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A) Do you ride your horse/s bareback?

B) If yes, how frequently?

C) Do you prefer a bareback pad or just bare?

I'm determined to start riding Mocha again but am currently sans saddle. Financially can't afford to buy one right now due to paying a truck note, tuition and medical expenses(no insurance). So It looks like bareback it will be. I would be able to afford a less expensive bareback pad, so recommendations are welcome. I'm curious as to y'alls preferences. Thanks in advance!
 

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I ride both true bareback and in a pad. My Pony has really slick fur and tends to be quite slippery, plus I feel like the nice thick bareback pad that I have helps cushion him from my bony butt (although his back is nice and soft and comfy -- it's like a gel pad).

This is the bareback pad I use:

If your horse is not as generously padded as my Pony is, you will surely be better off riding in a bareback pad than truly bareback. It protects you from him and him from you.

I have been riding Teddy in the same bareback pad, but he has a pronounced spine so I layer two saddle pads under it. I don't think I will ever ride him true bareback. Ouch.
 
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A) Do you ride your horse/s bareback?

B) If yes, how frequently?

C) Do you prefer a bareback pad or just bare?
A) Yes

B) Once or twice a week

C) I have actually never ridden with a pad, I have always just ridden bare.

A bareback pad would probably be better (properly fitted saddle is best), but some bareback pads, especially the cheap ones, have that strap over the spine which is not good. Don't get a bareback pad with stirups.

Some horses do okay with bareback but others are too sensitive. Some just don't have the muscling/fat (conformation wise) to find it comfortable enough without a pad.
 

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Except for parades and a few times early on, when my son was a little and I didn’t want to risk falling off, I have ridden bareback the most of my life.

Sliding down riverbanks, power lines and digging up the other other. No bareback pad. I once sat on one and it was the most insecure feeling I had ever experienced. I would rather ruin a pair of cut-offs or long pants.

This was when we lived in SoCal, after a hard climb to the top of the rock hill. The saddled horses are Quarter Horses. Duke (RIP) was only 14.3H, little for a Tennessee Walker but he was tough and had a lot of heart.

The big QH on the left was a rescue. He was a Dash For Cash get who suffered neck damage on a hot walker at the track. The lady holding him hocked her diamonds to buy him and did in stellar job rehabbing and turning him into a great trail horse.

The man was an old Montana cowboy, resettled to SoCal. That isn’t the QH who spent blizzard nights in a cabin with him, moving cattle, but it was a cow horse that came from Montana with him. It was from the Poco Bueno line.

We were conditioning for a 50 mile round trip ride. The ride this day was around four hours.
89A21824-10C9-44C0-BB3D-7F353F3608C1.jpeg
 

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Yes, I've ridden bareback.

It varied, sometimes weeks or months would go by without doing it, or it could be every day. We'd ride them in at night, or it was a spur of the moment thing, when I wasn't planning to ride but couldn't resist. Thinking back a year or so, I think I rode bareback more than usual due to ankle and knee pain.

I've never used a bareback pad and wouldn't use one, I prefer bare. We jumped on whether they were the comfy or prominent withered types. I don't know anyone who uses a pad; I'm not sure if that's just the people I know or they aren't used as much here.
 
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I have a bareback pad and I don't use it. But then Rusty has a really scooped back, and he has loads of padding! That said, I don't do much when I ride bareback, it's usually just 25-30 minutes of walk/trot. I use it to work on things like leg yields because the horse obviously feels them more easily, and I work on my own balance and connection. I do use a saddle on trails because Rusty can bolt, but in the ring, he's totally reliable.

I think it depends on the horse. Harley is an older gelding, and quite bony now so my daughter will use the pad when she rides him bareback.
 

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A) Do you ride your horse/s bareback? - Sometimes, yes.

B) If yes, how frequently? - Once a month, depends on how I'm feeling. I ride bareback moreso in the summer, when it's hotter & I don't feel like tacking up.

C) Do you prefer a bareback pad or just bare?

Bareback pad, ALWAYS. My mare is 7, but I feel like giving her that extra support is important.
Plus, she has high withers & I don't think it'd be super comfortable for me ether, sitting directly on her back.

But, it depends on the bareback pad you have - some bareback pads put pressure on the spine (because of the girthing setup) - the one I use, does NOT & it comes with shims as well for extra support.

I use the Barefoot Physio bareback pad. It's super comfortable. Barefoot Physio Ride-On Bareback Riding Pads
 

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I ride bareback pretty often and whether or not I use a pad just depends on the horse I’m riding. If it’s a hotter one or if I plan to jump I typically use a pad just for extra grip. I also always use one on our thoroughbred with shark fin withers! But other than that I like to be completely bareback, you just get to feel the horse under you more and I think that’s kind of the point.
 

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I ride bareback once a week or more but usually just from the paddock to the tack shed and at the end back to the paddock. I haven’t used a bareback pad but umm looking at getting one
 

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Sham- 5 year old Thoroughbred ~~~ Texas Pete- 32 year old Thoroughbred still going strong.
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I ride bareback a lot. Probably three or four times a week whether I'm riding my 32 year old or my 5 year old. I don't use a bareback pad ever. I just don't like them. Pete (32) has a pretty bony back but seems more comfortable without a saddle or pad, so I typically just ride him without. Sham (5) is thickly muscled so we're both pretty comfortable.
I have gone on bareback trail rides (13 mi) without a pad and the horse I had then was great with that (15 yr Missouri Fox Trotter, narrow backed) as well as just arena riding and bareback work on all the horses I have had. I don't think a pad is really necessary but it wouldn't hurt to try it out as it may be a better option for you or your horse personally :)
 

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I’ve been riding my horse everyday for 1-2 hours. Bareback, as we both seem to prefer it. He’s thin and bony right now, with high withers and I’ve got a bony butt too...yet he shows no discomfort and I don’t either, so we continue. Mostly walk trot, no cantering yet. I sit a trot very well though so I’m hardly, if at all, bouncing. Unless of course he randomly goes into his horrible jarring trot. Then it takes a few strides to get situated.

I’ve thought about getting a pad, but I don’t think I would use it, really. It would be as bad as saddling up, and what if it slips!? Might as well be stirrupless instead.
 
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