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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2010
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    Alberta
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    The book I referred to is "The Domestic Horse: The Evolution, Development and Management of its Behaviour" by Daniel Mills and Sue McDonnell.

    Damage attributed to bareback riding and pad saddles:
    1) Spondylotic spurs of new bone on the vertebra.
    2) Impinging dorsal spinous processes
    3) Fissures through the epiphysis
    4) Osteophytes on the vertebra.

    These damages were greatly reduced with the invention of the frame saddle according to their research.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


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  2. #42
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    Mar. 8, 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Qc
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    Just looking at the (r)evolution of 'bareback' saddle pads and 'treeless' saddles.

    More padding, more shims, more and more stiffness in the gullet, in the panels and in the seat/cantle area...

    For better weight distribution and spine/wither's clearance.

    Why is it if bareback is so good for the horse's back?

    Because on the long run, it isn't.

    A well fitted saddle for both the horse and the rider, that is a must.


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  3. #43
    Join Date
    Nov. 27, 2009
    Location
    Gladstone, Oregon
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    540

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    When I was growing up, I would send all day in the mountains on my horses, bareback. One at a time, of course. I was always in tune to what my horses were feeling, and back then even massaged them gently till they were piles of sleepy horse.

    I had one girlfriend that would ride with me and she would lean back and forth until the horse was sore. I told her if she didn't stop that, I would pull her off and make her walk as she was hurting her horse. (Her horse lived with mine at our place.) She didn't believe me. So, I pulled her off and showed her how sore her horses back was. He almost dropped beneath ky fingers when I ran them down his back. She was so upset that her horse was that hurt. She thought he was "Just being a jerk."

    I told her to let him recover before she went bareback again. She let him heal and started riding with more care for a while and the horse was fine until she decided she didn't care and then he got sore again.

    Some people will ride bareback and make their horses more sore than another, and some horses will be more prone to being sore from bareback riding. It all depends on the physiology of each rider/horse combo.

    I could ride 30+ miles a day bareback and not sore my horses back. Even all my tender bits were accustomed to riding a high withered horse in places only deer and elk went. Come show season time, I was so fit that I would take the bareback eq class riding English and ride a posting trot to the Grand Champion circle.

    The mare I have now can't even tolerate bareback, she's not sore either. She's fine with a saddle. Like I said, depends on the rider/horse variables.

    That's been my 2 cents.
    Quote Originally Posted by dizzywriter View Post
    My saddle fits perfectly well. It might be a little tight around the waist, but I take care of that with those spandex things.


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  4. #44
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2011
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    IE SoCal
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    1,090

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    I like how actual facts and scientific studies have been posted in this thread and people are still holding on to their anecdotal data with fists clenched and teeth bared.

    Thank you for those that have posted the studies done, they were very interesting reading.
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  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post
    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?
    Yes.

    No one is saying don't ride bareback any time, anywhere.

    Riding bareback has some advantages, that is how we start colts and do some light riding.
    Smaller kids are very light anyway, so their impact would be less than adults.

    Generally, it may not be the best to ride bareback for most riders and horses, often and/or for long time.
    For that, many agree that a well fitted saddle is the better tool.



  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2004
    Location
    Carolinas
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    5,319

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    I know of two horses whose backs were obviously, painfully sored. One was an eventing advanced level horse who became very sore after the rider rode in a clinic with a coach who had all working without stirrups and doing various exercises to make their seats deeper and more independent. The horse reared up when the saddle was placed on his back the next morning. And his back was sore to the touch.Another was a school horse who had a 2+ week recuperation after lesson with 60-70lb girl who posted straight up and down, in spite of the best efforts of the instructors. For the record, this horse carried up-down riders 2-3 hours a day/5 days a week for years. This was the only time she ever reacted in such a fashion.


    Horses can be sored with or without saddles. Yeah riding a horse bareback, when you normally ride with a saddle, for 25 miles should make him/her sore. Condition the horse to being ridden bareback and you should have a different result. Wear your favorite riding boots without socks for a day and see how you feet look and feel.


    No doubt some horses are just fine being ridden bareback, others will probably never be comfortable. We as horsemen need to be wise enough to know the difference and adjust to the horse in front of us. Just IMO.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim


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  7. #47
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2009
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    5,217

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    Thank you, CHT!



  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2008
    Location
    Wales, UK
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    513

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    Well I'd die if I rode 25 miles bare back but a little two mile pootle doesn't seem to cause me or pony any problems.



  9. #49
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2008
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    619

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    Quote Originally Posted by alibi_18 View Post
    Just looking at the (r)evolution of 'bareback' saddle pads and 'treeless' saddles.

    More padding, more shims, more and more stiffness in the gullet, in the panels and in the seat/cantle area...

    For better weight distribution and spine/wither's clearance.

    Why is it if bareback is so good for the horse's back?

    Because on the long run, it isn't.

    A well fitted saddle for both the horse and the rider, that is a must.
    This is a really good point. I wanted to add that the endurance riders I know say that they spend very little time sitting in the saddle, they are either posting, riding 2 point, or off the horse and walking. This may be why treeless works for endurance, the riders are not sitting like they would bareback.



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