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RE: RC: Arab's back

If you are an excellent, balanced rider, and she has a good layer of fat, it 
shouldn't hurt her.  If you are a less able rider, it might.  I rode bareback 
for about a year, using a western pad (very thick felt also very grippy both 
to my seat and the horse's back) held on with a cinch and long nylon latigo.  
I never thought the ready made bareback pads were thick enough to cushion her 
from my (at the time) bony butt.  I never had any real problems; the reason I 
rode bareback was because I didn't have a saddle that fit.  I learned to put 
one seat bone on each side of her spine, and actually learned to ride more 
balanced laterally as a result.  I never rode too fast, mostly walk and trot, 
with a little gallop for short distances.  She seemedto likebareback better 
than a saddle that didn't fit.  And I didn't have to cinch it up very tight, 
which she also liked.  People were forever sticking their hand between her 
belly and the girth. Never fell off as a result of riding bareback, but I 
definitely recommend a helmet, and lots of practice in an enclosed space 
before you go for a trail ride.   jeri

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