Bareback Tack

Product Reviews

While I have no issues riding bareback without anything on the horse's back at all, I do prefer to use a protective pad when doing significant riding in a single session, including riding for longer durations as well as doing jumping exercises. Not only does this help give some extra protection for the horse's back from a rider's seat bones, but it can also provide some extra grip for a rider, particularly new riders who are still learning how to effectively ride bareback.

Thinline Bareback Pad

My number-one go-to bareback pad is the Thinline bareback pad. While I do admit that I have some critiques about their design, it is still by-far the best bareback on the market for anyone series about bareback riding with that added protection. The design of the pad molds beautifully around the horse's back and adds shock-absorption in the seat between the rider's seat and the horse's back. Not to mention the sleek and modern look of the pad, which is also ideal. The pad is breathable for summer exersice and I've used the pad both directly on the horse's back as well as on top of saddle pads and even fleece half pads.

Now for my critiques, there are two big ones that I have. The first is the updated design from their first Thinline bareback pad released to the second one that they released and now only sell. I have both Thinline pads, and I am not a fan of the second design. The first released bareback pad is much more flexible around the horse's back with multiple folding grooves in the seat padding. The second release of the bareback pad looks at two separate pads with its crease right down the middle. While the second pad definitely has more padding, I do notice it constantly slipping to one side or the other, particularly due to the fact that there is only one groove down the centerline now. It drives me insane and is by-far my biggest critique.

The second critique is the western cinch-style girth they sell with it. I'm not a fan of the girth. Although it's fine to use and I appreciate the fact that it comes with a girth upon purchase, I would like the option to be able to put any short girth on but due to the buckle design, I don't have that option. Especially with regards to jumping, I would prefer to use my wide Professional's Choice girth instead of the straight one that comes with the pad.

But as I've already mentioned, despite these two major critiques that I have of the pad, it is still my go-to bareback pad (at least the first-released version of which I have) when doing any serious riding days. However, I will also note that this Thinline bareback pad is not to be ridden in while wearing shorts, as the grip that it provides will most likely cause rubs when against bare skin.

Alycia Burton Bareback Converter

I've been regularly riding bareback for over a decade now and when I came across Alycia Burton, I was ecstatic. Not only did she have a beautiful Paint as I do and am known to do a lot of bareback riding with, but she was (and still is) doing an amazing job in spreading the message that bareback riding is not as dangerous as many people write it off to be, and that there isn't anything that you can't do bareback that you can in saddle (with the noticeable exception of no-stirrup riding, which is definitely a different exercise than riding bareback).

In addition to the fantastic neck rope that Alycia Burton has designed, she has also come out with her bareback converters that I absolutely love for multiple reasons. The first is that this converter allows any saddle pad to be used as a bareback pad, including thick fleece-lined saddle pads or a saddle pad with a fleece half pad. This converter also has the English style of girthing options, unlike the Thinline, which allows me to use any short English girth I desire (including my Professional's Choice wide girth). In addition, the bareback converter itself also provides some grip for a rider if need be, which is also why it is not recommended to ride with while wearing shorts as you may get rubs on the inside of your legs.

St. Charles Horse Quilted English Saddle PAD Trail Contour Fleece Lined

In conjunction with my Alycia Burton Bareback Converter, I love my fleece lined saddle pads. Not only are they padded for some extra back protection as an alternative bareback pad option, but they also come in a variety of colors, allowing me to continue color-coding my mares. However, note that any fleece saddle pad would suffice beautifully while using the bareback converter. I have my eye on a few other market pads, but for now the price is difficult to beat for these pads.

Professional's Choice Contoured Short Belly Girth

While this product review page is dedicated to bareback riding equipment, I first wanted to give a general shoutout to the Professional's Choice short wide girth which can be used with any bareback or saddle configuration in which a short girth may be used. But particularly with jumping purposes, I absolutely love these girths and even have the longer versions for my jumping saddles. Not only are these girths soft and mold around the horse's barrel, but there is elastic on both sides for breathability as well as a wide base for distributing pressure evenly and over a larger area underneath of the horse. When given the option, this is my go-to girth for all riding, bareback and saddle.

Alycia Burton Adjustable Neck Rope
Alycia Burton Adjustable Neck Rope
Alycia Burton Adjustable Neck Rope

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More product reviews to come!