Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Training Log: bareback

Tuesdays are bareback days.  I don't have time before work to do the whole groom, tack up, ice down, etc. routine.  So, after I finish with the barn chores I just throw a bridle on Jackson and head to the arena.  He's often dirty but I'm in my jeans and tennis shoes so I don't care. 

Why I love riding bareback:
  • It reminds me of my youth.  I never rode with a saddle then -- just hopped on the back of the horse I borrowed and went off into the hills.  When I slide on Jackson's back, I immediately lose 30+ years.
  • It's fast and easy.  No bareback pad, no leg wraps, no nothin'. 
  • I can really feel the swing in his back with my seat bones.  If I keep my hips lose, my legs are flung around a bit at trot with the movement.  That's good!  It means my hips are lose and I'm not gripping. 
  • I can't cheat on balance.  To stay centered and effective without gripping, I have to be balanced.  The minute I lose balance, I hang on the reins.  I only lost my balance once today for a nano-second.  :)
  • It builds my core strength.  Abs on, back on, reaching for the sky through my torso... it's all good.
  • Bonding.  I feel more at one with Jackson when I'm bareback.  I sit deeper, I can feel myself moving with him, we are one in a way we aren't under saddle. 
Today, there were a couple crows in the orchard eating the rotton apples that have fallen.  I watched them while we were warming up.  They would stab the apple with their beak and then fly onto a boulder to eat it.  The apples were bigger than their heads so it looked pretty funny.

1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent list you've composed here, although, I have to admit, you had me at "lose 30+ years". I've never ridden bareback. The closest I've ever come is the occasional training technique of riding without my feet in the stirrups. Even with a saddle under me, it immediately becomes apparent that it's all about balance, baby.

    Thanks for stopping by my place the other day and leaving such a lovely note. You're welcome to visit any time.

    Carolynn

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.