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Jumping bareback/without stirrups

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  • Jumping bareback/without stirrups

    I've always wanted to jump either without stirrups or bareback. However, I'm not really sure where to start. I've never done it before, and I don't want to hurt myself by recklessly jumping on and going for it.

    Also, can you improve your jumping form by jumping without stirrups just like you can improve your form on the flat? Or does it not really make a difference? This is one of the major reasons I am thinking about doing it. I tend to resist the closing of my hip and knee angle over jumps, as well as reaching up to either grab mane or do a crest release. As a result I sometimes get left behind. Especially on the new mare I am riding. She has an explosive jump, even over the smaller x-rails. I hate doing crest releases though since I feel like I am losing control by not having contact with my horse over the jump. But I don't want to accidently grab her in the mouth if she decides to jump big.
    "One reason why horses are happy is because they are not trying to impress other horses."
    "Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction"

  • #2
    Chicken! I dare you!
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    • #3
      YES! It helps a LOT! Start out slowly. First over poles, then trotting jumps. It will feel strange at first, but soon you'll feel just as if not MORE secure than jumping with stirrups.

      When it comes to jumping bareback, make sure you are comfortable w/t/c and switching leads before you jump, hehe...


      Wear your helmet and have fun!

      "Pat the horse; kick yourself" - Carl Hester

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      • #4
        Great exercise. I have one horse that I'm 2 1/2 years into riding stirrup-less (only). We jump a couple of times a week and I credit that no-stirrups riding with making my strength and form better on my other horses.

        Don't be afraid to grab mane (especially if you're worried about hitting your horse in the mouth), but IME, it's easier to stay with the horse because you don't have stirrups to brace off of....unless, of course, you get jumped loose by a particularly large effort.
        __________________________________
        Flying F Sport Horses
        Horses in the NW

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        • #5
          As a kid, I learned to ride western...then discovered jumping!! Without an English saddle back then, I chose to ride bareback so I could jump. I ended up more comfortable jumping bareback than in the English saddle my parents bought for me!! I could jump the small jumps in the saddle...then go bareback for the higher jumps!! It just felt more secure to me!! I felt that way right up into my 20's!! Now in my sixties, I still have a pretty tight seat...in a saddle now, though!!! Learning to jump bareback will teach you to stay forward...getting left is not an option. If your horse has a big jump...learn to use a more following rein/auto release.
          Last edited by crosscreeksh; Apr. 2, 2013, 10:24 PM. Reason: Added thought
          www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
          Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

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          • #6
            I highly recommend a bareback pad. With a suede/fake suede top. And full seat britches. You will get a lot of 'stick' and that will help you immensely.

            Jumping bareback will really help to reinforce the idea that jump position is about folding and moving the hips back. NOT about throwing yourself up the horse's neck.

            Use a neck strap/old stirrup leather.

            Remain seated and upright AS the horse's front legs leave the ground. It is the thrust of the back legs that you should be 'staying with.'

            Bareback is fantastic exercise. Have fun!
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            • #7
              Was just going to mention a neckstrap but I see thats already been mentioned

              I used to find it an invaluable exercise, not that I'd fancy it these days, with my pointy withered horse, ouch.

              Cool bareback jumping clip...

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              • #8
                Have fun! I've recently started trying to ride bareback at all - I can barely trot!
                www.felixfjord.blogspot.com

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                • #9
                  I find jumping much easier without stirrups. Do lots of stirrup-less two point work to build those muscles. Then take it easy. As someone else suggested start with some trot poles then work your way up to crossrails.

                  Have fun!

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    This is probably a stupid question but, how DO you do stirrup-less two point? As in, how do you stay up?
                    "One reason why horses are happy is because they are not trying to impress other horses."
                    "Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction"

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                    • #11
                      You grip with your calves and use your thigh muscles to stay up off the horse's back. It's not fun, but it sure gets results!

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                      • #12
                        I used to jump my pony all the time bareback, over just about anything!

                        I have a horse again who doesn't mind bareback jumping, it's taken a little getting used to, he's a big 16.3, with rather large wither, but he's so much fun bareback! Definitely get comfortable w/t/c first, and I completely agree with a neck strap, never used one when I was younger, love it for bareback now. Oh, make sure you have brakes, or even better they slow down/stop when you say woah, there have been a few times I was losing my balance and him stopping off my voice kept me on.

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                        • #13
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kalila View Post
                            This is probably a stupid question but, how DO you do stirrup-less two point? As in, how do you stay up?
                            Grip like crazy with your thighs!!! You'll know you're doing it right when they start SCREAMING back at you!!!
                            www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                            Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

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                            • #15
                              Like everyone else has said, bareback is a GREAT tool! If you're not used to it, go slowly. But once you master it, you'll find that your balance and security in the saddle is much better! Get comfortable doing flat work before you start jumping, obviously. It's really not so hard.

                              The worst part about jumping bareback is the sometimes uncoordinated landing that results in a bad crotch-withers combo...

                              The best way to avoid that is to get super strong thigh and calf muscles, which comes with time. So my advice is that, yes, it's a great tool, and go slowly!

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