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Riding With a "Bucking Strap"?

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  • Riding With a "Bucking Strap"?

    I was at a clinic last week and the clinician recommended that one participant get a bucking strap to attach to the front of her saddle. The reason was that the horse evaded her hand by bulging his neck to the outside. By holding on to the bucking strap(and the rein) with her outside hand, she had more strengh/stability to limit the horse's ability to bulge.

    The clinician said that he rode every horse he got on with a bucking strap!~

    Have other people heard of this? It was mentioned that bucking straps were even used in competition. Is that legal? Or do people just have them on the saddle for warm up and they are not touched while in the ring?
    "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

    Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

  • #2
    Did you see the strap in question? I have heard of "grab straps" being called "bucking straps" - and they are nothing like a bronc wears at the rodeo!

    Rather something like this (by the way, these images came up when I searched "bucking strap":



    Edited to add - I know a few dressage riders who always have one of these on their saddles.
    APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


    • #3
      Yes, they are legal for competition. I have even seen FEI level riders use them in extensions. Discreetly, of course LOL


      • #4
        I've never understood how these can be used effectively without dropping the hands and disturbing the contact. I can see it for extreme situations (young fresh horses, insecure riders), but general schooling?
        Proud COTH lurker since 2001.


        • #5
          I used to follow too much with my hands, so for a while I rode with elastic hair ties looped into my front D-rings, which I would hold with my little fingers to remind me not to drift so much. I'd imagine a bucking strap could serve a similiar purpose with a lot more strength and stability.

          And once in a lesson I was trying for a stretchy trot, but I just couldn't seem to get my seat to cooperate (again, too much following!), so I grabbed the front of the saddle for stability while I slowed my posting down, and while it wasn't pretty, it worked great. My instructors take on my saddle grabbing? "Sometimes you need to do what you have to to help your horse succeed."
          "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
          -Edward Hoagland


          • #6
            I started riding with one about a year ago and have it on my saddle all the time.

            95% of the time, I don't touch it. But if I need extra stability, to pull myself deeper into the saddle, to remind myself to keep my hand from creeping forward or back, or to hang on during a big spook, I grab it.

            It's incredibly handy and frankly, I see no reason not to ride with one now. It's certainly saved my butt and my horse's mouth a couple of times.
            Last edited by OreoCookie; May. 3, 2013, 07:46 PM. Reason: added a word I left out


            • #7
              I start/back and retrain/rehab quite a few. Everyone of my saddles has a bucking strap on it. I fortunately rarely use it but on those rare occasions like when my stinker pony loses it, I at least want to know that it's there.
              Ranch of Last Resort


              • #8
                I have one on every saddle and often ride with my pinkie through it. it is fairly long.

                you cannot tell from the ground.
                A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton


                • #9
                  I haven't used a sissy strap since I was 4. My mother called it that for good reason. It breaks the line from elbow to bit, raises the rider's center of gravity, and disengages their core.
                  chaque pas est fait ensemble


                  • #10
                    its not a sissy strap if it stops the rider from balancing on the horses mouth. I like my students to have one, so that they can take it when learning certain things to avoid balancing on the reins.

                    I dont have one, but perhaps i should add one to my saddle since they are used so successfully lol.


                    • #11
                      Because neither my horse's head nor my hand position is ideal yet, I sometimes grab mane in canter depart, not because I yank on his mouth but because I throw contact away in an attempt not to use my hands if I get squirrelly. But many of the saddles I've tried have a bucking strap attached. Only that's not what we call it .
                      LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...


                      • #12
                        Oh well call me a sissy then. If being a sissy is what it takes for self-preservation....then I think I'll keep mine on my saddles and let you keep calling names At least at 50 I can still walk upright and back/start young stock
                        Ranch of Last Resort


                        • #13
                          I have an Oh Crap strap fashioned like the Tellington balance rein http://www.ttouch.com/shop/index.php?productID=213 except of course mine didn't cost more than the expense of some cord and clips. I ride with it all the time so that if I lose my balance I don't find it on my horse's face. It's psychological -picking it up is like a handle for my horse that makes me feel better.

                          Also I did use it when my hands were trying to counter bend Fella or too busy.

                          It mostly sits on his neck unused. http://www.flickr.com/photos/5296733...in/photostream

                          He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


                          • #14
                            You can buy an "extra long" bucking strap - brand name "quiet hands"?? (from Jefferies or Dressage Extentions). The advantage of this one is that you can slip your thumb on the strap without taking your hand out of it's normal position.

                            It is a great way to deal with a horse that grabs the rein. It prevents you from pulling back (so hard not to), so the horse gets the immediate reward when he softens contact.

                            Also, if you grab the strap and see an immediate change in how your horse goes, you now know that it was the rider pulling not the horse.

                            Or you can braid some baling twine and make your own strap.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                              I have an Oh Crap strap fashioned like the Tellington balance rein http://www.ttouch.com/shop/index.php?productID=213
                              This is what I use for students that haven't developed the core stability yet to not use the reins for balance.
                              These are also called cordeos (if you're a bridle less rider), a neck strap (if your an eventer) or a neck tie (saddleseat)
                              chaque pas est fait ensemble


                              • #16
                                I have my student use one to stabilize her hand occasionally, Or lunge work and to use in Sitting trot to get her to allow her seat to stay down.
                                I have one on my saddle, Never used it. I call them grab straps.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by OreoCookie View Post
                                  I started riding with one about a year ago and have it on my saddle all the time.

                                  95% of the time, I don't touch it. But if I need extra stability, to pull myself deeper into the saddle, to remind myself to keep my hand from creeping forward or back, or to hang on during a big spook, I grab it.

                                  It's incredibly handy and frankly, I see no reason not to ride with one now. It's certainly saved my butt and my horse's mouth a couple of times.
                                  100 percent agree!


                                  • #18
                                    I guess I'm a super sissy!! I ride with two. Yes, two... a bucking strap hooked into the stirrup bars with D savers... and a neck strap for those oh boy moments.

                                    He is tall and it is a long way down from there... while I rarely have to touch either, when needed they (I tend to grab one or the other) have certainly saved my butt. I event though, and at this point it is a habit to put it on with the bridle.

                                    I have also seen clinicians use a soft longish rope around the horses neck to help handsy riders stop relying on the reins so much and to transition to using their seat more effectively. Helps people from moving their hands around too much as it restricts how much you can pull back and forces the rider to rely on their seat. I have seen some pretty impressive results with the horse quickly learning that the pressure on the neck corresponds with the rider asking for a halt etc.


                                    • #19
                                      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.
                                      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                                      • #20
                                        My grab strap has been on all but 1 saddle I've owned. It was there as "extra security" in case of a spook or buck or bolt or something. Now, it's more of a "security blanket." I don't like riding in saddles that don't have one (I will, but I don't feel as good about it).

                                        Whatever gets you to relax and be confident in your ride.
                                        RIP my beautiful Lola, ????–August 29, 2014