The Continuing Adventures in Bareback Land

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Exiting comfort zones is both exhilarating and scary, but you normally end up stronger for it on the other side. I’ve been definitely pushed out of my comfort zone by saddle fit issues and at least my seat is stronger for it. Beaux is now in almost consistent work, with us hitting the trails 3-4 times a week now. Well, all this work, along with a 500 lb alfalfa hay block that is for his personal use, and Beaux has filled out with some nice muscles, which means my $36.50 Wintec AP Ebay score now no longer fits. Unfortunately, my Wintec is an old style with a fixed gullet, not the interchangeable, so a new or new to us saddle is in our future. I’m truly torn on which saddle to go with, do I stay with Wintec? Which style of saddle, AP? Dressage?Endurance? I’ll start blogging on my saddle journey, but for now, it’s a borrowed bareback pad.

The majority of riders at the barn ride on bareback pads and I’ve been getting some good natured teasing with me riding in a saddle. Beaux is not always easy to ride and yup, I’ve become a bit dependent upon my saddle, so with great trepidation, I borrow a bareback pad. I’ve been concerned with saddle fit as Beaux has been a bit anxious about saddleing up, and after a ride I noticed some uneven sweat patterns. I did a very basic saddle fit check and yup, Beaux has muscled up at the shoulders. The saddle was starting to press into his shoulders (probably why he has been rough gaited instead of his normal smooth rack) and with a heavy heart, I had to retire the Wintec.

Our first ride on the bareback was definitely an eye opener.┬áThe bareback pad allowed me to feel every muscle and every footfall, and it really got me to focus on the quality of his stride. I was able to maintain my seat, and even with Beaux being a bit rough gaited (I am blaming the saddle fit) with Beaux switching between the rack, fox trot, and the hard trot. Our second ride in the bareback was solid, my position was definitely more relaxed, and while bareback is fun, Beaux’s withers and spine are not. So a saddle is in our future, I’m leaning towards a dressage saddle, but will start exploring my options.

Til next time, go ride!

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One thought on “The Continuing Adventures in Bareback Land

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  1. This is awesome! As an on-pause (I will not say former, lol) long time rider I can only imagine the benefits the bareback pad must be bringing to both of you, especially as you can now relax into him, both with trust and with muscles to protect your body too!

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