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If there is anyone that can talk about hot horses on a hack, it is me.  My horse Shandy was a complete nightmare on hacks.  He would attem...

Monday, 29 April 2019

4 Reasons You Should NOT Ride in a Saddle Everyday

1. Even the best-fitted saddle can cause problems

Yes, even your professionally fitted saddle will at some point cause some soreness for the horse.  The horse is constantly changing and this means soreness for the horse.  You will also find that even if the horse has not changed shape, if the horse has sore muscles from heavy work then a saddle will make this worse.  

A rider without a saddle will give much less pressure (your saddle being heavy) and the rider will move with the horse (unlike a saddle.  This constant following of the horse's movement will really make your horse's back more comfortable.  

Chestnut horse being ridden in a dressage saddle at a competition

2.  Improve your horse riding position

We all know that riding without stirrups or a saddle makes you a much better rider but we generally don't do it enough.  Riding without a saddle a few times a week teaches you to follow the horse's movement, stay balanced and work towards an independent seat.  

You will feel so much closer to the horse that you will easily feel when each of his legs moves.  You will be able to feel more of a swing from left to right as his rib cage sways.  You will become more flexible and build the correct muscles.  

Bay horse being ridden at a dressage competition

3.  Diversity for the horse

We should all know by now that we need to keep our horse's interested by changing up the ways we work our horses but it can be refreshing for the horse if we play about with changing tack sometimes.  I like to ride my horse a couple of times a week in a saddle and the rest without a saddle.  

A saddle with a red cover sitting on a blue saddle stand

4.  Training Aids

Sometimes if my horse is struggling to understand a certain aid, I will try without a saddle.  Although I haven't really heard anyone else do this, it really helps my horses.  I think it may be because the horse can feel my seat and leg aids more without a saddle.  

After a ride or two without a saddle, the horse quickly learns the aid I am teaching.   I think that training a horse without a saddle develops a bond and the horse can be very well trained.  


I am not a horse trainer or any other equestrian professional.  I only give advice on horsey topics that I have experience as a horse owner in.  Please don't follow my advice without contacting a relevant equestrian professional.  


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