I do too, but i never use it during the ride. In fact its not safe.. My Dad had a very interesting fall once.. We had a rather spooky horse then and it suddenly took off.
My Dad grabbed for the strap. Unfortunately it tore...
He fell off.
Since then I dont trust it.. I use it mainly to mount my horse.. I'm just used to the handle. Also I tie my reins there when longing....
By the way in Germany its called "Maria Hilf Riemen"
I like the Whinny Widgets straps. They have clips, not buckles and have elastic inserts so they have a little give. I just loaned one to my coach so she can try it.
BTW, I'd always attach bucking straps, OMG straps or Hail Mary straps (my new favorite name!) to dee savers, not directly to the dees. If you ever DO have an emergency and get yanked around hard, it would be a shame to have a dee broken or ripped off the saddle.
I don't see how you can keep an elastic, following, contact holding on to one of these unless it was rather long. I can see one for iffy moments (although I think I would be either too busy redirecting the horse or falling off to use it).
"I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted". - Anonymous
I bought one a couple of years ago for my dressage saddle. It was on there for a bit, I never used it, now it sits somewhere in the back of my truck. I wouldn't want to hang onto it during a bucking fit, it'd probably rip the D rings right off of my saddle
"My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.”
― Anna Sewell
My thoughts exactly CFF... I don't have anything against someone using one if it helps them psychologically, but I'm struggling to understand how they can be very effective in a physical sense. (And I'm referring to general schooling, NOT starting or re-starting). Maybe someone can explain the physics to me?
For me, when a horse does something naughty I want to be able to use the reins appropriately and and kick on, because I don't think a piece of leather that can move significantly above and around the pommel is going to provide a significant anchor to the saddle - or at least not an anchor that your own centre of gravity and core engagement wouldn't likewise achieve.
Then again, if I had my druthers I'd make everyone do things the old-fashioned way, by not allowing riders to hold reins connected to a bit until at least six solid months of lunge lessons and/or no stirrup work. I know this seems a bit draconian these days, but I am so very grateful for my first torturous year of no-stirrups no-reins lessons - 40-odd years later it's still having an effect. I'm just as vulnerable as anyone else, but I never feel panicked or tense when things start to go amiss.
I've never thought of a "grab strap" as something that should be used all the time. Its as the name says: A strap that can be grabbed if needed, rather than the horses mane or mouth, during those "oh sh*t" moments. I agree that to be holding it all the time would be detrimental to the horse because it stops the "flowing motion" of your arms. I would not use it on every horse either - only those I expected to be difficult.
"Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
"With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Eh, I don't really care one way or the other. No harm, no foul to me if you want to use it. I briefly tried it when I was really struggling with the extended trot, but it was too disrupting for me.
I do know of a former olympic medalist who would use it to help anchor herself down in the extended trot.
And I see people using them to carry their saddles around, but I would be afraid of dropping or scratching the saddle - as either I am freakishly proportioned or have a super huge saddle - because if I lug my saddle around by the grab strap it is practically touching the ground. Not to mention stressing the dee rings attachment to the saddle.
I ride with a neck strap all the time. I originally started using one for jumping but I found that it can be very helpful on the flat. I like the neck strap more than the
"bucking strap" because it sits further up the neck and it doesn't put your hands in your lap.
What Bogie said. I use it on all my young horses as an additional way to signal whoa without always pulling on their mouths. Also, a nice strong stirrup leather around the neck is particularly great for when those deer jump out at you on the trail!
I always have a Hail Mary strap on the saddle when I'm working with younger riders. Most of them just aren't independent/strong enough to keep their balance all the time and they feel more secure if they know there is something to grab onto. Of course, around them it is always a grab strap! haha I try not to scare them off at the beginning!
On my own mare I've recently started using a neck strap. She is really green to jumping and I'd much rather grab the strap than her mouth! Plus she can do some really impressive spook/spins on the trail, and it's a long way home if I come off!