Neck or grab straps

I’m ISO a neck strap that’s easy to grab when my horse teleports out from underneath me when he sees a monster.

Yes yes, my chances of actually grabbing it are slim to none but it would make me feel better.

Used for mostly flatwork but if it was suitable for jumping that would be great.

The easy, cheap and quick solution is to use an old stirrup leather around the horse’s neck. FEI rules now say a neck strap has to be fixed but that is irrelevant to most people.


I like the grab straps that attach to your saddle, but – and this is a big one – if your saddle slips and you need to grab something, you’re SOL.

So I like neck straps better. I agree the best one is a retired stirrup leather. Punch holes to fit, and thread the extra length through the metal of the stirrup buckle.

Depending on your anatomy, a hunt plate or polo breast plate might have better reach.

C4 has fun belts in a bunch of patterns that are used as neck straps, a ton of fun colors, seem very popular with some but I am a traditionalist.

You can also use old or tired buckle reins for a thinner, nicer look. This is a bit more involved than using a stirrup leather, as you have to do some measuring, hole punching, and a little cutting.

P.S you can use a recycled tail strap or old flash/spur strap to keep neck strap affixed to your martingale or saddle. I add a snap (pictured below) to the flash/spur straps to make it easy to clip on/off the saddle’s D-ring.


I use a brown nylon martingale yoke with no martingale instead of a neck strap most of the time.


I use an old stirrup leather and use a little braiding rubber band to “trap” it in a bit of mane so it doesn’t fall forward when my horse puts his head down. @beowulf I love your idea about using a spur strap and snap - I’m going to try that!

I recently tried to purchase the Nunn Finer neck strap with breastplate attachment, but they sent me one without the piece that attaches to the breastplate. I liked the leather and the width (thinner than the stirrup leather I use) but just returned it since I really wanted the one with the attachment.

But, is it hijacking if I ask a question related to something the OP alluded to? How the heck do people actually grab these when needed?!? I honestly don’t use it that much because I’ve NEVER actually managed to grab it when I need it (for me, it’s the surprise long spot).

I know what you mean. You gotta adjust it to your specific anatomy. For me, it’s easier to grab it if it’s further up the neck - so I make the circumference smaller.

Practice grabbing it a few times too, so it becomes intuitive.


Just an FYI about using a C4 belt as a grab strap: I’ve had 2 of the buckles crack/break over the years while wearing them with breeches - their intended use! I am 122lbs, so not like I’m putting much strain on the belt :slight_smile: These were not meant to bear the weight of a person during an “oh sh!t” moment, so please reconsider. If you want a colorful belt to match your XC gear, I would recommend checking out an endurance shop online. They have beta-biothane stirrup leathers in all manner of colors, with much stronger buckles than C4s.


I have used:

-an old synthetic tie-down strap that someone I knew was going to throw away. Perfect length to snap around my horse’s neck.

-I made one out of 4-strand braided hay string & wove in snaps at the ends (great to stuff in a pocket & strong)

-as already mentioned, a martingale strap

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So I’m looking for one to hook my hand s on when cooling out or warming up on the buckle, when my horse is the most likely to teleport. I don’t want to keep him on the bridle the entire time but I’d like some security for when he decides the thing we’ve ridden past 75 times in 20 minutes is now coming right for him.


For that, maybe the martingale strap of an old standing martingale? Take the standing martingale part out of the rubber donut. It’s the perfect length for those kinds of shenanigan moments.

Plus side is you can find them dirt cheap used.

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Like a grab strap?


I ride green OTTBs, 90% of the time I’m holding on to it when jumping or hunting. Or in 1 horses case, doing anything but walk. A lot harder to jerk them in the mouth when you’ve already got a hand on the neck strap!

I didn’t use to and I NEVER managed to grab when I needed to. Also, helps keep hands down on the neck when galloping. I have a purpose made one that appeared in my trailer. IDK, probably stole it on accident. I also use the neck portion of a martingale. If I’m using a martingale, that works too. C4 belts are way too big IMO and I don’t have super tiny hands either.


Must admit, I’ve never managed to grab a neck strap in dire emergency. I tend to take a hold as the emergency is developing - or when I’m worried that things are about to go pear shaped.


@beowolf I agree with @Lusoluv, do not use a C4 belt. I have had the buckle pop apart a few times while wearing them with breeches. It finally broke. IMO they are not safe to use as a grab strap.

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Oh don’t get me wrong, I don’t use them and have never owned a C4 belt in my life. I was just sharing what I’ve seen used.

I prefer a stirrup leather since there’s always a pair or two lying around.


I’ve never needed a true “emergency” grab strap but I sometimes use one for bareback or trail riding when I think I might want something to hold on to for a little while. I like to use a martingale yoke for that purpose because it’s thin but if you need something easy to grab in an emergency then a stirrup strap might be better.

I would recommend a consignment shop for used strap goods. No need to spend money on something new IMO.

One of my horses teleports with such amazing agility that I ride her on the trail in a full 5 point breastplate so the saddle has no chance of slipping when she spooks.

If you’re expecting to grab, the strap that rests on the neck is fine BUT if I were you, I would use an extra flash noseband strap and fasten it through these rings so you can just hold it like a rein as you ride.


Neck Strap ( I recently bought one of these to go with the rest of the fancy stall stuff they sell. I love my neck strap, when I am on it, making sure my hands are up near it rather than down near the breastplate, it makes a difference. Here is a pic with my older stirrup strap neck strap


Yes! I ripped a C4 off a horse’s neck midway through XC when I had a hiccup in competition. I had to throw it aside and then go apologize to the poor jump judge (and retrieve my belt) after I finished! A sturdy buckle is definitely crucial for a good neck strap.

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I use a racing/martingale yoke for jumping because that’s where my hands sit:

For me yokes or neck straps aren’t in a convenient spot to grab if I’m sitting up in the saddle or hacking on the buckle. The last thing I want to do if all hell is breaking loose is lean forward. For teleporting I would use a grab strap connected to the stirrup bars (with one of these: rather than the D rings.