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What items do you use to make riding easier and/or possible

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  • What items do you use to make riding easier and/or possible

    I'm looking for ideas to make riding and tacking up, etc. easier. Although I am hoping to help para riders and disabled riders with this thread, "normal" riders are welcome, too. I'll start :

    1)VELCRO BELL BOOTS - before I became disabled, I would not use anything but pull ons. These proved far too difficult and dangerous for me. I fell pulling them off and got stuck on the floor between a spooky mare and a wall.

    2)BRUSHING BOOTS- I have front and back boots for each horse for days when my hands aren't working well enough to properly bandage. My favorites so far are the DSB boots.

    3)BUCKING STRAP- I might not need it, but I won't get on without it. If my hands are weak, I hook my reins around the bucking strap so if I drop a rein, I can grab it more easily. Holding the bucking strap along with my reins also helps my hands remain more stable on bad days.

    4)THINLINE PAD- I don't know if it really helps, but it's supposed to help my horse's back if I'm a little bouncy. I figure any horse dealing with my weird problems deserves the most comfort he or she can get.

    5)RUBBER REINS-I use either rubber reins or reins that are leather on one side and rubber on the other so I have extra grip and don't lose my reins if the horse pulls a little and my hands are sweaty (gloves prove difficult as i have a cumbersome brace)

    6)FULLSEAT BREECHES-I want to make sure my tush stays in the saddle.

    7)BRIDLES AND REINS WITH BUCKLE ENDS-It is far easier for me to change a bit when have buckle ends. My hands just cannot use the hook ends. I lack the dexterity.

    8)TURTLE SNAP CROSSTIES-The large hooks attatch easily to the horse's halter without much difficulty.

    9)BOOMERS BANDAGES-These are excellent when I need to bandage a horse but my hand is really bad and I can't handle a no bow and a bandage.

    I'm sure lots of you have special items you use in order to make your life as an equestrian easier. Please share....no item is too small or too foolish. Join in and help others out.
    Last edited by Invite; Aug. 24, 2009, 06:57 PM. Reason: spelling

  • #2
    What items do you use to make riding easier and/or possible

    a good Chiropractor and an even better trainer!
    I honestly don't use any boots at all.....and only wrap for clinics. I love the rubber reins with buckles.... and a three step mounting block. I have to say as much as I love the brand helmet for fit...I HATE the hook and snap thing. The kids usually have to help me with it.
    Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger


    • #3
      ooh, this is a nice thread.

      proper mounting block

      tack that fits and is in good repair

      good quality tack

      I quite like my treadstone halfchaps with a nice sturdy zip that goes from top to bottom rather than vice versa

      nice cheap microfiber hand towels, for quick wipe down of tack so its tidy

      I'll second the thinline

      a good quality curry & dandy & hoof pick

      a good tack-up area: a sturdy place to hang my saddle while grooming, shelves for laying down brushes, etc, and ample room to place my sweaty pads and girth other than on top of my saddle, or on the ground

      good lighting in the tack area

      if you like rubber reins, perhaps check out nunn-finers rubber eventers, they're awfully soft & floppy & grippy

      instilling exception ground manners probably tops the list though, its nice to be around a horse you don't even have to think about
      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


      • #4
        Stirrup pads that put my foot in the proper position
        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


        • #5
          Having shreded my left ankle a few years ago, I splurged for the Sprenger Bow Balance irons. Night and day difference.


          • #6
            First and foremost, I'd say both my horses have kind temperaments and good heads. My four year old is very quiet and confident (no spook); my 25 year old is a little hotter but looks out for me.

            Secondly, a three-step mounting block (nicknamed "the elevator") and I usually get someone to hold my horse when I get on

            Rubber reins on all my bridles (Eventa or Wintec cushion grip)

            Full seats

            Bucking strap, stirrup leather around the neck for jumping and I just bought a breastplate for something to grab onto when hunting

            I have one of those grooming kits that doubles as a stepstool--excellent for taking out braids, clipping, etc.

            Always wear tall boots and mine are steel toed

            Deep seated saddles

            I'm in my mid 50s and don't bounce anymore


            • #7
              I forgot...ZIP UP BOOTS!
              Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger


              • #8
                I like those velcro-closure half-chaps for day to day riding - easier than zip ups, especially when my hands are cold or my calves are swollen or I wore jeans instead of britches...

                I am a huge fan of large mounting blocks. In fact a friend's barn has a permanent one made of wood - three big steps, so heavy it can't be moved (except by two people or a tractor) and you can sit on the horse like it's a couch.

                (excuse me - arg - mosquito in the house and I just missed it!)

                Anyway (excuse me - YAR!!! - got it!!!!) Anyway, I am also a huge fan of the jelly-plastic scrubby curry combs - big nubs on one side make mud vanish, little teeth on other side just clean like crazy, without too much pain to my tendonitis-prone hands. Much less effort required for same amount of clean, I think, than the traditional curries and brush combos.

                I also love having a nice whip rack in the arena - it's attached to the wall by the door, and all the crops and whips hang handle-up in these little circular openings. It's super easy to ride up, pick out a whip, put it back at any time without leaning too far over or having to dismount and get one from the corner/barn/behind the chair, etc.


                • #9
                  Guter Sitz! Its NOT CHEATING!



                  • #10
                    a 3 step mounting block is haven!
                    In winter, I can't survive without my fleece lined Middleburg tall boots, Mountian Horse Coat, SSG Winter Trainer Gloves, underarmour.
                    a 3 pronged hook to hang halters, bridels, stirrup leather, on when cleaning.

                    And winter in the barn is so much nice now that I have a kerosene heater out there.
                    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                    Witherun Farm


                    • #11
                      My horse show tack trunk: http://www.amazon.com/Stanley-Consum..._ob_hi_title_1

                      Wheels with a roller bag type handle. I can put just about everything but my saddle and big spray bottles in this trunk. I only bring essential grooming equipment and get "travel size" tack wipes from Carr Day and Martin.
                      Ellie and Werther Blog


                      • #12
                        Ace bandages and Ibuprofen.


                        • #13
                          A mounting block which lets me get on without touching the stirrup (tailgate of pickup will do ).

                          Zip-up boots (mine, don't use horse boots).

                          Sprenger jointed stirrups which are kind to my arthritic knees.

                          A saddle which I super-duper really-truly splurged on which actually fits both me and Hoofer so he doesn't buck me off any more.

                          Deerskin full seat breeches in three weights for all seasons.

                          And (purists, look away) a double bridle for my Second/Third Morgan who is incredibly strong and inclined to be a bully with his neck and also to just go off over There somewhere with his ADHD but hey, you know, a curb rein sorta gets his attention back PDQ. Like a bucking strap, there when I need it....


                          • #14
                            I like the DSBs because I'm too dyslexic to do polo wraps. I can pretty much figure those out.

                            I have all my tack in bags, even side reins, my paddock boots, my surcingle - not only protective, but so much easier to grab and carry around.
                            a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


                            • #15
                              I used to try to put that sticky stuff on my boots when my trainer wasn't looking but then it would squeak through out the whole ride and my trainer would laugh her @$$ off at me.


                              • #16
                                Good thread! For me, the following have been wonderful:

                                A) Bates or Prestige single strap bottom adjust leathers - wonderful for those days when your hips are giving you problems or your fingers are all fumbly with buckles.

                                B) MDC Intelligent stirrup irons - they have an "eye" at the top that allows you to adjust the angle of how the stirrups hang. Love them.

                                C) Believe it or not...I love the Wintec reins. They are grippy but soft (I have bone spurs in my fingers and hard rubber reins just aggravates them) and at least for me, not slippery and very easy to clean.

                                D) A good bucking strap is a must in my opinion, as is a decent mounting block.

                                E) Thinline pad. I haven't ridden my horses without one in almost 20 years. And yes, I can tell the difference with or without it.

                                F) A rolling tack box...actually I found a portable mechanic's tool box that has a pull out handle and wheels so that you can just pull it along like luggage. It's sturdy enough to stand on - making it a convenient mounting block (I don't recall the measurements, but I'd say it's about 15" high), and roomy enough to hold all the necessities and more.
                                A poorly fitted saddle hampers both horse and rider.


                                • #17
                                  I have a custom homebuilt (and VERY sturdy) 4 step mounting block. When I had Mac (who was pushing 18 hands) that thing was heaven, but now that I'm riding a shorter horse, it's still great, because I'm only 5'3. No straining, and the saddle stays right in place - I just step across and I'm on. the horses like it too, and I swear it saves me on chiropracter bills as I don't torque on their spine. I use it for dismounting as well.

                                  That and training the horse to stand rock solid (I'm currently doing that for 3 schoolies, and it's a pain, but will be well worth it when I'm done! Oh, and I'm training the KIDS to train the schoolies to stand, btw).

                                  Oh, and I can't live without my dressage whip with a rubber grip and a knob at the end. I drop anything else.


                                  • #18
                                    3 step mounting block (and my guy is only 14.2..).

                                    bow balance stirrups

                                    one of heather moffetts seat savers (tho i'm going to try a wow saddle..up farther off the horse - bad....getting more leg on mr propane tank and not having to spread the hips - good).

                                    neck strap (i can never remember to actually grab a bucking strap).

                                    funky shoes and half chaps. was riding in z-coil work boots. now my hip won't tolerate them (post surgery)...will probably start back riding in low cut keen's and toe cages.

                                    something STICKY on my butt!

                                    does anybody feel that big honkin' knee blocks help stability? i have had a hip issue that's made me crooked for the last 40 years. just had the hip operated on, but it's probably never going to be 'normal'.

                                    also - i have lost so much muscle mass that it's going to take about forever to rebuild it!

                                    a horse with not extravagant but VEEEERRRYYY smooth gaits (altho the little sucker did dump me once....).
                                    Last edited by tollertwins; Aug. 25, 2009, 08:03 AM. Reason: eta:


                                    • #19
                                      Cheese grater stirrup pads. I have wriggly weakankles and have trouble pushing/keeping my heels down. Cheese graters really help me.

                                      And ditto proper mounting blocks, full seats, bucking straps! And my wonderful trainer, who has made all the difference for both the horse and me.
                                      Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

                                      Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs


                                      • #20
                                        I use the same schooling bridle on all three horses.

                                        It is easier to adjust the cheekpieces than to clean three bridles.
                                        The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                        Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                        The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY