When Alycia Burton takes to the cross-country course, she does it a little bit differently than everybody else.
Cross-country riding takes guts. You need the determination to keep yourself and your horse moving over solid obstacles, the ability to see a distance, and the strength to keep it all together when things go wrong. Cross-country is fast-paced, the horses tend to get excited, and the course can be a bit intimidating, even to the most experienced rider. Now, imagine removing your horse's bridle and saddle and then taking on that same course. That's just what Alycia Burton did.
Chances are that you've heard of Alycia Burton by now, even if you don't know her by name. She's known for riding her palomino pinto gelding, Classic Goldrush, bridleless and bareback. And oh yeah, the two of them take on massive jumps, too.
Here, Alycia and Goldrush take on 3* and 4* cross-country fences at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre. And they do it with ease.
Take a look.
Would you have the nerve to do Burton's version of "extreme cross-country?" You'll need to truly trust your horse, a super secure seat, and a horse who is incredibly responsive to your body weight and signals. Can you imagine if eventers had to set out on course without a bridle?
Burton and Goldrush have been working together for years, and she's clearly schooled the horse to the point where he's highly responsive and willing to go wherever she points him. If you want to start working your horse without a bridle, please, stay off the cross-country course. Start in a small, enclosed area, like a round pen, and get your trainer to help you.
Burton's put in the hard work required to be able to ride bareback and bridleless safely, but it takes time. Perhaps it's something to aspire to down the road?
Do you ride bareback? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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