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Bareback pads with stirrups - anyone have one?

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  • Bareback pads with stirrups - anyone have one?

    I'm looking for a bareback pad with stirrups as a comfy, light alternative for trail riding on my mare. We mostly just meander around state parks these days, so hardly any trotting or cantering....I'd say 95% walking. I'd like the stirrups for when we do trot (she is like riding a jackhammer) and for those unexpected sideways leaps

    I saw the Cashel Soft Saddle in a catalog, but at $269, it's more than I had thought about spending for something I don't really need. It sounds great, though...does anyone have one? Recommended or not? Any alternative suggestions?

  • #2
    I have the cashel and put my own leathers and stirrups on it since the little plastic ones are flimsy.
    It is worth the money as you can get the converter (my tack store gave that to me free) for the english girth of your choice.
    Gone are the days when I could hop on bareback and ride like the wind, sigh.
    I gave away a bareback pad someone gave me from, I think valleyvet, because the plastic stirrups were too flimsy.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have sat on the Cashel, and it is soooooo comfy! One caveat about using a bareback pad with stirrups, though: if you get off balance during a spook or something,the weight in one stirrup will pull the whole thing right around your horse's side/under his belly with no tree to stabilize the pad.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have one as well; I bought it as an alternative to my saddle while my rescue mare was gaining weight and I was worried about fit. In the end, the mare gained a ton of weight, I bought a new saddle, and I've only used it a few times.

        I don't love the Cashel because the twist is so wide (much more like a western saddle) and I don't love the plastic stirrups. If I were going to use it more I'd definitely buy black leathers and put on regular stirrups. I'm also embarrassed to admit it takes me forever to cinch it but I did figure it out!

        It is very comfortable and would be nice for trail riding, if I had a trail horse I'm sure I'd use it. It does not feel like a bareback pad - more like a cushy western saddle, so if you are thinking you'd like a bareback "feel" on trails, you probably wouldn't like it.

        I'd probably be willing to give someone a bargain on it because it's only taking up a saddle rack gathering dust. PM me if you want to talk about it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Bareback pads and stirrups are a dangerous combination.

          Try to think of another way to be comfortable, really.
          Some try to add a breastcollar, so as to stabilize the bareback pad some sideways, if it were to turn, but I don't think you can enough, if things get wild.
          You also have to tighten their cinch considerably more than with a saddle with tree, something that some horses find uncomfortable.

          English saddles are not that much to them more than a bareback pad and considerably more comfortable for a horse's back and more stable for the rider.

          Comment


          • #6
            Can't agree enough with Bluey. Stirrups on a bareback pad are a bad accident waiting to happen. False sense of security and one unbalanced moment and the whole thing is under the stomach, with stirrups smacking the poor panicking horse in the legs. I hate to imagine where the rider is going to end up, other than most likely the hospital.

            No. That rates right there with sandals around horses and something you should never do.

            Comment


            • #7
              Not to mention when your older the ground is not as forgiving and you don't bounce and recover as quickly either.

              Doesn't take that much to take the extra time to saddle up.

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              • #8
                Agree with all who said NOT a good idea! I had a horse I loved to ride bareback (comfortable) and I did not use a pad of any kind. Much safer that way.
                She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I used to trail ride in a suede-seated, hemp-backed bareback pad that I modified. I had a saddlery repair shop stitch on regular leather billets. Used a dressage girth and breakaway, safety stirrups. I rode in it for years on the trail --including galloping -- quite securely.

                  Not expensive to do. I was younger then, so maybe I was an idiot...
                  www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                  "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                  Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                    Bareback pads and stirrups are a dangerous combination.

                    Try to think of another way to be comfortable, really.
                    Some try to add a breastcollar, so as to stabilize the bareback pad some sideways, if it were to turn, but I don't think you can enough, if things get wild.
                    You also have to tighten their cinch considerably more than with a saddle with tree, something that some horses find uncomfortable.

                    English saddles are not that much to them more than a bareback pad and considerably more comfortable for a horse's back and more stable for the rider.
                    Strongly agree with Bluey, that is good information.

                    People get depending on those stirrups, then when they lean on them, the whole pad turns out from under you. Bareback pads with stirrups are among the most unsafe equipment around. AND it is real easy to get hung up in those stirrups, can't fall free.

                    I got hung up in mine, know other folks who also got hung up on the stirrups and dragged badly.

                    If you are trying to keep your rearend clean riding "almost bareback", just use a western girth with an english stirrup leather as a cinch mechanism to hold the blanket or pad on the horse. You can sit on the blanket or pad, no chance of stirrup problems. Your legs hang free. The cinch can be as tight as needed, WON'T come loose like the bareback pad straps.

                    If you feel you NEED stirrups on that horse, because he spooks, you have bad balance, use a saddle instead. Be safe, not sorry.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I had one; it came with these rickety plastic stirrups. I don't know what I was thinking getting it.

                      I sold it on e-bay and I think I sold it with the stirrups but disclaimered that I didn't think they were safe to actually use.
                      Any time someone talks about their horse in a bar, there's love in the room.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The barn director at a summer camp I once worked at had the coolest trail saddle. It was a synthetic foam saddle from the late 70s/early 80s. Its design was similar to the Cashel, but with a large pommel and cantle like an Aussie saddle. I also remember it having a tree because it was very stable. Her's happened to be a bright seafoam green color.

                        The stirrups were placed kind of far forward, but it was fabulous for those days when you'd spend hours in the saddle taking beginner riders on slow paced trail rides. And it seemed to fit every horse we used it on.

                        I've searched for something similar for years and have never seen one. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? It seemed to be the answer for those of us who'd love a bareback pad with stirrups!

                        ETA: After a little googling, I'm pretty sure it was some sort of early 1980's synthetic endurance saddle. Its design was similar to this, if you take away all the fanciness and imagine it as one solid piece of turquoise foam:

                        http://www.webshop.viva-iberica.com/tuareg-75-p.asp
                        Last edited by Texarkana; Jun. 14, 2009, 06:41 PM.
                        Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          http://cgi.ebay.com/Brown-Leather-Ba...3A1%7C294%3A50

                          I like these pads, they look sturdy and the people that make them trail ride in them. You also use a breastcollar to keep the pad from spinning and they say you can mount from the ground using the stirrups.
                          http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                            If you are trying to keep your rearend clean riding "almost bareback", just use a western girth with an english stirrup leather as a cinch mechanism to hold the blanket or pad on the horse. You can sit on the blanket or pad, no chance of stirrup problems. Your legs hang free. The cinch can be as tight as needed, WON'T come loose like the bareback pad straps.

                            If you feel you NEED stirrups on that horse, because he spooks, you have bad balance, use a saddle instead. Be safe, not sorry.
                            I am not using this to keep my butt clean, nor do I *need* stirrups. Anyone who knows me would laugh at this!

                            This is not a time saver thing, either. It is a "I think it might be more comfortable for my mare" as the bareback pad would be lighter than saddle, possibly cooler but I'm not sure on the cooler part, and I thought having stirrups available would be helpful for the odd lurch sideways or perhaps going up or down a particularly steep hill. I apologize if I've made it sound as though this were for my own comfort, security or clean bum.

                            Asked for opinions on the Cashel pad, and they were given - thanks everyone for the input!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by asb_own_me View Post
                              I am not using this to keep my butt clean, nor do I *need* stirrups. Anyone who knows me would laugh at this!

                              This is not a time saver thing, either. It is a "I think it might be more comfortable for my mare" as the bareback pad would be lighter than saddle, possibly cooler but I'm not sure on the cooler part, and I thought having stirrups available would be helpful for the odd lurch sideways or perhaps going up or down a particularly steep hill. I apologize if I've made it sound as though this were for my own comfort, security or clean bum.

                              Asked for opinions on the Cashel pad, and they were given - thanks everyone for the input!
                              Saddles are really better for a horse's back, as they distribute the rider's weight better than our own hind end does, even those well padded ones.

                              Some horses get sore backs from being ridden bareback, as all our weight is on two spots, rather than over the much larger area of a saddle.

                              Just as with treeless saddles, some horses do well with them, others get sore.
                              Just watch your horse for that, if you go the treeless or bareback pad or completely bareback route.

                              For a little ride, anything is ok, as far as the horse's back is concerned.
                              Only when riding for longer may this be a concern.
                              If you do use stirrups on a bareback pad, be very careful, maybe even get those with caps on them, half open, Peacock or quick release ones, so your foot won't be so apt to hang in there.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have a Cashel pad. IMO it has the worst traits of a saddle and a bareback pad rather than the best. The foam is rather thick and cushy, so I lose the close contact feel of riding bareback. In that regard it's more like a saddle, in that I can't feel the little muscle twitches from the horse's back. At the same time, this thick and cushy foam tends to squish around under me, which makes it less stable than an actual saddle. I find myself constantly losing my balance while using it.

                                My Cashel has been demoted to colt breaking. We throw it on the babies to get them used to having a girth under their belly and stirrups flapping against their sides. They can't hurt it by rolling on it or (god forbid this should ever happen) flipping over backwards onto it. I might also use the Cashel if I ever happened to take one of my horses swimming.

                                Edited to add, the stirrups attach with velcro. If you did happen to come off and get a foot caught, I doubt you'd be dragged for miles. However, you could take a few knocks to the head before the velcro finally popped loose. I expect the same scenario could play out with an English saddle if the leather didn't immediately slide off the safety bar.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I sometimes will ride bareback but in the woods it is tough. Mostly because a attack deer might come out and eat him. So if I bail it is a pain in the rump to get on.
                                  OTTB - Hurricane Denton - Kane - the big dog!
                                  Tuggy - RIP 9/12/2016 - Wait for me at the bridge
                                  Foster LolaMaria AKA LolaBean (Boxer)

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    The best ever:

                                    http://www.better-horsetack.com/lj/index.cfm?page=bbsdl

                                    I and many other folks ride these routinely WITH stirrups. You can mount from the ground with no slippage, and they are SO secure. You can jump in them, too. I know some 50 miler riders that use them very well.

                                    It's in the way and with what materials they are made that makes them successful. Believe every good thing you read about them. I cherish mine on the trails, because we've been having saddle fit issues, and this always fits. I use a 1 inch wool pad under it for shock absorption.

                                    Good stuff
                                    "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James
                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                    Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Maybe it's just me, but when you start adding stirrups and such bells and whistles to a bareback pad, you're not REALLY riding bareback anymore, are you?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        And just to add, I 100% agree with those who said stirrups are a dangerous idea on a bareback pad. The weight you put in the stirrups will at some point become unevenly distributed, and down goes the pad, rider and all...if your weight is in your seat, rather than the stirrups, you can't pull the pad down. Of course, it may still slip, but it will not be as likely to take the rider with it!

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