With benefits for both horse and rider, there’s no reason not to try it!

Long before saddles, riders spend their days bareback. In fact, many people use the saddle and reins as a crutch. Leaving your saddle behind can be one of the fastest ways to develop your riding skills. On top of physical benefits you’ll also enjoy a deeper communication with your horse. Don’t cheat yourself any longer; bareback riding is worth a try!

Better Balance

Removing the saddle can really test your balance. You’ll find out very quickly if you lean to one side or the other. When bareback riding, you’ll have to sit squarely in the center of your horse. Allow yourself to follow their movements in order to stay centered. If you resist or go against them, you’ll quickly find yourself off balance.

Ready for a real challenge? Have someone lunge you as you close your eyes and let go of the reins. Learn to depend and communicate with your seat and rely less on your hands.

Improved Strength

A strong core is required when don’t have a saddle. You must maintain your position on top the horse. Don’t be surprised with how much the saddle actually does. Holding yourself in the correct position can be hard work. Try to stay relaxed though! Allow your legs to drape down your horse’s sides. This longer leg will stretch out your muscles and give you a deeper seat. Sit tall and bring your shoulders back. It’s amazing how different it’ll feel when bareback.

Developing a Feel

Without the saddle, riders learn the natural movement of each gait. It can be hard to master the sitting trot. Are you aware of the two-beat foot falls? Follow the bounce of your horse as your seat shifts from left to right. Your hips will learn to absorb the movement and go with it. Bareback riding can intensify the feeling.

At the canter, your seat should swing forward from back to front. Open your hips and go with your horse, instead of sitting on top of them robotically. You’ll soon realize the amount of workout your hips and lower back will receive.

Fine-Tuned Aids

Light aids can be achieved when you use your seat, legs, and hands harmoniously. You can influence your horse’s gaits when you open and close your seat. In the trot, riders can drive their horse forward with an open hip and pushing seat muscles. To slow or stop the trotting horse, close your thigh and seat. When bareback, you’ll be able to use softer aids and get a greater response. Remember there’s no saddle to buffer the aids.

Confidence

Riding outside of your comfort zone can be worthwhile. Taking away the security of a saddle can be a big leap for some. When eased into bareback riding, you can enjoy a boost of confidence as you try something new. Why not explore a type of riding that leaves you feeling more connected and in touch with your horse. Before you know it, you’ll be jumping bareback and galloping across the field.

Begin with a horse familiar with bareback riding. It can be an adjustment for them, as well. The feel of you without a saddle and your muscles against their back can be a new experience. Use this opportunity as a way to refine your aids, develop your riding skills, and strengthen a deeper bond. Slow and steady is the best approach. You might just be surprised with the results!

 

RELATED POSTS

LEAVE A COMMENT