Riding a horse is a challenging undertaking. You have to learn to balance and communicate with the horse. You need to develop the strength necessary to hold yourself in a proper position at all gaits. And there’s always more to learn, no matter how many years you’ve been riding.
But for some riders, that’s not difficult enough. Some riders decide to ride standing on the backs of their horses.
The woman in this video puts on a beautiful demonstration of Roman riding, in which the rider stands with each foot on the back of a horse. Often Roman riders harness their horses together so that they can’t drift too far apart, causing the rider to fall down the middle. Roman riders usually control their horses with bridles and reins.
Unless you’re the Roman rider in this video. Emma Massingale rides her horses with no harnesses and no bridles, completely at liberty. And she also has a whole herd of horses around her, not just the two that she’s riding. it certainly adds a whole new challenge to the feat of Roman riding, but done well? It’s beautiful to watch.
According to Off Track Thoroughbreds, Roman riding certainly provides an adrenaline rush, but it’s not an easy skill to master. Roman rider Rachel Jackson trains ex-racehorses for Roman riding. She starts by training the horses to travel in harness, much like they would when pulling a wagon. As the horses learn to work together as a team, Jackson starts to stand up on their backs.
Jackson notes that Roman riding requires excellent strength, and it’s not an activity that you’ll be able to do for long periods of time right away. Like any other riding sport, you need to develop the appropriate muscles – and let’s not forget about the balance that you’ll need, too.
Want to get started in Roman riding? The best thing to do is to find a trainer experienced in the sport to help you. This isn’t something you want to try out yourself in in your backyard since it can be very dangerous. Take things slow and find out just how to train yourself and your horse. And, of course, have a great time.