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  1. #21
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    I don't know if this is relevant to the discussion, but the horses in the American Lipizzaner show (not the Austrian ones) all did a lot of sitting trot and their backs were very swayed.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


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  2. #22
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    I've been riding my horse mostly bareback for 7 years. Never had a problem.
    come what may

    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013



  3. #23
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    Saddle and stirrups were invented for the rider not the horse. The saddle kept the rider more securely seated when at speed and the stirrups allowed the rider to balance to throw a spear of shoot an arrow.
    "I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted". - Anonymous



  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CFFarm View Post
    Saddle and stirrups were invented for the rider not the horse. The saddle kept the rider more securely seated when at speed and the stirrups allowed the rider to balance to throw a spear of shoot an arrow.
    We use pack saddles also to carry other weights than a rider, because saddles do protect a horse's back.



  5. #25
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    Saddles make things stay on the horse. The people that invented saddles did not do it to benefit the horse nearly as much as they did it to keep things ON the horse or to use the horse to drag and pull.

    It's sometimes a happy situation that it helps the horse but certainly it doesn't ALWAYS help the horse. It's giving people FAR too much credit to say that pack saddles are there to protect the horse! The same people that designed the pack saddle are the same ones that used horses in mining, pulling wagons, pulling equipment and mule trains and they did not spend an over amount of time worrying about their horse's (or mule's) comfort unless it affected them. We all know how stoic a horse can be and how sore they can get before they break down.

    These days I think people care about the horse but not back then so much.

    we've logged many many miles bareback, all our lives and all our family and friends and I've never ever seen a horse sore from being ridden bareback. Saddles, many times.


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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CFFarm View Post
    Saddle and stirrups were invented for the rider not the horse. The saddle kept the rider more securely seated when at speed and the stirrups allowed the rider to balance to throw a spear of shoot an arrow.
    In the case of the stirrup you are correct.

    In the case of the saddle you are in error, at least in part. The saddle does provide a more stable seat for use of arms, tools, etc. It also, at the same time, distributes the rider's weight over a larger area of the back, reducing the risk of soring the back through "weight concentrations."

    This weight distribution allows the rider to ask more of the horse without inflicting injury or pain. It allows the horse to carry pack loads without suffering injury. These both, of course, presume a properly fitting and adjusted saddle.

    Again, bareback work in small amounts and for a purpose (like helping the rider achieve a better balance or develop better feel for the horse) is likely a Good Thing. Just don't do too much of that Good Thing.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    these are interesting too, not really what you'd expect:


    Vet J. 2010 Apr;184(1):56-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2009.04.007. Epub 2009 May 9.

    A comparison of forces acting on the horse's back and the stability of the rider's seat in different positions at the trot.

    Peham C, Kotschwar AB, Borkenhagen B, Kuhnke S, Molsner J, Baltacis A.


    Source

    Movement Science Group Vienna, Clinical Department for Companion Animals and Horses, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria. Christian.Peham@vu-wien.ac.at


    Abstract


    The aim of the study was to compare the stability of the rider as well as the forces acting on a horse's back with different seating positions at the trot (sitting trot, rising trot and two-point seat). The same experienced rider was mounted on 10 sound horses trotting on a treadmill. The kinetic data were recorded with an electronic pressure mat, placed under a well-fitting dressage saddle with no saddle pad. The rider used three different seating positions, each for 20 s. Right forelimb motion was used to synchronise the pressure data with the stride cycles. To determine the rider's stability, the movement of the centre of pressure (COP) along the transverse (X) and longitudinal (Y) axes was calculated. The force was taken as the sum of all segments of the pressure pad multiplied by the area of the pressure pad. The maximum force and the X- and Y-deviations were evaluated using ANOVA for repeated measures with a Bonferroni Post hoc test. The stability of the rider in the Y-direction was significantly highest in the two-point seat, followed by the rising trot and the sitting trot, respectively. In the X-direction, there was no significant difference between the three positions. The significantly highest load on the horse's back was at the sitting trot (2112 N), followed by the rising trot (2056 N) and the two-point seat (1688 N). The rider was most stable in the two-point seat while transferring the lowest load on the horse's back. The rising trot was found to be more stable and less stressful for the horse's back compared to the sitting trot.

    Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    This does sort of surprise me, but it also makes me think of the Mongolian riders-don't they sort of 2-point rather than sit in the saddle?



  8. #28
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    I know a fellow that rode in a 25 mile endurance ride bareback on a bet, on his ranch horse.
    He only had to finish to win the $10,000 bet and he finished in the top ten.

    Right then, he offered the other party double or nothing to ride the same 25 miles back, still bareback, but the other fellow didn't take him on it, just gave him the money.

    The one that won the bet told me later that he was bluffing, the horse's back was way too sore to even touch it and he would not have even finished if he had realized how sore he was getting, much less get on again once he saw that.
    He also mentioned that he himself was very sore in unmentionable places and that riding bareback for that long was not a good idea after all.

    25 miles is not that far, but far enough to know you went somewhere, especially bareback, it would make you appreciate the use of a saddle.



  9. #29
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    Meh-my husband and in-laws have ridden bareback in the wilderness hundreds of miles, often 20+ at a time, and never sored a horse. Nor got sore themselves.

    Maybe your guy's horse was already sore from his ranch saddle!



  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboymom View Post
    Meh-my husband and in-laws have ridden bareback in the wilderness hundreds of miles, often 20+ at a time, and never sored a horse. Nor got sore themselves.

    Maybe your guy's horse was already sore from his ranch saddle!
    He had been practicing bareback for a while.

    If I wanted to be mean, I would say maybe your kinfolks can't tell if a horse is sore?
    Of course that would not make sense, because I have no way of knowing that.

    BUT, in general, horses can get sore ridden without a saddle, that is not in dispute.
    They will also get sore with a poor fitting saddle, that is also not in dispute.

    I didn't get sore as a kid, or sored my horses and mule, that I noticed, but I probably was weighing around 60 to 80 lbs then also and didn't ride that long, did much else than just ride on it's back.

    I think it just makes sense that anything we put on a horse's back IS to protect it.

    For those that said "people didn't use to care", give that a bit more thought, would you?

    Do you really think that people that depend on their horse for a living are not going to be very, very careful that it stays sound and healthy so it can keep working?

    There have been for centuries tales of the bad owner that didn't take proper care, so others learn that is wrong and how important that is to be able to do your work with the horse.

    I know that in cowboy land around here, for over a century at least, cowboys that sored horses were advised to move on and world got around and eventually they could not find work in any decent ranch.
    The wagon boss of the Matador, that retired here decades ago, used to tell about all they did to care for their horses.
    He said that, while most cowboys were given a cup of coffee and a meal when they rode the circuit looking for a job, if they had a reputation of being rough with the stock, they were told there was no opening, even if there was, no one wanted to hire such.



  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    For those that said "people didn't use to care", give that a bit more thought, would you?

    Do you really think that people that depend on their horse for a living are not going to be very, very careful that it stays sound and healthy so it can keep working?
    To be fair you don't have to look very hard to find multiple modern examples of people who depend on their stock but don't have management practices that are within the animals' best interests, even accounting for limitations in access to materials, vet care and money.

    How many people have only one car, depend on it to get to work so they can keep the house and feed their family, aren't in a position to afford any major repairs, yet make routine maintenance of the car their last priority? I can think of quite a few. I'm sure that mindset also existed back when it was the family horse losing out on basic care, not the car.
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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaitedincali View Post
    To be fair you don't have to look very hard to find multiple modern examples of people who depend on their stock but don't have management practices that are within the animals' best interests, even accounting for limitations in access to materials, vet care and money.

    How many people have only one car, depend on it to get to work so they can keep the house and feed their family, aren't in a position to afford any major repairs, yet make routine maintenance of the car their last priority? I can think of quite a few. I'm sure that mindset also existed back when it was the family horse losing out on basic care, not the car.
    Of course you can find idiots any place and yes, you make something idiotproof and we make better idiots.

    In general, most people are not idiots, or were not.
    The more humans we have around, the percentage of idiots not changing, yes, the more idiots they are.
    Hopefully we still have more less than idiots out there, that have enough common sense to not abuse their animals.



  13. #33
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    Do you really think that people that depend on their horse for a living are not going to be very, very careful that it stays sound and healthy so it can keep working?
    you clearly don't live near the Amish. Use it up and get a new one is their mantra. Skinny horses covered with open harness sores are par for the course.


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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    you clearly don't live near the Amish. Use it up and get a new one is their mantra. Skinny horses covered with open harness sores are par for the course.
    No, I don't live near those and yes, here too "some cowboys are not worth killing", as they say here.
    The majority do try to take very good care of their animals, all of them.

    Do you not have good caretakers in the amish also, or is it all abuse?
    That really doesn't make any sense, but who knows, maybe it is there.

    I grew up in the mountains farming with horses and I can say that everyone but a few rare cases took good care of their stock.
    Our own plow horse, a smallish belgian, lived to 32, in such good shape he was working lightly to his last days.

    I think some times we are so intent on looking for abuse that we don't notice all those many more that do take good care.



  15. #35
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    Intelligent husbandry and equitation are intelligent husbandry and equitation. What's so hard about this concept?

    The Laws of Physics apply to us all, whether or not we've ever studied Law or Physics. Those Laws dictate that the weight of a person on the back of a horse will be imposed upon that back. There are many ways to deal with it, but those which distribute the weight effectively over the largest area will be kindest to the long term well being of the horse. Again, this is not my opinion, it is demonstrable fact.

    If you are bareback you are imposing your weight in two, small, circular areas. Again, this not my opinion, it's a fact. Perhaps by alternative equitation methods you can spread the weight slightly, but I tend to doubt you can do much over more than a short period of time. Those pre-saddle horse cultures that were successful (Huns, Scythians, Comanche, etc.) took multiple horses on campaign and seldom rode one horse beyond 6-8 miles as a matter of routine. These cultures also quickly adopted the rigid tree saddle when it was introduced to them. The Mongols used rigid tree saddles and multiple horses. They were renowned for swapping tack while moving. And subsisting on horse blood and mares' milk.

    Again, for short periods of time as a training aid for a rider some bareback time would not be a substantial negative to an otherwise healthy horse. Claims of riding all day without issue on one horse are open to question, however.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  16. #36
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    Those laws of physics would apply if people were sitting on a horse all curled up with their ankles above their heads.

    As a balanced person sits on a horse the weight is distributed through their legs and rear ends, not entirely on the seat bones.

    The riding cultures swapped out horses so that they didn't end up with one pooped out horse and a herd of fresh horses, they were balancing the energy spent, not trying to spare the horses any discomfort.

    I've spent entire days riding bareback, my husband has, my sister-in-law has... no issues, no sores, no ear pinning. We don't really owe you any explanation to your "question"-all I can say is we've DONE it, not sat at our computers and wondered about it.


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  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboymom View Post
    Those laws of physics would apply if people were sitting on a horse all curled up with their ankles above their heads.

    As a balanced person sits on a horse the weight is distributed through their legs and rear ends, not entirely on the seat bones.

    The riding cultures swapped out horses so that they didn't end up with one pooped out horse and a herd of fresh horses, they were balancing the energy spent, not trying to spare the horses any discomfort.

    I've spent entire days riding bareback, my husband has, my sister-in-law has... no issues, no sores, no ear pinning. We don't really owe you any explanation to your "question"-all I can say is we've DONE it, not sat at our computers and wondered about it.
    Thats what I thought too. I took my mare out for her 30 mins. My weight is in my thighs and bum, not under two little seat bones digging into her back or anything. I checked her back halfway through and when I got home. Nothing. I don't know which would be more comfy for the horse. A saddle with the tree and the extra weight or a soft (mine is. Lol) flexible butt. So far I have no complaints from her going bareback.



  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboymom View Post
    Those laws of physics would apply if people were sitting on a horse all curled up with their ankles above their heads.

    As a balanced person sits on a horse the weight is distributed through their legs and rear ends, not entirely on the seat bones.

    The riding cultures swapped out horses so that they didn't end up with one pooped out horse and a herd of fresh horses, they were balancing the energy spent, not trying to spare the horses any discomfort.

    I've spent entire days riding bareback, my husband has, my sister-in-law has... no issues, no sores, no ear pinning. We don't really owe you any explanation to your "question"-all I can say is we've DONE it, not sat at our computers and wondered about it.
    Thank You. Bareback is one of the most useful things a rider can do to become aware of what their body does on the back of a horse. Discouraging people from bareback because it is 'bad for the horse' does no justice to anyone.

    You wanna know what is "bad for horses?" Locking them in stalls 12-18 hours/day.....


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  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    I know a fellow that rode in a 25 mile endurance ride bareback on a bet, on his ranch horse.
    He only had to finish to win the $10,000 bet and he finished in the top ten.

    Right then, he offered the other party double or nothing to ride the same 25 miles back, still bareback, but the other fellow didn't take him on it, just gave him the money.

    The one that won the bet told me later that he was bluffing, the horse's back was way too sore to even touch it and he would not have even finished if he had realized how sore he was getting, much less get on again once he saw that.
    He also mentioned that he himself was very sore in unmentionable places and that riding bareback for that long was not a good idea after all.

    25 miles is not that far, but far enough to know you went somewhere, especially bareback, it would make you appreciate the use of a saddle.
    Maybe he just didn't ride well.

    I used to ride my gelding miles and miles bareback. He never had a back problem.
    "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com



  20. #40
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    I was not allowed to use a saddle as a kid unless my folks were around. I did a lot of bareback riding. I really don't think that the mechanics of riding would support that bareback is better than a well fitted saddle. WELL FITTED. Have to highlight that.

    A well fitted saddle distributes the weight yes?

    That HAS to be better than riding bareback. No matter how balanced you are, having a way to distribute the weight and avoid the pressure points must be better, no?
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



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