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Q: I am teaching a teenager on my Anglo Arab gelding. She’s an accomplished rider, but easily becomes unseated when we work without stirrups, as the horse is bouncy.

I have heard about a balance strap that attaches to the saddle and would like to know what it is.
RD, Norfolk

There are a few straps on the market that help with balance and rein contact, but it sounds as though the product you’re referring to is the RS-tor (pronounced “arrestor”).

It is a light, webbing strap that attaches to the saddle D-rings and also the stirrup bars of the saddle. The strap is approximately the length of the rider’s forearm and includes an elasticated element that absorbs movement.

The rider holds the end of the RS-tor, which is shaped like a riding crop handle.

Does it affect my position?

Inventor George Gorman says: “The RS-tor is a great preventative tool to avoid falls and subsequent injuries. It gives the rider a feeling of security.

“If their balance is challenged or they’re unseated, the RS-tor allows them to stay closer to the saddle — especially useful if a horse spins or spooks suddenly, or when someone is learning to jump.

“In the latter example, this could also prevent the horse being jabbed in the mouth. It doesn’t affect the rein contact and is unobtrusive.”

Where can I get one?

The product is manufactured and distributed by Libby’s and has a British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) safety and security innovation award.

A Libby’s representative told H&H: “The RS-tor isn’t limited to Riding for the Disabled Centres and beginners. It is essentially a very good safety product and, since the innovation award, it has become especially popular.”

It is priced at £39.95 and comes in S, M and L. H&H


Libby’s, tel: 01752 338000

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (3 September, ’09)

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