Category: 

What is Bareback Riding?

Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
A recent study suggests that former acne sufferers are more likely to retain a youthful appearance as they age.  more...

December 9 ,  1979 :  The eradication of smallpox was certified.  more...

Bareback riding is a form of riding which is performed without a saddle, maximizing contact between the rider and the back of the horse. This style of riding requires some special skills, and it is usually only performed by advanced riders. Some riders cheat, using a pad rather than going purely bareback, and bareback pads can also be used in teaching a rider how to ride bareback safely and successfully.

There are a number of reasons for riders to choose to go bareback. Sometimes, riders simply need to move a horse to a new location, and riding bareback is quicker, especially if the horse is only going a short distance. It also means that the rider only has to carry a bridle back to the tack room, rather than a saddle and a bridle. On small farms, riding bareback is the quickest way to get between paddocks or fields, and some riders even eschew the bridle altogether.

Riding bareback is also sometimes convenient when horses need to be waded or swum across a river, because tack could be damaged by the water. Some riders simply enjoy the experience of bareback riding, because it feels more natural to them. In the long term, bareback riding can actually be dangerous for horses, because saddles don't just provide padding and protection for riders; they also protect the back of the horse from strain.

Ad

People who want to learn bareback riding typically start by taking the stirrups off their saddles, so that they can learn to control a horse with their legs while holding their seats. Once they are comfortable with this, they can take the saddle off and ride on a saddle or bareback pad. Eventually, the pad is removed, and the rider goes entirely bareback, sometimes having someone else lead the horse the first few times so that they can concentrate on finding and holding their seat.

Once a rider is comfortable with bareback riding at the walk, he or she can try trotting, cantering, and galloping. Riding is much more dangerous when bareback, however, so riders should be careful. Without a saddle, riders can fall more easily, and they have less control over their horses. A helmet should always be worn when riding, along with appropriate gear such as thick pants and heavy boots. It's also a good idea to ride with a buddy so that someone can go for help if something happens to a rider or a horse.

Ad

You might also Like

Recommended

Discuss this Article

myharley
Post 4

We always try to make it to a couple good rodeos every summer. I like watching the whole rodeo, but my favorite events are the bull riding and the saddle bronc riding.

They always leave the bull riding until the last event. I think this is because they want to make sure that people stay to the end.

The saddle bronc riding is usually one of the first events to get the rodeo started off with some excitement.

I am always amazed at how long some of the riders can stay on their horses. It would take a lot of strength and control in your legs to be able to complete the ride.

I think it would also be a hard fall to the ground and don't think I would want to put my body through that abuse.

honeybees
Post 3

We have two old mares who are about as mellow as they come when it comes to horses. When I go back to find them in the timber, I always try to jump on one of them to ride back.

I never worry about what they will do or how they will react. One of them will leisurely follow the other one to the gate. The hardest part is finding something to step on so I can get up on their back. My jeans are usually pretty dirty by the time we get back as well.

This is a lot different than watching bronc riding at the rodeo where they are trying to stay on while the horse is bucking. I don't think I would like to try this!

wander
Post 2

@manykitties2 - You're right about riding bareback being a real challenge, a lot of professional riders won't even go there because of the inherent danger to themselves and the horses.

The only time I ever rode bareback was with pony riding when I was little. My grandmother's farm had a few ponies and sometimes she would hoist me up on one for a quick ride. I have to say, I remember it being fun, but it was also really uncomfortable.

I think that bareback riding is best left to people doing stunts on horses, and for practical reasons. I would never get onto a horse now without a saddle.

manykitties2
Post 1

I went to a rodeo a few weeks back and I was really impressed with the cowboy riding bareback as part of one of the shows. I was so shocked that he managed to keep the horse under control without a bridle or stirrups.

I suppose riding bareback is a skill that takes a long time to master, and that you would need a really good relationship with the horse. The rodeo made a pretty big production of the cowboy riding bareback, so I doubt they do it that often.

I would love to try riding bareback but I think I would be too scared of falling off the horse and hurting myself to ever try it.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email