RIDE a HORSE without a saddle
Riding horses can be fun and great exercise. There are many ways to ride, but the most challenging, as well as arguably the most fun, is bareback riding. When you take all the saddles off, and it is just you and your horse, you have a closer feeling and truly become one with your mount. It is also incredibly hard to do. Riding bareback makes you a better rider.
1. Begin by understanding that you will fall off. If you do not want to fall, or are terrified of falling off your horse, do not attempt bareback riding. If you plan on riding a fast bareback, it is wise to wear a helmet.
2. Find out if your horse has been ridden bareback before. If he has not, it is best to have someone with lots of horse experience ride him bareback first. He may buck or shy away at the new experience. Bareback is a far more intimate way of riding than riding under saddle.
3. Start slow. Ease onto your horse, and make sure you keep your heels down, your toes up, and your knees in front of you. If your knees slide behind you, your balance is gone and you will go over the horse's head. Concentrate on keeping your seat low and deep into the horse's back.
4. Practice walking and trotting until you can ride these comfortably without holding on to the horse's mane. You must be able to use both hands on the reins. This perfects your balance and makes it safer to ride as you speed up. Continue to concentrate on keeping your heels down. Use your thighs to grip, not your calves.
5. Only when you are totally comfortable at the trot can you speed up to the canter and the gallop. The trot is actually the most difficult gait to ride bareback, so if you can successfully ride the trot for long periods of time, and twist, turn, and do whatever you normally do at the trot under saddle then you are ready for faster speeds.