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[RC] keeping one's seat - Alice Yovich

I started my daughter bareback on her pony when she was three. For months she rode in the round pen with a halter/leadrope and bareback. she fell off a few times, but kept getting back on and was doing great. then, one of my friends though she needed a saddle and talked me into buying one. that was a mistake. Now, three years later, I have a hard time getting her to ride bareback. I try to make her once a week, but then she wants me to do it too, which I won't do.  She looks terrible. She won't keep a long leg in the trot and she's never tried to canter bareback. I hate the way she flops her hands and that's when i make her ride without a saddle, it keeps her honest.

At 08:50 AM 4/8/04 -0700, you wrote:
When my son got his first horse, he was not allowed to
use a saddle until he could trot and canter his horse
bareback.  Not only did he quickly learn to canter his
horse this way, but did the "watch this, Mom!" as he
jumped his horse over a fallen tree.  Now, when his
current horse spooks, he doesn't even reach for the
horn (he rides western, obviously), just goes with
her. I believe learning bareback riding is one of the
most useful tools a rider can have. 

Alice Yovich,
NATRC Reg. 4, Texas