Free-ride neck strap
What you need to know….
The free-ride neck strap was designed to assist with confidence and stability particularly while riding bare-back. It is made from 8mm or 10mm double braid rope which is soft and easy to hold, doesn’t get slippery when wet and is comfortable for the horse to wear.
The free-ride strap is designed to sit low on the horse’s neck, just in front of the saddle so that it is easy to pick up without leaning forward. The free-ride strap is fully adjustable with a unique sliding mechanism that makes adjustment easy. The free-ride neck strap can be used as an alternative to the stability strap, while riding with a saddle, although does not tether to the saddle. It allows for more hand movement than the stability strap but can be easily shortened to use while riding bare-back.
Is a neck strap just for beginner riders?
No – the free-ride neck strap has many applications for a range of riders. While originally designed to provide additional stability in the saddle, it has uses that range from assisting with confidence, to teaching postural cues to the horse and rider, improving the horse’s stop response and ensuring less pressure on the horse’s mouth.
The concept is not new but soft hands equine can provide a purpose made neck strap that serves a number of uses:
What can the free-ride neck strap help with?
· The free-ride neck strap can help teach a better stop response by giving the horse an alternative cue that doesn’t involve mouth pressure. By using the neck strap in a lifting action along with your reins it can reinforce the stop response and teach the horse to lift their neck and chest during stop and downward transitions.
· The free-ride neck strap encourages a better hand position by discouraging “pulling back” during rein aids and general riding, as well as reducing excessive hand movements and encouraging a better connection with your horse.
· The free-ride neck strap provides an additional point of balance for riders who are developing their independent seat – the rider can balance on the strap without placing pressure on the horse’s mouth.
· The free-ride neck strap can assist with transitioning to bridle-less as it can be used in conjunction with your reins and it can also help with jumping to provide additional stability over jumps.
Free-ride neck strap fitting and adjustment
The free-ride neck strap is designed to be used in the upright seat. This is to ensure that the rider’s position and stability is not compromised when using the strap. Traditional neck straps are often fitted close to the horses neck and as a result riders must lean forward to hold them, this can be an unintended cue to the horse to speed up as it is often associated with faster gaits. Check out our video below to see how easily the neck strap can be accessed while riding and how to fit and adjust correctly:
How do I care for my stability strap?
Your stability strap should give you years of trouble-free use without any special maintenance. Neck straps can be safely machine washed in a wash bag.