I bought a really fat horse so I could do some bare back riding… It’s a great way to get closer to your horse and to create a stronger relationship.
Soraya is a perfect horse for this kind of activity. She has a comfortable trot and a really wide and soft back. I think I will go trekking in this way:)
Use a helmet
When riding without a saddle I always use a riding helmet. In this way I can go beyond my limits with no fear of falling off. If the horse feels that you’re tense or afraid you’ll not get a nice experience. Then it’s better to keep the saddle on!
Knowing your horse before trying the bare back version is always a good idea. One example is that knowing the habits and movements of your horse will prevent you from being thrown off..
In my case I knew that when Soraya starts galloping, she usually makes a jump or kind of bucks in the beginning. So before asking her to gallop I take a good grip into her long hair, and that’s enough to keep me safe!
A bit if horsemanship
Another thing is that she was unsecure in one point of the riding ground. The reason she didn’t want to gallop on the left hand was because of a truck full of hay balls parked closed to us.
So I used my old horsemanship knowledge and made her work near the truck trotting around in a circle. Then I let her look at it for a while, and after that she galloped nicely also on the left hand.
My new goal is to learn more about how to train her from the ground, but not on a lead. I will use my old Parelli knowledge and start with the basics.
Play with your horse
I guess a horse need to play around with their human friends on the ground, but you should never let them cross your limits or get into your personal space. Then a breed like the Haflinger might take on a bossy role.
These horses are very independent and tough horses. When you go into the wild nothing will stop them. So if you trust a horse like this, it will easily bring you around and explore new areas.