Bareback Horse Riding

Bareback Horse Riding

I pulled in at Champion C this Tuesday afternoon around five o’clock, before I had even turned off my car I realised that my short boots were in a rather useless spot, the front porch at home. Although I now have a bit of a collection of boots (read more about my Celeris Boots here), I had taken my other everyday pair home to clean.

Damn!

Having not ridden the previous day, I briefly thought about heading home to collect the boots. But that would take at least half an hour and I wasn’t particularly keen on riding late into the evening so early in the week. Instead I decided that the perfect solution would be to ride bareback. I rediscovered the joys of riding sans saddle a couple of years ago whilst at the beach, but have not done it for a while.

Riding bareback at the beach

I’ve always viewed riding bareback as a fun past time, one that surely did not count as serious training.┬áDuring my ride on Tuesday I was reminded that for me at least this is not the case. In fact quite to the contrary. I quickly realised how much harder it is for me and how much potential it offered as a training tool.

  • Balance. Without the saddle to rely on you have to find that sweet spot for balance on your own.
  • Fitness. You are working harder as you have to support yourself rather than relying on the saddle.
  • Increased feel. With nothing between you and your horses back you can feel much more. I started to play around with travers a little and could instantly feel that I was shifting my seat to the inside.
  • Without a saddle I have no choice to be 100% honest about how much weight Nonie is putting in my hands.

With all of these benefits, I’ve decided that I need to make riding bareback a more regular event.

I then stumbled across an article on last night which was discussing the purpose of the saddle. Interestingly this article said that in order to master their position, riders at the Spanish Riding School train without a saddle for up to a year. Furthermore, they often ride without stirrup irons. With a history that dates back as far at the 15th century who am I to argue with their methods.

Best way to finish a weekend #noniespam #beachride

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I’d love to hear from you, do you ride bareback? Do you find it beneficial or is it just good fun? Let me know by commenting below.