Tip of the day Training

Tip of the Day: Riding Bareback

IMG_8281

TBs are not the comfiest for bareback, so Katy is kitted out so that I am not cut in half!

This is something a lot of us probably did as kids, but rarely bother with any more. But it’s very good practice, because with no stirrups or saddle there to help you balance, you HAVE to be sure to stay upright and even on your seatbones.

I realised I was weighting one seatbone more than the other, and not stepping into my inside stirrup enough (weighting outside seatbone too much) so some bareback work should really help those faults.

I tend to balance on a pad (here, a full-size Prolite saddlepad as well as a thick sheepskin 1/2 pad) as two of my mares have very high sharp withers, and the last time I tried bareback without a bit of padding, I had to give up after 10 mins! Of course, it also keeps your breeches nice and clean.

I do a lot in walk, particularly lateral work. The pad (with no surcingle) does make it much harder to stay on if you have a drama or a big spooky though, be warned! I concentrate very hard on staying perfectly upright, turning my shoulders enough, and on how my seatbones feel.

When the weather’s really cold it’s nice to be able to feel the warmth of the horse, it definitely prevents the extremities from hypothermia.

It’s also a tiny bit quicker to tack up like this than with a saddle, if you are trying to squeeze in a ride before it goes pitch black!

About the author

Kerry