I am not coaching them to win a championship, I am teaching them horses are fun, and although you have to work at it, you get rewards from it.
 

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@mmshiro maybe you just haven't met the right mares LOL. Where I ride, pretty much every mare has perfected the "mare face," including my daughter's mare, who is very respectful to humans but hates every other mare, and honestly pretty much every other horse, around. Which oddly doesn't stop my two boys from worshipping her.
OP's signature indicates that just by mentioning that she interacts with mares it is implied that *she* deals with fearsome creatures on a daily basis, staring death in the face each time she brings a flake of hay to them! :hide: I'm just asking because I did ride a mare once (Marion) who would dump another woman regularly on the trail - by rolling, and once bit her when she got too much on her nerves. That woman would have a reason for that signature line.
 

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My mares were sweethearts. Don't have any students, but when friends/family want to ride, they get saddles (with stirrups) and we head off into the desert. Stirrups are good things and I expect them to use them, as I do. I see no value in two point without stirrups, nor any great reason to practice it often.
The field rider strengthens his position by practice in the open, because it is there that he learns how he can best regulate his balance for security during various movements and attitudes of the horse; he does not, as generally believed, strengthen it by long exercise without stirrups.

... Furthermore, the balance of a rider without stirrups is completely different from that which he must have with stirrups; in the end the rider must thoroughly learn the proper use of stirrups, so that he will not periodically bang the back of his horse and so that he can make himself light. - Caprilli
But like I said, I'm not a coach and don't teach riding. Just friends or family visiting who want to ride. Self-taught myself (with a large assist from VS Littauer's books).
 
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