Friday, January 26, 2018

If I Can Do It, You Can Do It!

I'm just bumbling along, doing my best with what I know.  For example: riding bareback.  It has become my favorite way of riding.  You don't have to haul a saddle.  You stay warm.  Win. Win.  And, if I can do it--a 50 year old woman, YOU can do it!  (By that I mean those who are wanting to ride bareback already and don't have physical conditions that make this more dangerous.)



Here is a 15 second clip of what it looks like to lope Cowboy bareback.

My tips for riding bareback:

Practice on a rock solid horse.

Grip with your thighs.

Move with your horse.

Don't steady yourself with the reins.

Keep your head up and look where you're riding!! (More important than ever)

Loping is easier than trotting.


Driving your horse in a circle.

For years, I didn't want to drive my horses because it looked so complicated watching the trainers do it.  I'd help out here and there, but I never trusted myself to take the reins.  That all changed when my trainer, Rebecca, taught me to drive a horse in halter.  The fear I had, that I'd create a bad accident, vanished, and that made ALL the difference.

So, say it with me....

If I can do it, YOU can do it!

Here is some video of me driving Bee today.  SPOILER: She was not at her best--which is GREAT, because you get to see the the good, bad and ugly of driving.  And, that's OKAY.

The end of Part 1 was a bit dicey.  Thankfully, we ALWAYS start in halter! You'll have to watch Part 2 if you want to see how we resolved it. (Starts out a bit windy and loud, but gets better a couple minutes into it.  I'll have to make another tape when the weather is calmer. But that's all part of getting out there every day!)

Where'd she go?  Find out in Part 2.


  1. Looks like fun! I really love ground driving. All the little steps of the process... Horsemanship is so fun. :)

    Not bareback riding though. I've only had one horse I loved riding bareback at any gait and she's gone. Good old Soxy. My balance is crap since the head injury. I don't quite fall over on my own two feet but sometimes I'm sure I look funny. :) No big deal, I can still ride!

    1. You’re right, it is a lot of fun, especially when they’re in halter. The rope touching them all over and learning to communicate through the aids is awesome.

      Yes, your injury would make me very cautious. The mantra doesn’t apply to everyone. Any type of riding is good for your core and developing better balance, saddle or not. I’m very lucky to have Cowboy to practice on. A friend asked me if she can come over next week to learn on Cowboy and I told her yes. He’s very smooth and responsive. She’s used to riding big hot thoroughbreds in hunter jumper and there is no way she would practice bareback on them. I have the same thoughts about Beautiful. But I’m starting to warm to the idea of trying to ride her bareback. We will see.

  2. Good for you. I don’t ride bareback anymore. I like the saddle and stirrups for a little extra stability on the back of a horse these days now that I’m older. I do like groundwork because I think it lays a good foundation for riding and everything else we do working with our horses. Nice job.

    1. That's understandable. The day will come when I won't want to ride bareback either. Groundwork is lots of fun. I have friends who don't enjoy it at all, they just went to jump on and ride. It's like we're from two different planets. I love it.

  3. I do plan to ride Carmen bareback one day. I also want to work on steering with just the neck rein (long term goals). I tried to ride Irish bareback but his wither made it impossible!

    1. I’m working on neck reining with Leah right now. It will help when we get that down.

      Yeah, high withers wouldn’t work out too well. 😂

  4. Looking good riding bareback there Girlfriend!

    1. Thanks! I took this video to commemorate the 11 year anniversary of Cowboy’s broken coffin bone. He broke his front p3 which displaced into the coffin joint. He has a lot of arthritis in that joint now, but he’s is still somehow sound.

  5. You make bareback riding look so easy!! I've always wanted to be that girl loping along the beach or open field bareback, but I'll have to set that dream aside. Might be a slight possibility in a few years if I end up getting my shoulder fixed. Not holding my breath. It's too risky for me to do a whole lot of anything these days, but ride & play safely.

    1. It is really easy to be that person. I swear to you. It does take a solid horse. I started doing everything at the walk--for a long time. Then, I'd trot a little bit here and there as I built up leg strength and core balance. I didn't start loping until the very last--and just little bits here and there. Before you know it, it's just natural. It really does help with balance. I have a tendency to lean into turns, throwing off the balance of my horse. you can't do that bareback. But everything has its season, and you getting healed is more important than anything else!!


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