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The Best Rider Gadgets That Actually Work - Part II
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   19th Sep 2020   •   268 views   •   0 comments
The Best Rider Gadgets That Actually Work

Welcome to part 2 in our quest of finding the best gadgets and gimmicks that can actually help you to improve your riding! Put your body where it should be, and let your brain figure out how to keep it there. You’ll have that perfect equitation seat in no time!

The Unisit Sit Strap System

What is it?
The ‘Unisit’ is something we’ve all wished we could have at some point or other in our riding careers, it's a seatbelt for your saddle! The Unisitstrap official website describes their product as follows, “The Unisit Sit Strap System is made of reinforced safety-harness material. It attaches to the saddle's D-rings and wraps around the rider's back, down the inside of the thighs, around the horse's belly and over the saddle's girth.”

Now, you might be thinking “wait a minute, strapping yourself to the saddle is a terrible idea”, and you would be absolutely right, but the way the unisit works is not quite so simple. Having tried this magical device myself, I can honestly say that it is well worth all the trepidation you may have going in. Read on to find out more!

Unisit

How it works:
The ‘Unisit’ is essentially a ‘sitting trot seatbelt’. It straps you into the saddle to hold your body in the correct position and force you into a deeper, more effective seat. This will allow you to overcome any blocking, pinching or gripping that may be popping you out of the saddle, and allow you to stretch out and strengthen those stiff muscles that are holding you back, whilst also developing a feel of “how it should be”. When you work with the Unisit (as opposed to against it!) you will be amazed at how your horse responds to your deep and secure seat. Then it just becomes a question of chasing after that same feeling every single ride after you take the strap off. This tool is suitable for riders of all levels, from novices to Olympians!

But what about the danger? If you’re strapped to the saddle, what happens if your horse spooks, bucks, or falls? The designers of Unisit already thought of that, and they’ve got you covered. In addition to the ‘seatbelt’, the Unisit includes a strap that fastens around the rider’s wrist, connected to a special pin-pull safety release mechanism – similar to what is used in parachutes. Their official website explains, “The quick-release safety mechanism is activated with a quick pull of the wrist (or automatically when the rider becomes unbalanced), with the strap that is looped around the rider's wrist.”

However, accidents can always happen, so it is not advisable to use the Unisit while riding alone, or while on a green and/or unpredictable horse. Always make sure you have someone with you in case of emergency, and make sure you can rely on your mount.



The Unisit team promises that their tool “is guaranteed to teach riders to sit in unison with their horses. The unique design improves muscle memory and seat development, consequently enhancing the horse's performance. Use of this system will bridge the gap between the description of a correct seat and actually feeling it by using a non-verbal, kinesthetic approach.

Through muscle memory "imprint" training, the rider will achieve a better seat and ride the horse correctly with open hips, steady legs under the body, a relaxed and supple back, an open upper body, shoulders back with elbows, hands and head in the correct relaxed position and in balance.”

Having used this system myself, I can personally verify that this is 100% true. Get on your horse with an open mind, and get off with the most open hips you’ve ever felt! Just make sure you’ve got an Epsom salt soak waiting for you at home if you’re stiff like me; the muscle cramps are real!

Where can I get it?
Unfortunately, at the time of this article Unisit is out of stock. The good news though is that they are planning to come back with a bang after a change in ownership and manufacturers! You can visit their website Unisit.com, or contact UnisitStrap@gmail.com to be placed on a priority waiting list to purchase your system once they’re ready.

The Equicube

What is it?
The Equicube is exactly what it sounds like... wait for it... a cube. More specifically, it is a cleverly designed solid rubber cube with handles on the sides at 45 degree angles. It is 4,2 – 4,8 lbs (depending on which version you buy) of pure genius! It is also made from extremely durable and 100% recycled materials, so you don’t have to worry about breaking your investment if you have to fling it at your coach’s head in fury – and you’re saving the planet too! Bonus!



How it works:
For such a simple gadget, the Equicube can really achieve some incredible results. This is something I have used myself with great success, both for my own riding and for my clients. The cube is of the perfect size, with handles at the perfect angles, to keep the rider’s hands at an ideal distance from each other and from the horse’s wither. The handles also prevent wrists from twisting, and an upward or downward tip is very easily corrected by having the rider glance at the cube to ensure it is still pointed upwards with the top parallel to the ground. It is truly the holy grail of hand fixing! If you or your client has wayward hands, there is no kinder or quicker way to tame them.

In addition to its extremely valuable effect on a rider’s hand position, the Equicube’s weight also helps to strengthen the rider’s core, and encourages them to sit deeper in the saddle. With the hands in the correct place and the core engaged to support the cube’s weight, the rider is unable to rely on old habits and ‘crutches’, making it far easier to break them down when the rider is prompted to think about how their body works differently while holding the cube.

The Equicube website also explains that “when the Equicube is kept level and in front of the rider, aligned with the direction of travel, the rider’s core and rein aids naturally work together”. I have personally found this tremendously helpful for lateral movements like shoulder in, where our hands tend to go wayward with so many things to think about. Just point the cube where you want to go, and your brain is free to think about what your seat and legs should be doing while the cube helps to keep your upper body in line. One less thing to worry your very busy mind!

Where can I get it?
You can purchase the Equicube at their website Equicube.com for $78. However, if you’re on a strict budget but still want to try this amazing gadget, one Equestrian blogger did compile a very helpful guide on how to build your own! If you’re DIY-spirited, definitely give this one a look here at codexdressage.blogspot.com

Keep following this multiple-part series to find out more of my insider tips on the best gadgets to improve your performance!
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