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Bareback Dressage Rider Sinners Club; anyone else?

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  • Bareback Dressage Rider Sinners Club; anyone else?

    This is a spinoff from the thread about Bergamon being ridden in western tack - oh the horrors!

    I started riding at about age 4 and had to earn my way into a saddle. That took a good 5+ years to get to that point. Dad bought me a honkin' 75 lb western saddle that I couldn't lift onto my horse's back, so I "down graded" to a jumping saddle. The rest is history! 38 years later, here I am! 22 years of riding dressage and I confess . . . I broke down a rode bareback the other day!

    I decided to ride one of my dressage horses BAREBACK the other day! I rode him in a Dually Halter with reins and a western pad and anti-casting surcingle to hold it on (he's way too big for a bareback pad); HORRORS! I wonder if I "ruined" him? Oh, and this is my FEI I1 horse and only the second time I'd ridden him bareback - first time with anything resembling a halter or hackamore!! Of course, he did buck and porpoise at first - hey, that is what the roll bar (as I call it!) it for; a handle to stay on! We did passage, trot S/I and H/P, canter S/I, tempi changes, and pirouette's bareback and w/ halter! Frankly, I was surprised!

    Needless to say, I was beyond ecstatic that we could be so connected together, sans any specific equipment!! I was smiling so hard ear to ear, I almost cried; too much fun! Good boy; whata guy!!

    Any other Bareback Dressage Riders out there?

  • #2
    I LOVE hopping on my guys bareback (when they don't have shark fin withers ). It's much warmer in the winter when you're just hanging out on them.
    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

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    • #3
      I do it all the time, but I readily admit my horse is only first level and we jump too I love riding bareback! My new horse does have a bit of a shark fin wither though so he is not as comfortable bareback as myold morgan gelding though. I still just love it and I want my barn to include a bareback dressage test in their next schooling show- it would be so fun! I discovered on one of my bareback rides that trying to do a stretchy chewy in a posting trot bareback without squeezing with your knees at all (that makes my horse stop)or touching the horses back too hard (since my new horse is pretty sensitive) was quite the challenge but when I got it right it was amazing!
      My blog:

      RAWR

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      • #4
        I hop on mine bareback somewhat frequently. Sometimes with a bridle, sometimes just a halter and lead rope. I like to do it while I'm teaching just to give the horses an extra hour to walk around if they've been in all day due to bad weather. It also keeps me warm. And with my show horse, yes it is fun to try out different things we are working on sans-saddle and see how we do! Sometimes, I'm like "wow, we can do that without a bit!!" and other times I'm like "ow ow ow, please use your back better so I have a place to sit!!" (tb withers!) lol It's fun though, and great for the seat, especially sitting trot! I like my students to do it to, just for fun to break up the routine, but also so they learn more about their seat. And I think the horses enjoy it too, it's good relaxing, bonding time, as is trail riding (my other not-so-guilty pleasure).
        Gallant Gesture "Liam" 1995 chestnut ottb gelding
        Mr. Painter "Remy" 2006 chestnut ottb gelding
        My Training Blog: www.dressagefundamentals.com

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        • #5
          Me too!

          I have a youngster and will often untack after a ride and putter around the ring bareback. He loves it! His walk gets really relaxed and he just swings He is broad and "squishy" too so comfortable for me sometimes I will just do bareback and do some lateral work so I can really feel what he is doing and he can really feel my aids.
          www.performancesporthorsesllc.com

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          • #6
            I used to ride my PSG schoolmistress mare bareback on occasion, either with the bridle or with just a halter and lead. She had a comfy back for it. Once she retired, I still got on her occasionally in the field with nothing at all. She would let me ride around on her for a bit, then when she got tired of me, she would walk into the run-in shed and refuse to move. As much of a workaholic as she was while in training, she definitely knew the meaning of retirement.
            My current horse does not have the withers for bareback riding.
            Amateur rider, professional braider.
            ----
            Save a life, adopt a pet.

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            • #7
              I would ride my WB in a hackamore and a bareback pad regularly. I'm not ready to attempt it with her daughter though, but when she's ready I will. It's great for a rider's balance and feel. Plus it's so easy just to throw on a pad. I'm sure my horse appreciated those days as well.

              I want to get a western saddle one day to use for trail riding. They're so comfortable. Maybe with some bling!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Fantastic View Post
                Needless to say, I was beyond ecstatic that we could be so connected together, sans any specific equipment!! I was smiling so hard ear to ear, I almost cried; too much fun! Good boy; whata guy!!

                Any other Bareback Dressage Riders out there?
                and to think you'd been missing out on it all this time!

                Absolutely i ride my dressage horse bareback once a week so that we can both remember what it means to kick up our heels and have fun without so much concentration. I ride in a cordeo. Mine is constructed with climbers rope with incremental knots tied for a more precise signal. A cordeo is basically a rope that goes around the base of your horse's neck, and is used in place of any "head gear" Many dressage horses that are responsive to leg and seat aides adapt easily to use with a cordeo. You'll definitely get lots of these faces riding around your typica dressage barn with a "piece of string"
                www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                chaque pas est fait ensemble

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                • #9
                  I'd ride my horse (mainly dressage guy who I've been told could do 3rd level with some work) bareback either with a halter and two leads or a bridle. I wouldn't do it too much as he's a TB with massive withers(!) but it was still fun just riding around for a bit. He also goes out on the odd trail ride and lives out basically 24/7! Haven't ridden him at all in a little while as we're working with some mysterious lameness issues.
                  Originally posted by RugBug
                  Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Foxhound View Post
                    My current horse does not have the withers for bareback riding.
                    ROFL

                    I also LOVE to ride bareback but it's not a good idea right now with my greenie. I can't wait until the day when we can ride around sans bridle :-) Sometimes I do just ride her with a halter though when we are going out on trail rides etc.
                    My little girl, Katai - 13.2 Haflinger/Unicorn
                    and her blog

                    "Ponies are the new black. Welcome to the darkside!" - Manahmanah

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                    • #11
                      Me too!

                      The ONLY way I could learn to sit my gelding's trot was to force myself to ride him bareback for 6 months. It was hard, but I knew if I ever wanted to move up I had to find the feel for his trot. I never had any trouble sitting any other horse's trot before, but this is how I fixed it.

                      Riding bareback is AWESOME!
                      Most friendships in the horse world are just an opinion away from doom.

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                      • #12
                        They're both too spiny for me to do any real work, but Clairvoya (my Grand Prix mare) and Victorious (my schooling-PSG gelding) do the bareback thing to cool off in the summertime:

                        http://www.spriesersporthorse.com/wp...eosnorkel3.jpg

                        http://www.spriesersporthorse.com/wp...idgeswim11.jpg
                        spriesersporthorse.com | farm on Facebook | me on Facebook | blog

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                        • #13
                          Count me in!

                          As a newcomer to dressage from saddle seat, I never thought twice! Esp since the Friesian I ride has NO withers, and plenty of padding
                          I actually thought he seemed smoother bareback, with his HUGE trot.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I ride my FEI school master WTC bareback in a halter. He loves it. My 4 year old FEI prospect thinks it's a hoot, too. I just ride her at the walk though. She's not quite balanced enough in the other gaits yet. Being a big mover, I'm thinking I'll fly off if I even try!

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                            • #15
                              I loved these photos the first time I saw them, and love them just as much now

                              Feronia is possessed of a lovely broad, flat back and I have a bareback pad on order for her. I am struggling with some seat/leg issues right now and someone suggested riding her bareback for a while... I am really looking forward to it. I've only ridden her bareback once, no pad no nothing, and that was last year.
                              You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                              1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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                              • #16
                                I love to ride bareback! I think that it helps with the contact of the entire leg and seat with the horse.

                                Today I got on my growing 4 year old for the first time bareback... WTC... and lived. It was nice, and I love the heightened communication that happens when you acn feel their entire back under you and they can feel your whole leg and seat.
                                http://dressageesquire.blogspot.com
                                "The ability to write a check for attire should not be confused with expertise. Proficiency doesn't arrive shrink-wrapped from UPS and placed on your doorstep."

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                                • #17
                                  I've been riding bareback occasionally lately. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVfAHT8Rs1g
                                  Stay me with coffee, comfort me with chocolate, for I am sick of love.

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                                  • #18
                                    I'll jump on occasionally sans saddle- it's so relaxing!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      You're not supposed to ride bareback? Who knew!

                                      My profile pic shows Bailey & me on our second ride this year. As in, no one had ridden him (aside from me in a single "pony ride" post-chemo/radiation in October & a short saddle ride in June) in a full year. He stretched for contact, reached out at each gait and gave me one of the nicest rides ever. Sigh

                                      Two weeks later, we did our first Virginia trail ride around the farm with a barn mate, also bareback.

                                      I actually taught myself how to ride bareback at age 12. My instructor let me take my old western schoolie out and he tolerated me while I figured out how not to bounce around. He was such a gem.
                                      I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
                                      Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.

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                                      • #20
                                        Forgive me, too, for I have sinned....a lot.

                                        I learned to ride a QH cutting horse bareback as a kid (because I couldn't lift the western saddle!). I still love riding bareback.

                                        I fear I grip too much w/ my knees....but it also helps w/ a more 'independent seat'.

                                        Our local dressage shows have a "bareback dressage" class--you can do any test, but you must be bareback (the horse, not you...! ). I love it.
                                        --Becky in TX
                                        Clinic Blogs and Rolex Blogs
                                        She who throws dirt is losing ground.

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