Bareback Riding Safety

Learning to ride without the security of a saddle or stirrups might seem like a scary proposition, but it can actually help you to bond more closely with your horse and improve your seat at the same time.? With bareback riding there is a greater chance of falling, so be sure to always wear your helmet and know how to dismount properly.? It may be tempting to use a bareback pad, with or without stirrups, however they can easily slip and cause a dangerous situation, or lead to bad habits and a poor seat.? Start out with a calm quiet horse – you might want to borrow a friend?s horse if yours is a little too wild ? so that you can get a handle on how it feels to have the horse moving directly under you.? For additional safety, have someone lead the horse so that you can concentrate on your balance, and not on controlling or guiding the horse.? You will want to use a sturdy mounting block to get on, and make sure you have correct seat positioning before moving forward.? Start out at a walk, and slowly advance to a trot as you feel more comfortable.? Do not attempt cantering until you are completely comfortable at the trot, and consider having a friend lunge your horse so that you don?t have to worry so much about control.? If you feel yourself start to slip, try grabbing hold of your horse?s mane ? this is much safer for your horse than using the reins for balance, which could hurt his mouth.? Try not to clench suddenly with your legs, as your horse may interpret that as a cue to move forward.? With a little safety and lots of practice, bareback can easily become a favourite way to ride!

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