Research on bareback pads

Hello! in my class right now we have to choose a topic to research, and knowing all the equestrians out there your first go-to topic is something horse wise!! For me I chose to research about bareback pads! Why? In the last week I had witnessed a horrible fall while riding bareback(the person is alright!) and this made me wonder, maybe bareback pads actually have a huge purpose! so here I am asking for some information I could use for my research! If anyone has some pros and cons on bareback pads I would be happy to hear them!! Thank You!! :smiley:
(p.s. sorry for any spelling mistakes!!)

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I love my thinline pad. It was $$ but it’s way nicer than any BB pad I’ve ever used in the past. Grippy, stays in place, doesn’t get embedded with barn crap(shavings, hay, etc.).

Even with the little bit of grip it might provide, I’m not sure I would say that it really drastically changes my ‘safety’ whilst riding bareback. If anything, it just keeps my pants clean and gives a little bit of padding between me and horse. If you have a crappy seat without a pad, you’ll still have a crappy seat with one. :woman_shrugging: I don’t think the small amount of grip provided by the lineline pad will save someone who truly doesn’t have a decent seat.

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I also have a thinline bareback pad and I think the grip does help a lot! I have a fat, slippery pony. I also like to think it helps her back a little bit with the shock absorption materials.

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As someone that used to teach a variety of HS writing classes, I’m not sure asking individuals for anecdotal experiences counts as “research.” This is not what I would want to see as the teacher assigning this paper.

Do you have a thesis statement? That would help at least craft some better anecdotes, even if you still need to look for (or conduct) more formal research. (E.g. type of fabric results in fewer falls; depth of cushioning provides more comfort, etc.)

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I use mine for no other reason than to keep hair and sweat off my legs and butt when riding “bareback”.

Mine doesn’t have stirrups of anything fancy. It’s just basically a pad with a girth. If I don’t have a bareback pad I’ll use a saddle pad with a surcingle.

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Great advice!

Yeah, the plural of anecdote is not research.

I doubt a bareback pad helps that much. Go for a saddle if you don’t have the balance to ride bareback.

There are however bareback pads that start to approach treeless saddles in structural complexity.

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yeah, I’m working on a research sheet on bareback pads Im just now re-reading what I wrote and see that it makes no sense! I guess what I meant was: I didnt fall but my friend did and that made me wonder about the bareback pads and information on them. I hope that makes more sense, I totally agree with you and thank you! :slight_smile:

I think you’ll want to define “bareback pad” here, too. What exactly is that? A saddle pad between the rider and the horse? A pad held on with some sort of girth? A pad, girth, and basic stirrups? A pad, girth, half tree, and stirrups? A treeless saddle?

There are a LOT of things that any one person might call a “bareback pad” and some of those things are far safer than others. For example, any time you hang stirrups on something without a tree, there’s the risk of twisting the whole assembly to the side and winding up under the horse, or hanging from it by the stirrup. That’s absolutely NOT safer than riding bareback.

(I think I’m far more secure sitting on the horse vs sitting on a pad. Having a layer of padding really reduces my ability to feel what’s happening, and the slip factor also reduces security. I don’t find any bareback pad–padding with a girth–to be safer or more secure than riding bareback. FWIW, one more anecdote for you.)

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Too many extraneous variables. One person might be a terrible rider. Or it was just a bad spook, and neither rider would have stayed on.

You could log 100 rides in a bareback pad versus a saddle and count # of falls or loss of balance, and/or rate balance on a scale. Or you could try out 5 different bareback pads with 5 rides each, and compare the comfort, balance, or something else…even better if you have more than one person evaluating.

I’m not sure you’re likely to find any real research on bareback pads though. Just specs, promotions, and possibly reviews.

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I mean the bareback pads that can be used to make bareback riding more comfortable for both horse and rider. I guess that’s my way of putting it?

reviews are mostly what I am/was looking for, I think reviews is a much better way to put, I agree there’s no real “research” on bareback pads.

But the point is that there is a huge continuum of what is marketed or used as a “bareback pad.” Some are rigid/structured, and others are just a piece of fleece. Some have stirrups, others do not. So if you were going to actually research, you would need to define what met the specifications of a “bareback pad”. Eg. would you consider a saddle pad and a surcingle a “bareback pad” - or not, because it wasn’t sold as one.

We rode bareback as kids a lot and never fell off. Back then a bareback pad was a pretty rudimentary thing, a pad plus a web girth. I felt like it was probably less safe because it could slip. Plus it defeated the purpose of letting your horse go free of a girth.

At the opposite end, now as an older adult, one of my friends has a Christ Lamfelle pad that is so constructed it is basically a treeless saddle.

I would never put stirrups on a bareback pad and I am even leery of treeless saddles.

I have a pretty secure seat in both my jump and dressage saddles. I have ridden bareback on my very comfy mare. But honestly I am at an age where if I fall, bones will likely break. It just takes that one in 100 chance of something unexpected to cause that. Plus my mare doesn’t love bareback. The last time I tried she wouldn’t walk forward :slight_smile:

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sorry, I just have a really hard time understanding things correctly.

thanks!! I totally agree! I feel stirrups on a treeless/pad just puts a whole lot of pressure on the horses back i dont know if that right or wrong. gotta love those mares!

Don’t apologize. It’s actually a really interesting question. Are bareback saddle pads safer than riding plain bareback? What design features in bareback pads would make them more or less safe? I wonder if you could get answers from a saddle fitting blog or FB group? I definitely think it’s a question worth pursuing though I doubt there is any published research on the topic. And it’s kind of an important question too!

I might be totally wrong about them being slippy.

Things to look at would be girth, padding, surface both horse and rider, and amount of structure or padding, presence of stirrups.

Does it increase rider security, does it turn or slip, can the girth be tightened enough?

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thanks again haha!! I might have to give FB a go! thats a good suggestion! thank you again lol!! :smiley:

Certainly give some thought to what you really want to know here–is your question

Is is safer to ride a horse with a bareback pad vs bareback?

Is it more comfortable for the rider to ride a horse with a bareback pad vs bareback?

Is is more comfortable for the horse to be ridden with a bareback pad vs bareback?

I think you’ve raised all three of those here in this thread, so think about which aspect you want to focus on. :slight_smile:

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Same. My mare gave me the side eye (aka “you’re can’t be serious”) and that was the end of that. :slight_smile: