When I was little, we did a ton of stuff we probably shouldn't have. We would jump on the school horses in the bottom of their pasture with no saddles, no bridles, and kick them all into a gallop to the barn. We would jump things bareback. We would stand up on our horses, would lay down on our horses... do pretty much anything with them, because they were our best friends, and we didn't know any better... (although we must have known better because we sure didn't let the adults see us doing it).
Well, know that I know P's saddle was bothering him so much, and my new saddle is 'thisclose' to getting here, I figured it's high-time I spend some time bareback.
Keep in mind, that my bone-y derriere and P's bone-y back don't make a perfect combination for either of us, so I employ the use of a lovely bareback pad.
But it's been very nice, and educational. I've kept P in his hackmore and me without saddle and we've gotten some very nice work. I think when you take away some of that outside stuff, you focus on where things are going wrong. Much of the issues we have in our dressage revolve around the fact that I have the ability to hold him together in places where he wants to fall apart - by breaking things down to the basics, I require him to hold up his end of the bargain, which changes his mind-set a bit, and he grows up a little bit each time.
And for all the training mumbo-jumbo, it's really just fun to ride around bareback and get a hint of the feeling that we used to get riding when I was young...