Lesson #16: bareback balance

Yesterday I rode Rock bareback all at walk. It made me realize that my seat has become literally frozen in place… and for me to gain the seat I want I need to bring back that flexbility and response.

In the beginning, Rock was walking tippytoe in response to my own immobility and it took a conscious effort to relax. I spent our walking time just loosening up, laying on her neck, slipping to one side or the other, and trying to get my lower back and hips more mobile. By the end we had a much better walk.

Working with my balance and watching others ride bareback, it’s notable to mention that you have to assume a chair seat to keep in place. This is not at all desirable when riding in a saddle, but when bareback is a necessity. It also explains why one of my former students – a confirmed bareback rider – had such difficulty in getting OUT of the chair seat (legs too far foward, butt too far behind) when she was in the saddle. Always the seat has to be mobile and responsive to the situation – exactly as the hands need to be. HUH! Lightbulb!

One thing that surprised me was that Rock stayed very “steerable” during all of this and I did not have to use my legs to get her to stay bent. I must be getting better! LOL!

Also, I took the plunge and rode Muffin. The surprising thing was that I was not nervous! The only thing I was nervous about was waiting for being nervous! It was like anticipating the prick of the needle, but then no one ever gives you the shot.

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