Girls Horse Club Blog

Bareback Riding

Published by • Feb 19th, 2008 • Category: Riding Advice

Bareback Riding

by Stargazer, age 11

Do you know what the Pony Club definition of a saddle is? According to Pony Club, a saddle is a tool used to teach the proper riding position so that you can ride bareback.

Riding bareback can really help you with your riding. It improves:

Your balance. It’s true. You don’t have stirrups to support you, so you will have to balance well in order to stay on. If you are constantly losing your balance, it would be a good idea to try bareback riding. See if you can ride without grabbing the mane!

Your leg strength. If your legs fly all over the place while you ride, bareback can help! Without stirrups to support you, you’ll really have to rely on your leg muscles. It may hurt at first, but the more you do it the less pain there is.

Before riding bareback, there are a few things you should know.

Start slow. If you hop on bareback for the first time and try to canter right away, chances are you’ll slide off. You need to start slow at first, and then try the faster gaits if you do okay. That doesn’t mean just walk around — try a slow sitting trot. After you feel comfortable at the sitting trot, try a posting trot. After you’re sure that you’re ready, try a slow canter. Try grabbing mane at first if you need to!

Pick the right horse. If you’re riding bareback for the first time, it’s a good idea to pick a well behaved, quiet horse. You definitely don’t want to fall off on your first try. After a while, if you feel ready, then you might try a feistier mount.

Don’t jump until you’re ready. Sure, jumping bareback might seem fun, but it’s no good trying to jump if you’re not ready. Make sure you are comfortable at all gaits before you try jumping. Grab mane, and get in two point (jumping position) as best as you can. If it is your first try, you might get bounced around a little when you land, so be prepared!

Did you know that there are even some bareback classes and games at shows? Check this out!

Bareback classes. Walk, trot, and canter are what are usually done in these classes. You ride in the ring with other riders, so make sure your horse behaves around other horses.

Ride a buck. This is my favorite! Don’t worry; you won’t have to stay on a bucking horse. In riding a buck, you place a one dollar bill under you thigh, and have to keep it from falling out at the walk, trot, and canter. You may have to post the trot or sit the trot, so be prepared. The last rider to have her dollar under her thigh wins all the money!

Now that you know a little bit more about bareback riding, get out there and try it (if you haven’t already)!