Saturday, August 22, 2015

Now That Was Fun! - Two Bareback Rides

I had a low energy day today.  The barn was quiet - almost no one around - and I didn't feel like riding hard or hoisting saddles, so bareback rides were on.

I hadn't really planned on riding Red, but after all four horses were groomed, he came to his door and wanted to come out, so off we went.  We've been having some trouble with renewed bracing at the beginning of our rides - by the end things are always OK but it takes a while to get softness.  I'd decided that I wasn't offering him enough of the feel of what I wanted - I'd been getting the job done but I wasn't giving him the soft feel I wanted back from him.  Yesterday we did some work in the Rockin S raised snaffle to mix things up, and today we were back in his Mylar comfort snaffle.

I grew up riding bareback - from the time I was 6 or so until I was in my late teens I almost never rode in a saddle - never had a lesson until I was in college.  It's delightful riding bareback - you're very close to the horse and your center of gravity is lower than when riding in a saddle.

Red and I did fairly well today.  There were some moments of bracing, but I tried to continue to offer softness, and things got soft pretty quickly.  His halts and backing got soft faster than they've been getting, and the trot work was nice as well.  With Red, I have to ride him frequently, and with a very high degree of consistency on my part - I have to never stop riding and be very conscious of the feel I'm offering.  If there's any brace in me, he gives me a big brace right back.  When I ride correctly, he's a dream, but he's not going to give it away for free.

Missy and I had a lovely bareback ride.  I haven't ridden her bareback in quite a while, and the difference was dramatic.  She's at about 90% of the softness I want, and her consistency is very high - Red goes from 50% soft to 100% and sometimes back again.  Her trot work is really outstanding now - lots of spring and engagement behind and the beginnings of very good shortening/lengthening work.  The left bend was better today with me bareback, probably because of my lower center of gravity and also my (necessarily) more consistent posture.

Two lovely rides, and we've got a week of cooler, more pleasant weather coming up . . .

3 comments:

  1. Like you, I grew up riding bareback. Pistol is great bareback but I'm not ready to tackle Lucy bareback. It sounds like you had great rides.

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  2. It's nice to have you back. I rode bareback decades ago as a kid. Irish is not good bareback ride- his whither is too high. Carmen would be great I think but we need more time in the saddle. if she spins or bolts when bareback I think i'd be toast.

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  3. All kids should ride bareback! I rode a lot of bareback miles as a kid, and I still enjoy riding Beamer bareback- but not at a lope!

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