Bareback Or Saddled?

Hey, y'all! Sam here with a blog post about, well, riding bareback or riding saddled!

Let me guess, you rarely ride bareback or you don't do it at all? That's not necessarily a bad thing, but there are some benefits.

A few years ago, when I was taught how to ride, my teaching decided to do things slightly differently with me. She had a firm belief in starting bareback. So, of course, I started bareback.

Every day I'd walk down to the barn, feed the horses, then bridle my horse. I'd ride her around a pen, with my teacher watching, and when I got off... My legs were sore. If you've ever ridden before, you know what I'm talking about. My muscles were building during those hours I spent on her back.

I could feel Ellie move and breath underneath me. I had a better understanding of how she worked. I could better sense where she would go, when she was thinking about cutting back toward the barn (She was/is extremely barn-sour.), and how easily she would obey.

Skip ahead a few years: I can now gallop full-speed without a saddle. To be honest, I prefer bareback. I love being able to feel her move. I love how natural it seems. I've raced my neighbors (and won) bareback... I do pretty much everything bareback. EXCEPT, and this is where I promote saddled, except when I compete. When I'm circling barrels or sorting cattle, I use a saddle.

When you're used to riding around bareback, well, saddled seems like a breeze. Your legs are stronger and you have better balance.

When you use a saddle, the main advantage is the stirrups. Big surprise, right? It's easier to turn, trot, and stop when you have stirrups. But sometimes you have to do it the hard way in order to make the easy way easier.

So, this post is about whether you should ride bareback or saddled. I've been hopping around with the benefits of both. It all comes down to one thing: What you want to do.

If you want to joy ride around your property, then I suggest bareback. If you want to do those major competitions (and practice for them), I suggest saddled. Either way, you can't go wrong. Ride the way that's most comfortable for you.

Alright, I think that about sums it up. Comment below on how YOU ride, and if I managed to get YOU interested in bareback! Sam out!



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