Riding bareback: when natural is not necessarily better.

That bareback beach riding bucket list experience - a tender moment for the rider, yet perhaps differently “tender” for the horse.

In several recent studies researchers have confirmed the benefits of pressure -distribution thanks to saddle trees, making them a better option than some treeless saddles or riding bareback…For example, peak forces at the trot are twice a rider’s weight, and they increase to 2 ½ or three times the rider’s weight at the canter. 

“It might seem more “natural” to ride without a saddle”, says professor and researcher, Dr. Hilary Clayton, “but unless you’re particularly light and fit (and skilled) enough to distribute your own weight evenly across your seat and thigh muscles, your horse is probably better off with a well-fitting saddle between you and him.” 

The Horse.com Dec. 2016

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