Mary Beth on Easter bareback

Sorry! I didn’t get any photos of Ellie on her first bareback  ride. I looked through the archives and found this pretty photo of Mary Beth on Easter.

bareback on Java

Me bareback on Java I was showing off that the County fair. Caution, if you try this at home for the first time be sure to use a bridle. I came a hairsbreadth from having a pretty serious accident on this adventure.

Bareback on Java
Me showing off at the County fair. Caution, if you try bareback riding at home for the first time be sure to use a bridle. I came a hairsbreadth from having an embarrassing, painful cowboy moment on this adventure.

Today 12-year-old Ellie came out to ride horses with me. She rode her six-year-old mare Luna. I rode my favorite mare ‘Fanny’. The horses have hardly had any riding so far this winter but they did not show their usual freshness. They really seem to enjoy their outing.

In order to become proficient on a horse, we need to learn to ride securely, relying on our own balance. Bareback riding teaches the horsemen to depend on his or her own balance and not extra props like stirrups and saddle horn. For a beginning horse rider, bareback riding is excellent training.

The main reason I like to ride with a saddle in the summer is to protect myself from the horse’s sweat. In the winter the horses aren’t sweating very much so it is a perfect time for the beginner to find his/her seat or natural balance. Riding bareback teaches us stay in the middle of the horse no matter what the horse does.

Ellie confessed she was somewhat afraid when she first got on – while walking in circles bareback in the round pen. Today was Ellie’s first ride without a saddle. By the time we got to the bigger training pen Ellie seemed as comfortable as she had been when she was riding with a saddle. Finally we wound up taking a trail ride in the sparkling snowy woods. Both she and the horse did well indeed.

The day after riding bareback for the first few times, some muscles that you never noticed before may be a little sore the next day. But with consistent riding the soreness quickly disappears. I haven’t talked to Ellie to find out if she was sore.





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3 Responses to Bareback

  1. Jim H says:

    Interesting! I always thought that bareback riding was for advanced riders only. Just looking at it, I imagined that it was more clamping of the legs and holding on for dear life than balancing.

  2. Gerilynne says:

    I think it was from Mary Twelveponies who said riding bareback was like riding a bike; you ride both by balance–not by clamping your legs to hold on. Made sense!

  3. J.R. says:

    Thank you Gerilynne and Jim H! The great thing about horsemanship is that it is all about balance both in the relationship with the horse, the horses balance while he carries you and your balance mounted on the horse. The proof that you are balanced in the saddle, becomes evident when you ride bareback… haven taken away all the potential artificial props.

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