I can’t remember the last time I rode bareback. That’s not a good thing. I do remember my teenager, fearless riders days when I would always ride bareback, and never ride with a saddle. My how the times have changed.

Challenge Day 22 Riding Bareback

But I am challenging myself for the month of August, so I decided today I would challenge myself to ride without the comfort of my saddle.

Bareback Riding Challenges

The first positive about bareback riding is how much faster I can get into the arena. I simply groom Frisby, and then take him out to the arena. Easy peasy! But that is about the end of the easiness.

After I walk him around the arena a bit, then I have to figure out how to get on him. Not such a an easy task. Sure I have a mounting block, but it’s tiny compare to the height of my horses back.

How To DIY A Mounting Block

But the mounting block does give me about a 16 inch increase in height, so it does make it a little easier to climb (or jump) aboard!

Perfecting Balance

And once I was aboard my very wide pony, the first thing I missed was my stirrups, followed closely by the cushy padding of my saddle. My friend Vickie rides bareback all the time, but uses a bareback pad. I can understand why.

Challenge Day 22 Riding Bareback

But one of the many benefits of riding bareback is how much it helps you to stay balanced on the center of your horse. When you don’t have a saddle to rely on, and help keep you in balance, you have to rely on your own center of balance.

Bareback riding does help you to engage your core, or center muscles, while you are constantly having to readjust to stay in balance with your horse.

Increasing Leg Strength

And while it can be tempting to just let your legs dangle down and around your horses midsection, you will need to tighten and relax the muscles of your thigh, and lower leg as you work through faster gaits on your horse.

By the end of our little riding session, my legs felt like jello. That doesn’t happen as much when I am riding with a saddle.

I definitely felt the burn while we meandered around the arena.

You Can Ride In Jeans

Another benefit of riding bareback is I can just get on my horse and go. No need for breeches! This is one of the only times I can ride in my jeans. It’s frowned upon to get into the tack in jeans because it can cause wear on the saddle seat. But riding bareback, you don’t really have to worry about that.

Challenge Day 22 Riding Bareback

If you feel like riding, you can just get onto your horse and go when you are riding bareback, pretty cool huh?

Improve Your Confidence

And riding bareback can help with your confidence level too. Once you have done it for a while I mean. Just like when you are riding in a saddle, your confidence level can increase the more you ride. So the more you ride, the better you will get. The same goes for riding bareback. The more you do it, the better you will get.

riding bareback

I’m toying with the idea of riding bareback until the end of my challenge, and then some for a chance to win that Arena saddle. I think it would be a challenge, and also make me appreciate that saddle even more if I win it. #daretodream

I am not sure though, that seems like a lot. But it would definitely be a throw back to when I was a teenager, and didn’t have my own saddle. I just did it. So who knows, maybe I will do it. Kind of a challenge within a challenge.

Challenge Day 22 Riding Bareback

If I did do it, I would definitely be better in the tack. We will see if I can commit to that.

But for today I was just happy to give it a go on Frisby. He has two speeds, slow and slower. I don’t have to worry about him going too fast no matter how I am riding him.

Riding Challenge Day 22 Riding Bareback

I have to call today a win. Riding bareback was fun, and I could really feel my muscles when I was done. Frisby is getting the day off tomorrow, but maybe I will try it again. I will have to see if my muscles are still sore from riding bareback today!

Challenge Day 22 Riding Bareback

Do you ever do any bareback riding? Do you prefer riding bareback, or in a saddle? Let me know your thoughts!


Lisa
Lisa

I am horse crazy and love DIY projects, and finding great deals on everything horse related. When I have a new idea, or find a great deal I love sharing this information with you.

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