Balance strap or neck strap?

Spot_the_Risk

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I've been riding on my very well behaved and quiet youngster for nearly a year now, always with a neck strap just in case. I rarely touch it, sometimes hook a finger under if I'm approaching something I consider warrants it, of course I'm never holding it if he shies at something! It's a bit cumbersome having a stirrup leather hanging around and I was wondering if a balance strap attached to the D rings of the saddle gives as much help as an extra handle? My main reason for holding the strap is to save thinners mouth should I become unbalanced in a spook.
 

Liane

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I will be interested in the replies, I will be riding my youngster this year/next and I was wondering about one of the RS-tor things, like a handle, not sure which is preferable though, one of those, a balance strap or neckstrap?
 

bounce

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I've used both neck strap and balance strap with my youngster and have to say I feel the neck strap is better in an emergency as your centre of gravity whilst holding is better, whereas the balance strap let's you go too far away from the horse (if that makes any sense).

I would say though that a thin neck strap is far better than a stirrup leather as it is much easier to hook a finger under.
 

Spot_the_Risk

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Bounce, yes the stirrup leathe is pretty bulky... I will have to dismantle a martingale and use the neck strap from that I think
 

Ashgrove

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I use half of an old set of rubber reins as a neck strap, much more comfortable than a stirrup leather.
 

Spotsrock

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My boy is too big for me really so I find holding neck strap tips me forward as its too fat away. Balance strap is too close and I feel like I'm sitting on my hands

I use a breastplate that attaches to the saddle d rings then loop a flash strap through the breastplate straps. Gives me a balance strap but 3 inches further forward.
 

Dumbo

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I have both as part of my tack. Often hold the neck strap to canter but never touched my balance strap! If we were going bucking bronco don't think the neck strap would do a lot, I tend to hold it so I can relax the reins and not pull on his mouth.
 

Kat

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Neck strap helps with brakes too, so I would suggest a neck strap, but a thin one.
 

Spot_the_Risk

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Thank you Kat, don't need extra brakes, he is very steady, I can canter just a few strides, back to trot, canter on again etc out hacking no problem, I just feel an emergency handhold is a good idea! :)
 

soulfull

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I've used all the ideas mentioned with different horses. For me it depends where my hands are naturally on each horse. So I use whichever method is nearest to where my hands are normally
 

Penumbra

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I would just go with a breast plate. It's more secure than a neck strap, has different places to hold on to, and will probably look nicer than a stirrup leather.
 

Goldenstar

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I would just go with a breast plate. It's more secure than a neck strap, has different places to hold on to, and will probably look nicer than a stirrup leather.

I find the breast plate useless it too attached to horse .
 

Spot_the_Risk

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So many ideas... I think I will keep on with the neck strap but just find myself a thinner one, thank you everyone.
 

mudmonkey17

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Breastplate I find the most useful especially as my mare has a mean bronc in her. Also have a neck strap for double security. Took it off a martingale as wanted a thinner one than a stirrup leather. Tried a strap on d rings of saddle but found it too close to my body to be useful if that makes sense.
 

Goldenstar

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I always use a martingale strap to I don't like using old stirrups leathers .
 

marmalade76

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I use either a martingale or a neck strap with the martingale part removed. I don't like holding on to a breatplate as they're too fixed and a balance strap would be in the wrong place. I do use balance straps (well, a flash strap threaded through the d rings) for my children as their arms aren't long enpugh to hold a neck strap.

Best way to get a a neck strap from a martingale is to buy a standing martingale on Ebay, they tend to be cheaper as they are less popular and it's easy to remove the martingale part.
 

Tnavas

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I use either a martingale or a neck strap with the martingale part removed. I don't like holding on to a breatplate as they're too fixed and a balance strap would be in the wrong place. I do use balance straps (well, a flash strap threaded through the d rings) for my children as their arms aren't long enpugh to hold a neck strap.

Best way to get a a neck strap from a martingale is to buy a standing martingale on Ebay, they tend to be cheaper as they are less popular and it's easy to remove the martingale part.

If the neck strap is correctly fitted, even little ones should be able to reach it. I taught hundreds of 4+ children when I had my riding school, they all managed to reach the neck strap. The monkey strap causes children to rise behind the movement with feet stuck forwards, it doesn't encourage them to have the correct upper body position for rising trot.
 

Tnavas

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The only thing that conserns me re them at this stage is that they stay on, I don't really care how.
How old are they? - If learning correctly falling off is minimalized. The schools instructors prided themselves on teaching a correct strong position from day one and we rarely had our riders fall off. Apart from the odd slither off we only had one broken elbow and a broken ankle in 9 years with 300+ riders coming through the school each week.

Neck strap needs to be long enough for little arms to reach.
 

Vickijay

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Neck strap every time. Like you I didn't like a stirrup leather so I bought a really smart neckstrap off eBay.

Edited to add link

http://bit.ly/1kmdao1
 
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