Getting on bareback...

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Pixxelated

New Member
Jul 21, 2020
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I need some encouragement.

I’m currently between saddles, and also saddle fitter visits for at least a few more weeks. In the meantime we’ve been doing a lot of groundwork exercises, bit of lunging and some long reining. Which he is great at!

Pony isn’t opposed to me clambering on board for some light schooling or a plod round bareback. I never ride very long without a saddle.

... it’s just me. I’m not the best rider, but I’m not an unbalanced sack of potatoes either. I just don’t seem to have the confidence anymore to do it, and he hasn’t done anything (recently) to warrant any mistrust.

Thing is, I really want to get on and go for a plod without a saddle and just get on with it. Y’know? But I’m too worried about launching myself out of the side door and putting my back out again at the same time.
 

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
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and putting my back out again at the same time.
I dont know what you did to your back nor what encouragement you would like. The medical side has to take priority, surely? That means avoiding any further fall till a previous injury has healed.
I never ride bareback without my body protector. Indeed I postponed my first bareback lesson as I didnt have the bp with me.
I also used to have a neck strap for reassurance but I never touched it.
 

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
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...la la land
If it really worries you then dont ride. I prefer to put a thick numnah on and a long strap that goes right round the body, rather than completely bareback. It just gives me a bit more control i find and stops me sliding off.

I was saddleless for 6 months at one point. I hacked out on little pottles bareback. Doing hills is no fun especially coming down hill as i found i slid forward naturally with the horses strides. So i recommend sticking to the flat and just walking.

There was a video i saw the other day of a girl whose had no saddle during lockdown. Shes actually now taught herself to go from little bareback jumps to jumping i think it was 80cm, in the space of the few months. Im sure shes probably had a few falls.
 

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
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If you aren't happy don't do it, it really is that simple in my eyes. You can lunge, long rein, walk out in hand (if he's good to do that), or do groundwork so there's no need for you to get on. You're clearly worried about doing damage to an existing problem, so really what is the need?
 

Pixxelated

New Member
Jul 21, 2020
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3
I dont know what you did to your back nor what encouragement you would like. The medical side has to take priority, surely?.
It’s been a few years, and it wasn’t anything too terrible. I pulled a muscle while while lifting something heavy, this caused muscle spasms. Because it’s a bit of a weak spot, I am a bit wary of any kind of concussion or strain to that particular bit of my back.

As a result a body protector is always a must for me!


In general guess I’m just feeling the pressure, because I had a good few months off riding with lockdown as well as no saddle. The last ride before lockdown wasn’t great either, and since that was back in March - it has had time to fester in my head a little bit.

I’m also kind of - lovingly I might add - being forced back on by a few horsey friends. They don’t mean any harm, but it certainly increases the perceived pressure of “I have to do this thing!” So I think I just really needed to hear someone say the opposite, haha.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
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If you don’t want to do it, don’t and don’t be pressured by others but if you do want to then give it a go. Don’t try for too much to start, just waddle in the school or a paddock until you feel more comfortable with it. I rode bareback almost all of one winter (was just easier than lugging my saddle back and forth), initially I was pretty weeble like just in walk, after a couple of months I was back to my childhood carefree ways and could do a full schooling session walk, trot, canter etc.
 

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
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Firstly if you don't want to ride bareback don't. If people are trying to cajole you into to doing it be firm, stand your ground and say it's not what YOU want to do. Take the pressure off yourself.
If on the other hand you want to try, just start small, maybe even just a few strides and build up from there, I use a bareback pad but as chunky monkey said above you could always make a pad from a saddle cloth/numnah, it does take practice like anything worthwhile, but the more you do it the easier and more confident you get.
Good luck whatever you decide. :)
 
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Huggy

Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
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Follow your gut - if you're not happy, don't do it. Maybe just lead pony out and enjoy each other's company?
 

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
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I do agree with this. I dont ever do anything with or on a horse that frightens me.
My RI offers bareback and I said yes. Dont know why I loved it so. but I owe it to her teaching. I was taught to ride bareback on the lunge. First in walk and then in trot. The left rein was hqarder for me, so was postponed till the 2nd lesson.
Most thngs in life can be learned from a knowledgeable teacher.
 
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