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Bareback? No stirrups? What's best for position improvement?

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  • #21
    Oh yeah..and she can sit the trot with the saddle too (hand position a little off), but her seat is glued with relaxation..I'm pretty sure her bareback hours have helped her there...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feTnySME7EM

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    • #22
      Originally posted by Sandy M View Post
      FWIW, recent article - I think in Equus - said riding bareback (a lot, not just occasionally) is bad for the horse's back....So depending on how much bareback you're intending to do, you might want to reconsider (weight concentrated in smaller area compared to saddle). Perhaps riding w/o stirrups might be better? Lunge lessons? (I wouldn't take lunge lessons on MY horse (I want to live!), but if someone had a nice reliable horse, I sure would love some lunge lessons in order to work my my position.)
      Meh.... I have a spiffy, grippy, suede bareback pad that I ride in a lot and it don't hurt my horse's any. I put padding underneath, especially the ones with the prominent spines and withers!! Paula Edwina and Candace Clemens helped spur me onto a bareback kick!!

      It works great for me, but everyone has different 'starting' points. I could see how someone who uses too much muscle might be made 'stiffer.' BUT it is absolutely fabulous for highlighting the rider's lateral crookedness. As in, you sit crooked, you fall off.

      I DO NOT pinpoint all of my weight onto my seat bones. But spread it across as much of the 'full seat' area (of full seat britches) as I can.
      "Friend" me !

      http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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      • #23
        Originally posted by fairtheewell View Post
        This young woman has a gazillion videos as she trains her horses in bareback dressage. She's in the Netherlands. I love to watch her progress.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_qTnQNMY-k
        Thank You!! Love it!
        "Friend" me !

        http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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        • Original Poster

          #24
          Originally posted by Isabeau Z Solace View Post
          Meh.... I have a spiffy, grippy, suede bareback pad that I ride in a lot and it don't hurt my horse's any. I put padding underneath, especially the ones with the prominent spines and withers!! Paula Edwina and Candace Clemens helped spur me onto a bareback kick!!

          It works great for me, but everyone has different 'starting' points. I could see how someone who uses too much muscle might be made 'stiffer.' BUT it is absolutely fabulous for highlighting the rider's lateral crookedness. As in, you sit crooked, you fall off.

          I DO NOT pinpoint all of my weight onto my seat bones. But spread it across as much of the 'full seat' area (of full seat britches) as I can.
          That's what I love about it--you can't be crooked. I also sense that my horse likes it--he seems to find it as fun as I do.
          2007 Welsh Cob C X TB GG Eragon
          Our training journal.
          1989-2008 French TB Shamus Fancy
          I owned him for fifteen years, but he was his own horse.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by SCMSL View Post
            I think the best exercise you can do to improve how your leg falls is to work on rising trot without stirrups while vaulting. This will make you hold on with your knees, find your position faster while not holding with the reins.
            In regards to 'holding with your knees, what is the difference between holding and pinching?

            I am more a hunter/jumper rider and am told I pinch with my knees and rising trot with no stirrups will help.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by Koniucha View Post
              In regards to 'holding with your knees, what is the difference between holding and pinching?

              I am more a hunter/jumper rider and am told I pinch with my knees and rising trot with no stirrups will help.
              The difference is where you start. To some people, who may be 'loose/low muscle tone,' having sufficient muscle tone may feel like 'pinching.'
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              • #27
                LOL! Candace turned me on to it and I just corrupted others

                Gripping and pinching -I like Isabeau's example. One of the things that I noticed when riding bareback is that my muscles are weak! Instead of draping my leg around my horse -which requires more isotonic stuff (holding without contracting) - I ended up gripping. I was trained towards the classical approach and we're definitely supposed to be draping. Boy how much work does that require -it's much harder than pinching! Bareback really helps here just because you notice right away that you can only do a few minutes of work at at time. What it did improve was my stirrup work -I stopped losing my stirrups so much.

                So to explain -classical seat with the draping allows the energy to flow so that gripping, stopping the energy, makes the horse stop or slow down. It's funny and I wouldn't have believed it until I rode some classically trained horses.

                Hope that helps.
                Paula
                He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                  Yup, I love watching her. She's my "there" to my "here" in alot of ways -fitness (horse and rider), forwardness (horse), relaxation, etc.

                  Paula
                  While I think that she and her horse are lovely, that's not bareback! She has a girth and at least three different kinds of pads between her and the horse.
                  http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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                  • #29
                    op when you get good you can do this
                    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct...dQah--z_FjR_Mw

                    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct...VUttRMKGETXs1w

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                      While I think that she and her horse are lovely, that's not bareback! She has a girth and at least three different kinds of pads between her and the horse.
                      Fiddle dee dee!! Yeah, well, bareback pad is not QUITE bareback but it's still 90% no saddle. So...... bareback pad gets you almost all of the extra 'work' of bareback with quite a bit less of the risk of slipping off. Fair compromise in my book.
                      "Friend" me !

                      http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

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                      • #31
                        Yeah, I'm sure the studies were probably done with someone riding without ANY pad. Obviously, a couple of pads is going to spread the weight, though not as much as a good-fitting saddle. If one has an "average" saddle (i.e., not one of those "lock you in place" type dressage saddles), it would seem to me that riding w/o stirrups would achieve pretty much the same effect in terms of trying to correct position as riding with one of the sueded thicker bareback pads.

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                        • #32
                          Having ridden both in the average saddle and the sueded bareback pads I will say that it is certainly not the same. Even the average saddle has rigidity that compensates for your crookedness, off-centeredness, etc. You will be amazed at how much truth is told when you ride bareback - no support, no rigid form, nothing.

                          I have to say though; my horse loves loves loves when we go bareback and I am currently trying out a special bareback pad -the equalizer bareback saddle http://www.aussiesaddle.com/products...eback_pad.html and it is the most comfortable thing I've ever ridden on! The tree is two plastic plates sandwiched inside what is essentially a bareback pad. So it is rigid enough to carry stirrups, but not as rigid as a regular tree so my treeless horse loves it. It is amazing. I took a couple of lessons in it and don't see any need to throw it over for a saddle. And again; bareback improves so much in your riding!

                          Paula
                          He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

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                          • #33
                            Yikes, that looks nice but I'm not paying $600 for a bareback pad that's more saddle then pad.
                            http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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                            • #34
                              True dat. I'm looking at a used one! It is a nice ride. I think I'll ride tests in it -it's a saddle essentially (stirrups, girth). Yes; it's that comfortable!

                              I have a bareback pad -the Best Friends http://www.horse.com/item/best-frien...er=33792176549

                              Paula
                              He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

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                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                My "bareback" setup is this--western pad, blanket surcingle, and some old gel pad I bought years ago. Doesn't lock me in, but keeps my breeches clean and offers a tiny bit of padding.
                                2007 Welsh Cob C X TB GG Eragon
                                Our training journal.
                                1989-2008 French TB Shamus Fancy
                                I owned him for fifteen years, but he was his own horse.

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
                                  A way around that might be a "treeless" saddle with the appropriate spine-relief pad under it--horses love these and they are comfortable as an easy chair; it's also pretty hard to have a poor position in one of these.
                                  Actually, I disagree completely with that statement. Lots of treeless saddles have the stirrup "bars" or attachments too far forward and that automatically puts you in a chair seat. It's hard to ride correctly in that situation. Of course that holds true for treed saddles too.

                                  I would look long and hard at your saddle and I'd try riding in as many other saddles as possible. If you are constantly fighting your position, there's a good chance that your saddle is putting you there. Do you have a saddle with a deeper seat? That may be why you are so still. It could also be that you need to relax more. In that case, exercises that build core strength will help.

                                  Sure, you need some time in the saddle but you also need a saddle that works with YOUR conformation.

                                  The sweet spot on a saddle depends on many things -- seat depth, seat size, position of the bars, cut of the flap, and the twist. We all talk a lot about saddle fit for the horse, but you also need to fit the rider. The folks at Schleese have a very good videos on saddle fitting for female riders. Watch them!

                                  http://youtu.be/aTVuy0e_yNw
                                  http://youtu.be/-8TGprmjdLs

                                  For the problems you describe, I'm not sure bareback will help you that much. Lots of people tend to sit on their pockets when they ride bareback and you have to be vigilant.
                                  Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                  EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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                                  • #37
                                    What position are you hoping to improve? Your position in a dressage saddle or your bareback position?

                                    If you are hoping to improve your position in a dressage saddle, a longe line is your best bet. Of course you need someone at the end of that longe line to aid and encourage you.
                                    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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