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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,467

    Default Neckstrap spinoff: Talk to me about yokes

    So I've used an old stirrup leather as a neckstrap on my greenie a few times, but it tends to slide down to her ears every time she puts her head down (which annoys her if she's being good and stretching over her back, and is just plain unhelpful if she's being naughty and thinking about a buck!). She does have kind of a short little neck.

    Would a yoke (like THIS) solve the neckstrap-becoming-a-throatlatch problem, or should I just tie the neckstrap to the saddle dees or something? I'm pretty good at grabbing the breastplate in a moment of need (when I use one), but we're planning to start over fences soon and I'd like to have something more along the lines of a neckstrap.

    Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    5,413

    Default

    I guess I'm just a cheap redneck -- take a piece of haystring and tie it to a saddle dee. It's free. If you don't like the look, use an old spur strap or a flash strap.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2001
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,628

    Default

    I love neckstraps and visualizing your delima made me smile. The problem I have with yokes and martingales is--as I think you've notice--they sit a little too close to the withers, especially if you are jumping. I think I would try a little connector to your saddle Ds. Maybe with a thin leather strap like what would be used on the drop part of a flash. The other possibilty to try would be a braiding it in to a hank of mane.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2012
    Posts
    128

    Default

    Braid it into the mane where you want it and secure the braid with a rubber band - takes two seconds (one sloppy braid will do).


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2000
    Location
    Durham/Chapel Hill nc
    Posts
    3,719

    Default

    The other problem with yokes is if you dont use baling twine, a braid, or a leather contraption to secure it near the pommel, when she puts her head down and it slips to her poll you're OK, but when she tries to pick her head back up there can be a panic situation when the girth attachment means now the yoke is acting as a true tie-down...


    3 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2006
    Posts
    3,570

    Default

    I NEVER get on a horse without my neck yoke!!! Saved my butt too many times to count. (40 years of TB's) As pictured...the yoke is not connected to the top of the saddle, but only to the girth. You adjust the girth to chest ring and also the loop that goes around the neck...as loose or tight as is comfortable to the normal riding position of your hands. I've not had problems of the neck strap sliding down a lowered neck...if adjusted correctly it will catch on the mane. I've used leather and biothane yokes. I prefer the biothane...less chafing on my hand and that material is super strong...won't break when you need it and the care is minimal. Check out : wwwbigdweb.com They have several different colors of leather, nylon and biothane. I'm getting ready to put an order in for three and I believe they are under $20 for biothane and under $25 for top grade leather. A wise investment!!
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2002
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    Looking up
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    6,277

    Default

    Oh yeah, Crosscreeksh.....me too...I'm a yoker! Have been for years and years, I ride in one daily, I got mine at Bartville and it's in a cobsize so it doesn't hang too low between his legs, and as soon as I can get up there again, will get a horse size for a 17-hander in the barn.

    They can slide down the neck if they put their heads down, but it is loose enough not to worry them, and I can reach up and slide it back when they put their heads back up....I could affix it to a breastplate ring, but I don't need anymore straps and strings to get my arthritic hands stuck in....but I love my leather yokes very much, my favorite piece of tack.
    "Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring." -- Emerson
    www.eventhorse.wordpress.com



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2012
    Location
    In the wilds of Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    364

    Default

    What makes the yoke preferable to a breastplate anchored to the saddle?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2006
    Posts
    3,570

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    Quote Originally Posted by retreadeventer View Post
    Oh yeah, Crosscreeksh.....me too...I'm a yoker! Have been for years and years, I ride in one daily, I got mine at Bartville and it's in a cobsize so it doesn't hang too low between his legs, and as soon as I can get up there again, will get a horse size for a 17-hander in the barn.

    They can slide down the neck if they put their heads down, but it is loose enough not to worry them, and I can reach up and slide it back when they put their heads back up....I could affix it to a breastplate ring, but I don't need anymore straps and strings to get my arthritic hands stuck in....but I love my leather yokes very much, my favorite piece of tack.
    ********
    When I met my husband 40+ years ago, I was a show hunter/foxhunter...he was a race horse trainer. I gave him so much flak over his "chicken strap" it is a wonder we ended up married!! As I started galloping some of his winter lay-ups and newly broken youngsters in the Walthour Moss Foundation in So. Pines, NC, I began to appreciate his "gadget"!! One day we ran into a flock of quail on a narrow trail. Both of our young horses did a 180 and thanks to our yokes..so did we!! It has become as much of my tack as my bridle or girth!!! I think having a yoke really helps with a nervous or silly horse because you can be "anchored" on without hanging on the horse's mouth. To say nothing of an unexpected long spot!! I feel naked when I get on a horse without one.
    Last edited by crosscreeksh; Dec. 8, 2012 at 04:51 PM. Reason: spelling
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  10. #10
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    Apr. 30, 2002
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    OMG...you've been two beautiful places I would love to be, Oklahoma and Walthour Moss....and I too have that naked feeling without one.
    "Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring." -- Emerson
    www.eventhorse.wordpress.com



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2008
    Location
    Area II, the Blue Ridge Mountains
    Posts
    2,116

    Default

    I use stirrup leather and for jumping, make sure it is far enough on the neck so that I can put my finger around it on the larger jumps and drops. It also keeps me from coming back too early. With the younger horses, I use a longer one, farther back and closer to the saddle so I can keep a finger around it at all times, as necessary.

    I've not used a yoke before, and haven't ever had a problem with losing a neckstrap when the horse's head goes down.

    A



  12. #12
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    Oct. 2, 2012
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    In the wilds of Northern Ontario, Canada
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    364

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwoodsRider View Post
    What makes the yoke preferable to a breastplate anchored to the saddle?
    Anyone?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2001
    Location
    Tennessee
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    6,628

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwoodsRider View Post
    Anyone?
    I don't like breastplates as grab handles because that seem to have more upward mobility before they "catch." And for jumping it is just in the wrong place--much to close to the saddle. I haven't used a yoke, but I would be concerned about being able to adjust it so it is as high on the neck as I want it for jumping.

    Look how high this neck strap is adjusted:
    http://www.clixphoto.com/details.php?gid=237&pid=290


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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2006
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    3,570

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwoodsRider View Post
    Anyone?
    A "yoke" attached to the saddle becomes a "hunter breastplate". It restricts the placement of your hands too close to your crotch reducing your center of balance. You want to be able to do a nice crest release while still holding the yoke. I've often joked that holding on to the breast plate/grab strap on your saddle is about as effective as grabbing your own zipper fly!!
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2008
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    Area II, the Blue Ridge Mountains
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by crosscreeksh View Post
    A "yoke" attached to the saddle becomes a "hunter breastplate". It restricts the placement of your hands too close to your crotch reducing your center of balance. You want to be able to do a nice crest release while still holding the yoke. I've often joked that holding on to the breast plate/grab strap on your saddle is about as effective as grabbing your own zipper fly!!
    LOL! I totally agree about the breastplate and grab strap. Totally useless. I am wondering if one could use the yoke and place it far enough up the neck as to be useful.

    I had a grab strap on one saddle and the only time I used it was to carry the saddle. I don't think I ever touched it while riding. It is gathering dust in the tackroom and I should probably give it away or do "something" with it.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 9, 2005
    Location
    Unionville, PA
    Posts
    3,666

    Default

    I love my neckstrap! I bought a yoke at Bartville because I thought it would make me look less like a chicken hunting , but haven't really been able to use it because the horse size is HUGE.
    Delaware Park Canter Volunteer
    http://www.canterusa.org/



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2000
    Location
    Concord, NH
    Posts
    4,996

    Default

    I'll go with personal preference and horse shape as to where the sweet spot is for something to grab - my hunter breastplate works just fine as a yoke, and since I have it, I just use it. I also do like the fact that the straps attaching it to the saddle means it doesn't slip up the neck, and if I have a horse who needs a breastplate, it's already there.

    But yes, I ride with it and it makes a big difference.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcmel View Post
    I love my neckstrap! I bought a yoke at Bartville because I thought it would make me look less like a chicken hunting , but haven't really been able to use it because the horse size is HUGE.
    Check out the yokes at Big D...link in a previous post. Theirs are a bit more "normal horse" sized!!
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2007
    Location
    Spring Grove, PA
    Posts
    850

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kcmel View Post
    I love my neckstrap! I bought a yoke at Bartville because I thought it would make me look less like a chicken hunting , but haven't really been able to use it because the horse size is HUGE.
    I also got mine at Bartville for my oversized ISH, and it needed adjusted. They customized it for me while I shopped.



  20. #20
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    Apr. 14, 2006
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    3,570

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    Quote Originally Posted by retreadeventer View Post
    OMG...you've been two beautiful places I would love to be, Oklahoma and Walthour Moss....and I too have that naked feeling without one.
    **********
    Southern Pines/Walthour Moss...definitely!!! Oklahoma...Not so much!!! All cowboy/indian/barrel racers in our area and the weather sucks!! 60's today, high 30 tomorrow. NO rain since May and rock hard black clay ground!!! Did I mention the W*I*N*D*???? And the tornado threats??? And the earthquakes??? And the fires?? Save your pennies and go to Southern Pines!!! We've been trying to sell and move south for 6.5 years....only lived here 7.5 years!!! The fact that we built a "real" horse farm with stables, riding rings, cross country courses on a lovely 80 acre farm is irrelevant...there are only cattle ranchers looking for land around here!!! They don't care if there is an $80k stable!!!
    www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
    Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


    1 members found this post helpful.

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