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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2001
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,629

    Default Spinoff: Neck strap question...

    How many of you ride with a neck strap? I think they are great and I've got my daughter riding with one. Me? Not so much and I probably should be! How do you re-wire your brain to reach for one when you're having a "moment." I can't ever remember it's there when I ought to grab it...I'd be sunk if someone ever roached my horses' manes.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2000
    Location
    Concord, NH
    Posts
    4,997

    Default

    I started riding Star with a breastplate (hunt style) and it did take me a bit to figure out how/when to grab it but it totally works when she has her bucking/leaping moments.

    Bucking straps didn't do anything because they are too loose - by the time it tightened up I was too far out of the tack to be saved! A neck strap for jumping I don't need. The breastplate (or yoke) sits within finger's grasp so I can grab it really fast and because it's near her withers when I grab it I get sucked into the saddle but my upper body can stay back. It actully seems to calm her down when I grab it- but probably because I'm sitting deeper. Racing folks use yokes to slow horses too, so it may have that effect as well.

    A good cycle - I'm more secure, so I stay calm, so that calms her, so she leaps less.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2002
    Location
    Prospect, ME
    Posts
    4,565

    Default

    I actually prefer a neckstrap to grabbing my breastplate...
    The neckstrap is higher up, so I can keep my hand out in front of me instead of right in front of my saddle
    -Jessica



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2004
    Location
    Camden, De
    Posts
    3,632

    Default

    I think sometimes I need two straps- one further up to be used as a jumping neck strap and the other far enough back that I can grab during the all hell is breaking loose moments. I have really short arms so the neck strap I use for jumping doesn't work when I need to lock myself into the saddle as it is to far forward for me to reach.

    I use a stirrup leather for my jumping strap and normally just the hunt style breastplate works well enough to get my hand under during moments of hold on or else I find I use my breastplate a ton when out foxhunting especially when going up and down hills or sometimes when I think I am going to have a bad spot to a fence.

    I should use them way more than I do since almost all the horses I ride are super green and either learning to jump or still so green when jumping you wish you had that strap on when it is already to late! Now that we are talking about it I am going to sit them on the hook near all the bridles so I make myself use them more often.

    I was listening to Bruce's speak on young horse and LMAO when he talked about going up the hill and grabbing some mane to balance himself when his young horse took offense to it's mane being pulled and ducked it's head and shoulder and ran off leaving Bruce stranded. A neck strap would have come in handy



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2003
    Posts
    1,893

    Default

    I use a loose yoke. It's in the right location for me - not as far back as a breastplate, and not as far forward as most neck straps I see - and thin enough that I can hold it with my reins without trouble. My 5 year old can be fussy about his mouth, but responds really well to a tug on the yoke by rebalancing himself. I started by using it every time I rode - even for D - to train both of us to it, and got used to it pretty fast. Of course, it probably helps that I have a sufficiently regular incentive to grab it!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2007
    Location
    Spring Grove, PA
    Posts
    850

    Default

    I use a yoke also. I make it somewhat tight, it will move some but the whole point of the thing is to stabilize me, so I don't need it to move a whole lot when I grab it or it defeats (my) purpose!

    I do not like breastplates for this purpose. The strap is too low to really help you.

    I can't seem to make myself jump even a little tiny x without it in my right hand, just snag it with my pinky finger. It is absolutely ingrained habit.

    Saved my *ss more than once!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2004
    Location
    Elkton
    Posts
    4,458

    Default

    I never liked using one until I started having issues with my young OTTB refusing (because I was in his face too much).

    To train myself I would grab the strap 4 or 5 strides before the fence, almost a preemptive grab!

    Now I don't have to hold it the whole course, I am comfortable grabbing it if I need it but I did have to do a few schoolings where I held it for every jump just to get used to it.

    edited to add: When I said I was holding it I don't mean letting to of the reins, just holding it with one hand and letting the reins have contact but not tight.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2001
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,629

    Default

    What's a "yoke." Pictures?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2000
    Location
    Concord, NH
    Posts
    4,997

    Default

    It's a loop around neck that attaches to girth

    so, a martingale without the part that goes to the head.

    or a breastplate that doesn't attach to the top of the saddle.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2000
    Location
    SE Mass
    Posts
    4,249

    Default

    Not only have I started using a strap when I jump on my own to make me keep my hands forward enough, but I have been using a neck strap on the flat to train myself to keep my hands forward too.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 2002
    Location
    Azle, Teh-has
    Posts
    7,816

    Default

    I'll use a stirrup leather when I get on a horse that I know rushes fences. Keeps me from snatching rein. I actually hold on to it with one hand always so that if I go to pull back I cannot.

    I have had students use one as well, [even for just flat work] and I fix it so that it allows them to carry thier hand in the corrent area. (i.e. not in private areas!!)
    Again, I have them always hold it with one hand.
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 23, 2000
    Location
    charlottesville, Va
    Posts
    2,588

    Default Oh my..

    I thought that's what the running martingale was for :-)
    Did my horse need one? No. Did I need a grab strap? yes! Ans less likely to get loose, fall down, etc.
    Shoulders back, hands down, leg ON!

    http://mellvinshouse.blogspot.com/



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2003
    Location
    Happily in Canada
    Posts
    5,022

    Default

    As stated above, neck strap for:

    -over-jumping young horses (keeps you on and is easier to grab with both hands; reduces interference with mouth)

    -horses that rush - keeps the rider honest and reduces interfering

    -prefer it to a bucking strap when the horse's antics are buck-leap forward - buck-leap. I like my hands in front of me and feet on the dashboard.

    Breastplate is good for horses that like to spin.

    Mane is always good - I like to do the one-hand-grab when I still need some steering/control; but since mane's my mainstay (), it takes me an adjustment period to rely on a neckstrap when I add that.

    To anybody who whines when I make them use a neck-strap in a lesson, I bring out my picture of William Fox-Pitt on a winning Burghley XC round with his. That usually shuts them up
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 1999
    Location
    Libertyville, IL USA
    Posts
    4,108

    Default

    I usually grab it a few strides out with one hand. Habit developed really quickly, when it is there I use it. Once they stop being so green I have to take it off for a while because I just love the damn thing.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
    Posts
    11,568

    Default

    Yes always.... it's habitual



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 19, 2009
    Posts
    414

    Default

    I use a neckstrap (spare stirrup leather) on both my OTTBs. If we get on a good run hunting, and need to slow down quick, they respond much better to me dropping the reins to the buckle and pulling up on the strap-- or hunting breastplate, I use both. It was really hard to do at first, but apparently, race horses are trained to run harder the tighter you hold them in. I looove my neckstrap!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 23, 2009
    Location
    Stanford, CA
    Posts
    203

    Default

    See, this is why I like not pulling the mane. That way I have something to grab when things go wrong without having to remember to put anything on. I am bad about hopping up bareback to just goof off and then ending up going over a few fences. Then again with a neck strap you wouldn't have to untangle yourself after the fun stops.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 26, 2009
    Posts
    173

    Default Yoke Pictures Please

    I would love to see pictures of a yoke and a yoke in action if anyone has any.

    Do you pick it up with one hand or two? Or are you just hooking your index fingers over the top?

    My vice is to let my upper body creep ahead on the way to a jump and I'm wondering if I had something besides the reins to hold if I wouldn't feel more secure and stay more upright. I don't think a traditional stirrup leather around the neck will work for me....it might be too high and encourage my 'creeping' up the neck.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 9, 2004
    Location
    Utah...wtf??
    Posts
    404

    Default

    to help my student grab the neck strap (a stirrup leather), I wrapped 1/3 of it in BRIGHT YELLOW vet wrap. Sure made it ugly, but at least a brown strap on a brown horse wouldn't get lost in the pre-jump overload of things-to-do.




  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2009
    Posts
    64

    Default

    slightly off topic but my old instructor's husband rides at like BN and she would give him lessons. To help teach him to release, she braided a few looser training braid type things in the horses mane and covered them with lime green duct tape (his xc colors) to help him remember where to put his hands!



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