Next Level No Stirrup November

Or, "That Time I Rode Bareback Because It Was Cold"

On Friday night, I wasn't 100% planning on riding. It was cold. It was dark. And I had to feed, bring in, and do stalls. I had just had a really stressful work week and basically wanted to go home and crash on my couch and never go outside again. Plus, although I had decided to keep my new saddle, I still hadn't gotten it adjusted to fit my pony yet.

Then Jeannette showed up at the barn and asked if I was riding, because she was riding, and I decided I'd just hop on my pony bareback and plunk around for a little bit. At least I'd be able to utilize my furry buttwarmer while talking to my friend.

Turns out that was the right choice, because Dino was AMAZING. Soft, round, and forward - even though I didn't have spurs or a whip. He had his sideways concentrating ears on the whole time, and just gave me some really, really lovely work. All our canter departs were even from the walk, because I'm not a fan of riding the couple speedy trot strides before the canter without a saddle. Dino was just fabulous, and I was really happy that I decided to suck it up and ride.

The awesomeness continued on Saturday morning, when I decided to ride in our freebie dressage saddle. I felt like such a DQ in my full seat breeches.

dressage pony ready for duty

Dino was just incredible. SO focused, SO soft, SO obedient. And the SLOBBER, you guys! Dino has never been so consistent in the bridle and soft in his mouth, and he's never produced so much saliva during riding before. I could legit see it flying around all over the place. And I can let him stretch and then pick him back up consistently without any hollowing or llama impressions, because we understand contact correctly now. I've also noticed that Dino would much rather pick up the canter from the walk than the trot lately, because it's a little bit physically easier for him now that I'm really demanding he stay round and connected through his transitions. I can't wait to get in another lesson so we can keep developing this concept!

HOWEVER, that might have to wait longer than I want it to, since adjusting my saddle apparently costs about 3x more than I expected it to. Harrumph.

WHO WANTS TO BUY MY BARNSBY?! Or loan me some money...?


  1. I don't have money for you because I'm going through the same thing sort of, but bareback winter rides are THE best. I wrap his cooler around me and keep so warm. Except my fingers and toes. Those are always cold.

    1. If you think of any genius money-raising ideas in the meantime, let me know! Maybe we can go in on some sort of plot together...

    2. she's selling sea salt caramels ;)

  2. Love bareback rides. It's funny, I'm on that program frequently at the moment as well since I'm having some doubts as to how my saddle is fitting...there are always so much more $$$$ needed!

  3. good for you for going bareback! i always intend to ... but never actually do lol. sounds like Dino is just really enjoying his work right now too :)


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