Any bareback pads you recommend for high withered horses? I love jumping bareback to help with Bullriding – Zack
Hi Zack, that’s actually a really good question. A lot of riders don’t want to ride bareback because they have high withered horses and the pain is not worth it…especially when you’re a guy! The good news is there is an easy fix
P.S- I would totally love to get on a bull one day it’s an absolute dream of mine!
I have combined a few different products which ensure that it is comfortable for the horse and rider and also so that nothing slips backwards.
I snapped 2 ligaments in my ankle 14 days ago so I cannot ride in a saddle. Here you can see how I am getting around that by riding bareback- AND it is the same system that I use on high withered horses.
There are very few places that sell good surcingles so perhaps try your local leathersmith and ask him to make one for you- they are very simple and should cost no more than $30.
My last sheepskin lined saddle blanket I brought from the Saddlery Warehouse in NZ for around $130- surprisingly these are lasting a very long time and it was cheaper than any other brand. The other brand that lasts a very long time is Equine NZ- but they are around the $200 price range. You could also just use a straight skin from a sheep and put your own tabs on it to help it stay in place.
Here are some other great ways to use this bareback set up.
*For high withered horses, guys who are riding bareback or for slim riders who don’t have much protection on their own backside.
*A GREAT and inexpensive way for children to learn how to ride because it teaches them to ride balanced from the start. The breastplate also doubles as a strap to hold on to. This is how I learned to ride growing up which is why I have a balanced and secure seat. (It is never too late to start trying this)
*If you want to try and ride bareback but find it too slippery- this is also a great way to start! The sheepskin pad will give you a lot more grip then riding bareback and the breastplate also gives an added security- just hold onto it for balance.
*If you love riding bareback but your horse is malting/shedding this is a great way to keep clean.
If you are like me right now and have an injury or are recovering from an injury- riding with a bareback pad provides more stability than riding straight bareback and it means there is no pressure from your foot being in the stirrup.
You can find out more information on bareback riding, exercises, how to start, instruction on how to stay on and what gear to use on my Free Riding DVD available from my shop
Why do you recommend riders learn to ride bareback?
The only reason I am good at what I do is because I am a very fast reactor. It sounds simple- but its true. I wasn’t born being fast- it was earned through lots of practice!
Being a fast reactor means that whenever I feel myself slightly going one way, or the horse becoming unbalanced underneath me I can quickly and immediately apply the aids to rectify what is going on before it becomes a problem.
If my horse starts slowing down and backing off, or speeding up, or going left or right… ANY change that they try and make I am quicker than they are and I can adjust them. This allows me to be extremely balanced and in control.
Riding bareback taught me this. You must learn to make constant small adjustments VERY fast and seamlessly. You must learn to be strong in your core and aware of your whole body and the affect it has on your balance and on your horse.
When you ride bareback you physically must sit up correctly. You cannot hunch, lean forward or to the side otherwise you will simply start to slip- You will naturally want to correct yourself to avoid falling off. You must learn to feel every small move your horse makes and you must learn to move with it in complete harmony. How do we get good at this….PRACTICE! 🙂
When you are riding in a saddle it gives a false sense of balance- you are wedged and held in. I often think of it as LAZY riding because that’s exactly what it is- allowing the rider to be lazy with no consequences. The rider in a saddle who is jumping 1.30 can pull on the horses mouth, hit down on their back hard with their body, get left behind over jumps and be completely out of sync with their horse with little to no consequence. Many riders do not learn to ride with an independent seat from their hands- meaning they use their hands for balance instead of their core.
If you are lazy bareback jumping this height- you come off and get taught a lesson real quick. Coming off is a pretty good motivator to start getting more in tune with your own body and it works. You will naturally start improving because you have to. When you take the saddle off you immediately become aware of your own balance.
Riding with a saddle often allows us to get into very bad habits such as looking down, hunching, leaning forward, holding on to the reins for balance, riding with tension, collapsing one side of your body etc.
I also see many riders in saddles that do not fit them correctly or are sitting on incorrect angles on the horses back. This will physically force the rider to lean forward or to the side, have their legs in an incorrect position or have an unsafe jump position. No matter how much the rider tries or how many lessons they get they will never sit correctly because they are not sitting on a level and balanced surface to begin with.
When you sit on a horse bareback there is nothing pushing you in a certain direction or holding you in- so naturally you sit up straight to keep your balance.
People don’t want to ride bareback because they think it is dangerous.
To me it ALL comes down to safety. I ride bareback to keep myself sharp and safe.
I know I am safer than most because I have worked so hard on my balance- there have been more times than I can remember where I have been competing/training and my horse should have flipped or I should have come off and been very hurt but I was able to control my balance and keep us both safe.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t have an issue with saddles- in fact I ride in saddles 90% of the time and I even have my own saddle brand which allows riders to truly sit correctly. But I have laid a correct foundation of correct balance through bareback riding so that I don’t rely on them.