|WFP and the neck strap.|
They are also not just for jumpers, perhaps. Could they benefit the dressage rider?
I hope to weigh in soon, because I'm going to be riding with a neck strap for a bit. It's not for security, but to improve my hands in these ways:
- Most importantly, I have to work on a shorter rein. I tend to like to carry my hands in my lap, and then I curl my wrists, and then I'm "caving in" my posture.
- Neck straps will help you keep your hands less busy/more stable
- I'm hoping a neck strap will make me more aware of when I want to pull back.
- I'm thinking a neck strap will help me sit more "over the horse" and help me fight the chair seat.
What convinced me that I need a neck strap is an experience I had with Riley recently. Watching a recent video of Edward Gal and his new horse (click here to view), I was struck by how short he kept the reins, and how quiet and forward his hands are. I tried to "channel Edward Gal" in a recent ride on Riley, planting my hands on his neck about a third of the way up his neck. Riley did not piaffe (darn) but he did respond with some of the best trotwork I've had on him. Sure my hands were quieter. But I also observed that when you can't fuss with your hands, you actually have to USE YOUR SEAT.
So, neck strap it is. It seems stupid to buy one -- but I may have to, if I can't unearth an old pair of stirrup leathers. Wish me luck!