I rode bareback for the first time!

One of the things I looked forward to most in my riding was getting the chance to ride bareback. I love the natural look of it, and it always seems like the rider and horse can connect a lot riding bareback. I've always wanted to try bareback but up until yesterday I never got the chance to. I was so pleasantly surprised when my instructor told me I could ride bareback! Here is how it went for me.

Grooming/tacking up

First I went to get my mount. His name is Cougar, and he is so sweet and cute. I went to the outside stalls to grab him. He was eating hay and had hay all over his mouth, it was adorable. I took off his fly mask and then slipped on his halter and lead. I took him to the main barn and put him in a stall to tack up. Cougar cant cross tie so I always have to put him in a stall when I'm grooming and tacking up. Luckily for Cougar, there were 2 flakes of hay and some grain in the stall so he was able to munch while I groomed him. I started with a curry comb and since Cougar is grey it can be tricky grooming him. I then moved on to a hard brush and after I used a soft brush. After I picked his hooves and went to grab his bridle. Since we rode bareback I didn't have to grab a saddle, saddle pad, or girth. I know some riders use a saddle pad and special bareback girth but I didn't. I was able to slip on his bridle and reins and then walk to the arena.

Warmup

Even though we rode bareback doesn't mean we can slack on a warmup. The horse still deserves a good warm-up so he can stretch his muscles and not be all cramped. I walked around the arena 1.5 laps and then gave him a loose rein so he could stretch his head out a bit. I also made sure my heels were down and I was sitting up straight. I had a hard time not sliding forward because Cougar is a tall horse, so his backbone does stick out a bit and I kind of slipped to his withers every now and then. My instructor had us 2-point which was so difficult I could barely get up. We weren't allowed to put our hands on the horse because this would be cheating, so this exercise helped our leg muscles a lot.

Trot

After we warmed up we went into a trot. First, we started with a sitting trot. I think bareback definitely improved my sitting trot. I sat all the way down and it was so cool being able to feel Cougars legs moving. Not going to lie, it was uncomfortable at first but I let my hips move with his legs that way I wasn't slipping forward. We trotted 10 steps and then picked up our posting trot for 5 steps.

Okay does anyone have any tips for posting bareback?! It was the most uncomfortable thing I've ever done 😂 It wasn't that I couldn't post, just that whenever I came down it felt so wrong and uncomfortable. Not to mention I kept slipping forward and that made Cougar stop because he thought I was telling him. I tried my best but honestly, it looked like a mess.

Dismounting

This was my favorite part of riding bareback! My instructor had us ride at a trot, before jumping off or dismounting from the side of the horse. At first, I was nervous but once I got the hang of it, it was actually really fun. Cougar was so good and every time I dismounted he waited for me so I could collect the reins and hop back on. I think he liked the short minute breaks in which I was off ;)


We continued to do this for the rest of the lesson. This whole month will be bareback so yesterday was just a warmup for the month. I had a ton of fun riding bareback and I'm so happy I got the opportunity to. It certainly is a moment to remember and I think every equestrian should try it at some point in their riding career. If you guys have any tips for me please comment below! It will help me out a lot for the month. xx The Desert Rider




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