• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Is there any scientific proof that riding bareback is bad for your horse's back?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #21
    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

    Comment


    • #22
      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

      Comment


      • #23
        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.
        Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

        Comment


        • #24
          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.

          Comment


          • #25
            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.
            “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

            Comment


            • #26
              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

              Comment


              • #27
                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?

                Comment


                • #28
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    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!
                    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        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.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              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.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                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

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  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.
                                  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #37
                                    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.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      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.....
                                      "Friend" me !

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

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        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

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          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...

                                          Comment

                                          Working...
                                          X