6/13/2007

5 Reasons to ride bareback

My lessons with Julie have got me working on my bareback riding. Here are my 5 reasons why you should ride bareback.

1. It takes less time. Bareback means you don't have to put on a saddle, so you can save at least 5 minutes not messing with that bulky thing!

2. It is great for toning your legs. No matter how much and how often you ride, a good bareback session will leave you with what my mom calls 'horse crotch'. I sure feel it the next day, but it is excellent for those inner thighs!

3. It greatly improves balance. Do you feel like you are bracing in your stirrups, grabbing with the reins? Try riding bareback to really figure out where your flaws are.

4. You will learn how your horse moves. You will be amazed to feel the muscles your horse uses. I learned with Precious that I needed to move her saddle back!

5. Can you say body position? I find that without my saddle, I end up more with a chair seat, so it makes me conscious of how my saddle assists me with my body position.

If you decide to ride bareback, here are some helpful hints.

1. Have someone lead your horse to get you started.
2. Practice riding with a rope halter and saddle first (or bosol, something other than a bit) so you don't have to ride with a bit.
3. Use a mounting blog and swing all over your horse before swinging your leg over, sometimes they will be OK with a saddle, but not bareback. Do your due diligence first!
4. Work on soft bending and flexing, this will keep the pace slow and really assist you with balance. Keep the hind end moving.
5. Hold onto the mane to help hold you up so it is easier to swing off if something goes wrong.

Go forth and ride bareback! Thanks to Julie Fisher who pushed me to get more comfortable bareback and gave me some of the above tips.

3 comments:

Molly said...

I love bareback riding. I'm kind of old and totally out of shape to do much of it now, but it certainly gives a whole new dimension to riding. As a kid I wouldn't put a saddle on all summer but would still trot and jump and swing up. Good memories.

photogchic said...

I love bareback too. The only time we got out the saddles was for the shows. Our little shetland was so furry after cold Minnesota winters, we had to body clip her in the summer and that was a challenge to stay on. She was slippery!

Tracey said...

I grew up bareback; my parents didn't buy me a saddle for the first three years, and after that I was too lazy to put it on.

Now days? My babies are wild, so saddles are where it's going to be at for this aging woman!